The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy act of the mid–20th century best known for their numerous Columbia short subject films, still syndicated on television in the 21st Century. Their hallmark was physical farce and slapstick. In films, the Stooges were commonly known by their first names: "Moe, Larry, and Curly" or "Moe, Larry, and Shemp", among other lineups depending on the films. There were six active stooges, five of whom performed in the shorts. Moe and Larry were always present until the last years of the ensemble's run of more than forty years.