Metuchen, New Jersey: Three Stooges Tombstone

James Bechtold was a diehard Three Stooges fan. When he did die, he decided to share his eternal rest with the slapstick comedy trio.

Hillside Cemetery

Address:
Lincoln Ave., Metuchen, NJ
Directions:
In Hillside Cemetery. I-287 exit 1A. Drive north on US Hwy 1 for about one mile, then take the exit on right toward Hwy 501 W./Metuchen. Drive west on Amboy Ave. for one mile, then turn left onto CR 531/Main St. Take second left onto Lincoln Ave. The cemetery will be straight ahead, and the tombstone is clearly visible in the V where the road splits in two.
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Three Stooges grave marker. Three Stooges Tombstone

James Bechtold was 50 when he died, he was a member of the Metuchen Fire Department, and he apparently loved The Three Stooges. Everything else about him would take us more research to discern, but reportedly he left instructions to engrave his tombstone with "Laugh, don't weep, it feels better!" and an image of Three Stooges watching over his grave. Another story is that the stone had to be carved in China to evade copyright law, which perhaps explains why Moe, Curly, and Larry seem to be erupting out of it -- like a multi-headed monster in an Asian horror movie -- rather than gazing down beatifically.

When we were taking photos, a woman stopped by with flowers. "I knew him," she said of James. "He was a character."

The grave is in Hillside Cemetery, as is the grave of Moe Howard of the Three Stooges, but Moe is in the Hillside Cemetery in Culver City, California.

[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 04/25/2011]

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