Laff license in trio’s hands

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

That’s what Comedy III Prods. might have said to Sony Pictures Entertainment after it won its lawsuit to license and merchandise Three Stooges paraphernalia a few months ago.

Instead, Comedy III has inked another deal with Sony studio Columbia Pictures to be the exclusive worldwide licensor for commercial advertising and publicity usage of Col’s library of Stooge pics and shorts.

Col still “owns” the images, but the studio is not allowed to use them unless it goes through Comedy III, which is run by Bela Lugosi Jr. (yes, the son of that Bela Lugosi) and Earl and Bob Benjamin, stepsons of former Stooge Curly Joe De Rita.

That means that any advertisers dying to let a Stooge poke someone in the eye to hawk their product will now have to poke eyes and pull hair at Comedy III.

Sony Signatures formerly had the rights until Comedy III won its suit.

“We are thrilled to have the ability to present the great comic genius of the Stooges through creative and innovative commercial opportunities,” said Patrick Lauerman, VP for Comedy III.

Comedy III, which has become Stooge Central lately, also has an entertainment-driven Three Stooges retail store, appropriately called Knuckleheads, opening Nov. 22 in Glendale.

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