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After Curly's first series of mild strokes, his subsequent performances (including the feature film Swing Parade of 1946) were generally marred by slurred speech and slower timing, which new director Edward Bernds had to work around. Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn, after hearing that Curly's absence had temporarily halted production on the shorts, prohibited him from taking any more time off. This...didn't end well.
Following Shemp's death and the shorts which had been produced before then, subsequent shorts were remakes of Shemp-era shorts and mostly contained recycled footage; any new footage had supporting actor Joe Palma as Shemp, almost always from the back.