Joe Besser - biography

Comedian from United States of America

Joe Besser (August 12, 1907 – March 1, 1988) was an American comedian, known for his impish humor and wimpy characters. He is best known for his brief stint as a member of The Three Stooges in movie short subjects of 1957–59. He is also remembered for his television roles: Stinky, the spoiled impish bratty overgrown man-child in The Abbott and Costello Show, and Jillson, the maintenance man in The Joey Bishop Show. Besser was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the ninth child of Morris and Fanny Besser (Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe). He had seven older sisters, and an older brother Manny who was in show business, primarily as an ethnic Jewish comic. From an early age, Joe was fascinated with show business, especially the magic act of Howard Thurston that visited his town annually. When Joe was 12, Thurston allowed him to play an audience plant (as in "stooge"). Besser was so excited by this, he sneaked into Thurston's train after the St. Louis run of the show was over, and was discovered the next day sleeping on top of the lion's cage in Detroit. Thurston relented, informed Besser's parents of the situation, and trained him as an assistant. The first act involved pulling  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Known as
Joseph Besser
Date of birth
Place of birth
St. Louis
United States of America
Erna Kay
Comedian, Musician, Actor


Year Performance Character
1960 Let's Make Love
1959 Plunderers of Painted Flats
1959 Say One for Me
1955 Headline Hunters
1950 The Desert Hawk Sinbad the Sailor
1949 Africa Screams
0 Which Way to the Front?
0 The Three Stooges Collection


Date of death
Cause of death
Cardiovascular disease,Heart failure
Place of death
North Hollywood

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