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Curly Was My Grandfather... But My Family Kept It A Secret From Me

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2023 3:02 am

Curly Was My Grandfather... But My Family Kept It A Secret From Me

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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January 19, 2023 3:02 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Brad Server grew up watching the Three Stooges on TV not knowing he was related to one of the greatest comics of all time. Every day after school, Brad, his brother, and their friends would pile in front of the television to watch their idol, Curly. Then one day, the secret about their unknown grandfather was unveiled. Brad Server (aka “Curly G”) is here to tell his story.

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Eligibility and terms at sportsbook.draftkings.com slash football terms. And we continue with our American stories. And up next, a story from Brad Server. Brad grew up watching the Three Stooges on TV, not knowing he was related to one of the greatest comic performers of all time. Every day after school, Brad, his brother and their friends would pile in front of the TV to watch their idol, Jerome Howard, best known as Curly. Then one day the secret about their unknown grandfather was unveiled. And we're telling this story because on this day in 1952, Jerome Lester Horowitz died. Here's Brad Server, aka Curly G. To start this journey, we must first go back to Lithuania. This where my great grandparents, Solomon and Jenny Horwitz, met and married.

They later left for America and arrived in Castle Guard, New York in 1890. Here they would start their family of five boys, Irving, Benjamin, Samuel, Moses and Jerome. Later, the world would know the three youngest boys as Shemp, Moe and Curly. My name is Brad Server, and I'm the youngest grandson of Curly Howard of the Three Stooges.

This is my American story. When Shemp and Moe were in their teens, they would sneak off to Coney Island to watch the Vaudeville Acts. They would later join these performers and were then discovered by Ted Healy, a well-known Vaudeville actor. In time, they met Lawrence Feinberg, better known as Larry, and they became Ted Healy and the Stooges.

In time, Shemp would leave the act and baby brother filled in. The rest is comedy history for the ages. Why you cowards! You're afraid to say Niagara Falls! Niagara Falls!

Niagara Falls! Slowly I turn! In step! I step!

Inch by inch! In 1937, Curly met and married my grandmother, Elaine Ackerman. A year later, they would have a baby girl named Marilyn, my mom. In 1941, my grandparents divorced when my mom was three. My grandmother would remarry a year later to a man named Moses Diamond. My mother lived with them, but would visit Curly on the weekends when he was in town.

As my grandfather's health started to decline, her visits were less frequent, and she remembers visiting him in the hospital often. In 1952, when my mom was 14, Curly Howard passed away at the age of 48. After my grandfather's passing, she would legally be adopted by her stepfather, who really had become her everyday dad. In early 1960, my mom met my father, Haskell H. Server, in Los Angeles, California.

In December, my brother Darren was born. Then, in 1962, my sister Andrea, and then in 1965, I joined them. My parents, though, would later divorce in 1971. So, after my parents divorced in 1971, it was, you know, a typical arrangement where my brother, sister, and I lived with my mother. My dad would then move to Pacific Palisades, because he was doing well in the insurance agency that he was working for. And then, later, my brother would wind up moving in with my dad.

A year later, I would move in with my dad. But we really started showing signs that we had something very special in our blood, because we were performing. My brother was a self-taught piano player, I think at the age of five. We all loved to sing. We would gather around the piano, my sister, my brother, and I, and we could all carry a tune.

So, you know, it was great. So, we would sing songs. Later, it would develop into performing makeshift musicals for, you know, my grandparents at the time, or my mom.

If she was to drop us off, we'd say, Mom, come in and see this. And we would, you know, we would do the, you know, the famous shows of that time in 1971, 72. We were doing Cabaret, West Side Story, Sounding Music. And to this time, we came home like every other kid. After school, we came home, and we wanted to see the Stooges. So, we'd rush home.

We'd watch in L.A. It was Channel 52, UHF. And you had all the great shows that were coming on. You know, you had Kimba. You had The Three Stooges, The Little Rascals. You had Speed Racer.

I mean, all these great shows, but The Stooges is what we came home to watch most. And Curly was our hero. My brother and I both loved Curly the most. But the problem with that was, at this age, I was six. My sister was eight. My brother was 11. We had no idea that we were the grandchildren of Curly.

We hadn't been told yet. But it was this one day that we found out. I believe I was maybe eight at the time. Maybe my brother was 12, somewhere around that time. And my grandmother had taken my brother Darren to see his first Broadway musical, Fiddler on the Roof. And he was at awe when he saw the show. I mean, he, after the show, when they were driving home, my grandmother and him, he just kept going on and on of how he wanted to be an actor. He wanted to be an actor.

And he was just persistent and on. And I think finally, my grandmother said, Darren, enough. I get it.

It's probably because show business runs in your blood. Your biological grandfather was Curly from The Three Stooges. What do you mean, Grandma?

