Mystery Monday: Another Role for Buster Brodie/Max Broida?

"Crime on Their Hands," 1948 Columbia Pictures Corporation short with Moe, Larry, and Shemp of the "3 Stooges."
“Crime on Their Hands,” 1948 Columbia Pictures Corporation short with Moe, Larry, and Shemp of the “3 Stooges.” (Click to enlarge.)

Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

Sometimes I get the strangest emails…

Tonight’s snippet in the email list was “What do you think about the passed out drunk…”


Thankfully I knew who the sender was, so clicked to read the rest.

There are some wonderful folks out there who love the Three Stooges and work to document all those who have appeared in films with them, either as the Stooges or when they worked separately. My original blog post on Max Broida/Buster Brodie and a photo I added of Max on his Find A Grave memorial helped two of these folks to contact me for more information, and they shared what they knew as well. That was helpful, as I had been researching Max obsessively for a number of months and had some posts almost done. (You can read all the previous Max/Buster posts just by putting his name in the search box above.)

Today we have a mystery from these wonderful Stooge-film-o-philes:

Is Buster Brodie the drunk lying down on the stairs or

standing  by the bar?

"Crime on Their Hands," 1948 Columbia Pictures Corporation short with Moe, Larry, and Shemp of the "3 Stooges." Bar scene.
“Crime on Their Hands,” 1948 Columbia Pictures Corporation short with Moe, Larry, and Shemp of the “3 Stooges.” Bar scene. (Click to enlarge.)

Bit players and extras were not always credited in films, and Max is not listed as part of the cast in this 1948 short from Columbia Pictures Corporation entitled, “Crime on Their Hands.” The character of the drunk does look somewhat like Max.

The film was made in September of 1947, and released in 1948. Max died of a heart attack on 9 April 1948, at the young age of 62. We have not found any images of him in his last years except the film images in our other posts. Strangely, we know of no family pictures of Max other than what we have shared- that seems odd to have no pictures when there was a family member “in pictures”!

Let us know what you think in the comments section. Could those be Buster’s ears sticking out under the hat in the stairway scene? Looks to be a match, but if the hat is pushed down, they could be just ‘normal’ ears. How about the chin? Looks similar to me. The man in black in the bar scene, however, looks a bit tall, I think- the bartender is 5’6″ per the notes from the Stooge group. (We have tried to find a WWI or II Draft Registration for Max to learn his actual height, but those are still elusive.) Family stories are that he was less than 5′ tall, and the image of Buster with the “Little People” shows that he could not have been much taller than that, especially since he played a ‘Flying Monkey’ in “The Wizard of Oz.” This actor looks slimmer than other images I have seen of Max, but since he was possibly having health problems at that point, he might have been losing weight. Buster had no eyebrows or eyelashes, so if we could enlarge the images enough yet retain clarity, we might be able to tell. (The makeup department could have altered that though.)

It would be interesting to learn if there were letters from Max written back to Pennsylvania, to his father and many brothers. Wonder who ended up with his personal effects after he passed away? He probably had very little, since he was working at a racetrack to try to make ends meet- always a struggling actor. But we might learn just a bit more about Max, if we could find some artifacts in the back of a closet to tell more of his story.

In the meantime, doubtless Max would be very pleased that Buster Brodie lives on to make people laugh, and is remembered. Thank you, family. Thank you, dear Stooge-film-o-philes, AKA the ThreeStooges Fan Club.


Here is a bit more information about the Three Stooges researchers who have helped us get to know Max Broida as Buster Brodie a bit better:



To collect, preserve and interpret historically or culturally significant pieces of Stoogeabilia in order to further the enjoyment and appreciation of the Three Stooges and to maintain the legacy of their comedy for future generations.


Containing close to 100,000 pieces of Stoogeabilia, the Stoogeum (rhymes with museum) offers fans a chance to view a vast array of artifacts which celebrate the legacy of this legendary comedy team. The 10,000 square-foot, 3-story building houses anything and everything Stooge. Artifacts from 1918 to the present are on exhibit, including several interactive displays. The Stoogeum also contains a research library, a 16MM film storage vault and an 85-seat theater used for film screenings, lectures, and special presentations. The Stoogeum is also the headquarters of the ThreeStooges Fan Club, one of the nation’s oldest and largest fan clubs with 2,000 members world-wide. An annual meeting of the fan club brings together Stooges relatives, supporting actors, impersonators and fans with the Stoogeum at the hub of the event. The Stoogeum is located at 904 Sheble Lane, Ambler, PA 19002



Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Buster Brodie/Max Broida memorial on Find A Grave-
    Unfortunately his memorial is listed as one for a ‘famous’ person, so FAG administers it rather than family. I did send them edits which they made so that he could be properly linked to family.
  2. Buster Brodie page on “The Three Stooges Online Filmography”-
  3. “The Three Stooges Journal”-
    As a science and history person, I never thought I would put those four words together. But I will admit, as a kid I did ROFL on Saturday mornings at their antics, though even back then, I hated the way they treated women.)
  4. “Three Stooges Lost Players” blog-
  5. The Stoogeum- ThreeStooges Fan Club or (They have a ‘Contact Us’ link if you are interested in joining the fan club or just nyuck nyucking around.)


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