Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, qui a une mémoire d'enfer mais le cœur gros comme ça, m'informe que Michael Jackson a pondu, il y a vingt-cinq ans, une préface au livre que Joan Howard Maurer venait de consacrer à Curly Howard (nyuk nyuk). Avec l'aide du bibliothécaire en chef de la Cinémathèque royale, sans qui nous serions à jamais de parfaits ignares, j'ai mis la main sur un exemplaire du livre.
Apprenant que la folie furieuse des Stooges aidait Michael Jackson enfant à se détendre et à fuir "les fardeaux de la vie", l'éditorialiste du prochain numéro de Positif piquera sûrement un coup de sang.
De même, l'existence d'une chanson composée par le King of the Pop en l'honneur de Moe, Curly et Larry consternera quelques pisse-vinaigre léninistes de notre connaissance, tchékistes ridicules qui n'y verront qu'un symptôme de la dégénérescence capitaliste et du triomphe de l'argent-roi. Mais ont-ils jamais entendu parler du génial team qui vulgarisa le double cheek slap (la double claque), le forehead slap (la calotte sur le front), l'eye poke (les doigts dans les yeux) et le nose tweak (la torsion du nez)?
J'offre un paquet de chips au paprika à quiconque aura le temps et le loisir de me donner une traduction, même sommaire, de la préface qui suit. Et j'envoie sur-le-champ une photo dédicacée de Jérôme Leroy roulant une pelle à Marvin Gaye au companero qui identifiera la chanson de Michael Jackson aux Stooges.
« My memories of the Three Stooges, and especially Curly, are still with me to this day. In my childhood, around our house in Indiana, it was a daily ritual for me to watch the Three Stooges on television. All my brothers loved them then and even more so now. Chaplin and the Stooges are the greatest to me – their humor survives each generation. Even my mother loved to see us have fun watching them. Rehearsing as a team and watching the Stooges were the only times we got together as a whole family.
« The Stooges' craziness helped me to relax and to escape life’s burdens. They influenced me so much that I even wrote a song about them.
« Curly was definitely my favorite Stooge. He was unquestionably a comic genius who understood ad-libbing better than anyone. I loved the Stooges’ slapstick action and especially Curly's funny noises and his silly, child-like mannerisms and attitudes. He should be honored much more than what has been done for him in the part, for everyone loves him.
« As a kid, I imitated Curly all the time, and I enjoyed feeling superior to and smarter than those three, silly grownups. I owe so much to them that I feel they belong to me. That's why I had to write the foreword for this book.
« Joan, the author, asked me whether I thought that Curly had suffered when he had to shave off his wavy head of hair in order to become a Stooge. My answer was that I was sure he did, that underneath the smile may have been a tear after all, he was a clown. But it is our duty as entertainers to satisfy the people – to give of our souls even if it hurts.
« Curly had a magic. He was God-gifted – a natural. Even when he didn't intend to be funny he was magic.
« Today, thirty-three years after his death, Curly still has legions of fans because he was a natural. Such people appeal to the masses young and old – like the colour blue.
« I love everything about Curly and I would give anything to really know what he was like.
« Thanks to the author, this book will clear up much of the mystery of Curly for me and his millions of devoted fans. »
préface à Curly, An Illustrated Biography of the Superstooge,
de Joan Howard Maurer, Citadel Press, 1985