Yes, yes, yes. Nevermind that. You have your grandfather that you have now. So just know that your talents come inherently through your bloodline. And just don't carry on with it when you get home, la la la. So it's like, my brother was basically in shock.

You know, he didn't say another word, I think, on the way home. And then he comes home and he tells me. And we're like, I mean, I was like, you have to be, that's not true.

And he's like, Bradley, it's true. Grandmother told me. And we were just, you know, we're like, what do you do with that? I mean, your heroes become your family.

And then what are you supposed to do with that? I mean, did I really think or did we really think the next day when we went to school, you know, and tell our friends, the same kids that came home with us every day to watch The Stooges, we were now saying, oh, by the way, Curly is our grandfather. So, you know, we live with it.

We watch The Stooges. We're like, wow, that's our grandfather. And it was like, we didn't talk about it when we were at our dad's once we found out. Because of course, that's my mom's father.

So he doesn't want to hear anything about my mom. They're divorced. My mom, she didn't talk about it because, one, she was very young when Curly died. She was 14. When she was three years old, she was, you know, adopted by her new father.

So that really became her everyday father. She channeled out The Three Stooges. Curly was just not something that she talked about. And then it was something that we were kind of told not to talk about. Because even though our grandfather, Moses Diamond, was an amazing man and an amazing grandfather to us, he wasn't Curly Howard from The Three Stooges. So we basically were in check. So, you know, through high school, did I talk about being Curly's grandson?

No, not really. You know, I was already class clown. I was space case. I was the guy that they wanted. Everyone wanted Brad Server to go to the parties because I was the funny guy. It was probably only later if I was ever, if someone didn't like me or some guy was going to kick my ass or whatever, that the guy, they would go, hey, you know, that's, by the way, that's Curly's grandson.

And then the person would say, oh, okay. You know, gave me a little, a hall pass. And you've been listening to Brad Server tell a remarkable story. By the way, what a good shock, right?

My granddad's Curly. I bought him a lot of hall passes. When we come back, more of the story of Brad Server.

And in the end, a story of family bloodlines here on our American stories. Place a bet winning wagers at the end of every episode. I will make you a better, better on the NFL. So you're witching our wagers turn from red to green teasers, totals, awards, props, and locks brace for winnings is a one-stop pod for anyone who enjoys action on the NFL draft King sports book and official sports betting partner of the NFL is where I go when I place a bet. Be sure to head over to draft King sports book and use my code winnings for a special signup offer today.

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All of that available at MeaningfulBeauty.com. And we continue with our American Stories and Brad Server's story. Let's pick up where we last left off. So I continued to, through the 90s, build my career, and I still at this point hadn't met anyone from the Three Stooges family. And I was 30 years old or something at the time. It didn't even cross my mind, but it was one day my mom said, hey, Aunt Joan, which is Mo's daughter, is having a little reunion at her house. And so I went to this reunion where I met my Aunt Joan, Mo's daughter, and it was great. She was an incredibly wonderful, warm lady, and she had so much memorabilia. And it finally was a chance to talk about being the grandson with another family member. And it was great. And it was so odd that all these years later, why am I just talking to a Stooges family member? The whole thing about being the grandchildren of Curly Howard, one of the most iconic comedians of all time, was suppressed. It was like we weren't to talk about it.

We did talk about it. But now I was with Mo's daughter, and this would start turning into spending more time in the future with Stooges family members, which was great. But what really turned my life around was in 2000, I had my daughter, Elizabeth Elaine Server. And she's named, her middle name Elaine is after my grandmother, Elaine.

And I love being a dad. And, you know, I had my career, but I still hadn't gotten in the Stuge thing until I went to my first Stuge convention. And these conventions were going on for a long time.

And they were usually in Pennsylvania and Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, which is about 30 minutes from Philadelphia. And I went to my first Stuge convention and I bet the fans, you know, and the fans are so endearing and amazing. They love the Stooges to this day.

They mean everything to them. And I would hear the stories of how the Stooges changed their lives and how much the Stooges mean to them. And then other Stuge family members were at these events. So I started building relationships with them and that was great. And so I would continue, it was about every year we would go to these Stuge events. I'd go with my brother and then later I would go by myself and then I'd bring my daughter and she got exposed to being part of it.

And she loved it, you know, for a while, you know, as she got older, she was like, I don't want to go to these things anymore, but it really was special. And really all the fans out there of the three Stooges or fans in general of comedy, if you're in the Philadelphia area, there's the largest Stuge museum, maybe the only Stuge museum, but it is three stories of the largest and greatest Stuge museum in the world. It's called the Stoogium and it's in Ambler, Pennsylvania, which there again, isn't too far from Philadelphia. And I strongly recommend that you go there.

It's a must for any Stuge fan that can go. It's truly amazing. And a couple of things that come with, you know, the singing and the other talents and be able to play music was out of the three of us, I call us the grand Stooges was, I was able to go up this in my register on top like this. And it was, it was like, what, what is that? But it was like, whoa, I didn't even know that I could do that all these years later. I was like, wow, I guess that was something that was, you know, God given. Curly gave me that, that I had this kind of high pitched voice.

So continue to go to the Stuge events. And of course, social media was happening big band and was on Facebook and I was reaching out to the fans and going back and forth, listening to their stories, telling, you know, commenting them telling, you know, there again, the Stooges brought a lot of these people out of their darkest times. And it meant so much for me to be able to give back and tell them thank you and how much I appreciate them and just kind of just building off that. But in 2012, you know, something that I thought that would never happen was the Stooges were going to be on the big screen, the Three Stooges movie.

So what else happened in 2012? I on social media met a friend who now is my business partner, who is the gentleman that is extremely talented named Andy Pagana. And Andy found me shortly after the Stooges movie came out. And he actually tried out for the role of Curly and came in third place.

And he sent me his audition video. So it was like, wow, I met this guy that tried out for Curly, he wound up having, he had such a love not only for the Three Stooges, but had such a background in the comedy, trios and duos of that genre. He was, you know, Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers and all of them. And we became extremely good friends. And he was a writer. He was a producer, he was producing, he wrote screenplays, he, he was a great photographer with filming stuff. So it was like, he was like, Brad, you got to make videos. I mean, he was doing some videos, but it was like, the fans need to see you. I was like, I guess I mean, I love, I love the camera, right?

I experienced that. So we started filming videos in the first video that I think I remember doing that it was going to be my grandfather's 113th birthday. And I thought that we should do a tribute birthday, you know, or tribute for his birthday, right? So, so we came up with why not get hit by 113 pies. So we spent the day going throughout Hollywood and the day and night and we went to different places.

And some some people were celebrities, some people were just people off the street, most of them were people off the street. And for the whole day and night, I just got pelted with 113 pies. And I was like, honored. I was beat. I was so tired. I was, I mean, it was it was hard.

I'm like, wait a second. The Three Stooges did this for years and took so much punishment. And my grandfather took so much punishment.

The least I could do is take 113 pies in one day. And that video can be seen on YouTube on my YouTube channel for his grandson. But it came out great. And the fans loved it, right?

And so 99% of the comments, which is hard to find these days, were all very positive. They loved it. They laughed.

They enjoyed it. So Andy and a couple of my other buddies that are extremely talented, we started doing video content. So we built the the Curly's Grandson channel and Andy Pagana's got his own channel.

And it's just it's slapstick type comedy. And I just am myself. I'm Brad server, that funny guy, but I use my high pitched voice.

But it's just naturally in my nature that I look a little bit like him, which is a blessing, because he's a very handsome man. We all know that. But something else came up. And it was a challenge that I didn't think that I would ever encounter. And that was a live performance. We're going to be putting on the Three Stooges live. And it's going to tour the US and we want you to be the fifth man, which is basically a supporting actor and all the little skits.

And what about it? Do you want to be in the show? And I was like, of course, because we didn't know where the Stooges still gonna be relevant. Was our show gonna be relevant? And it was and it was. It was really after the shows where the fans stayed for you. We did q&a's and they stood in lines for hours to take pictures with us. And to say, thank you so much for bringing us back in time, you know, when things were so much simpler and so much better. I mean, today has so much muck muck and so much stuff going on that going to see us Three Stooges show a matinee or an evening show.

And they absolutely loved it. You know, there's some things that that happened that I don't have all the answers to that I'm going to work on. And I just want to continue to bring laughter to the fans. I want to continue to be in front of the camera. I want to have people go to my channel, Curly's grandson on YouTube and, and find me on Instagram and find me on Facebook and interact and I'll do my best to try to reach out to them. And Curly G, there again, short for Curly's grandson, build that brand.

You know, it represents my grandfather, I'm representing his legacy. So I want to continue to do that. And, and I just want to thank you for allowing me to be on your show. Oh, and thank you, Brad, Curly G, for coming on our show.

And thanks to Greg Hangler for the great production on the piece. And my goodness, my favorite part of this story is when he went to his first stooge convention, and we are heading the show is heading to a stooge convention, we promise you. And there he met the fans who told him how much the stooges had changed their lives, and how much the stooges meant to them. And then it led to of course, three stooges live and touring the country. The story of Brad server. In the end, the story of a family bond between he and his grandfather, Curly Howard died on this day in 1952. Here on our American stories.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-21 19:40:38 / 2023-01-21 19:50:07 / 9

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