Stooge Viller was a career criminal. He had dark hair, light eyes and wide mouth. He was a very confident man, and was especially skilled as a pickpocket.
Framing Dick Tracy[edit | edit source]
Stooge Viller was brought to Dick Tracy's city by members of the Big Boy's Outfit, who planned to use Viller's skills to frame Tracy for counterfeiting. Viller was successful, and Tracy was disgraced. Since Tess Trueheart found it hard to believe Tracy was innocent, she broke up with him. Stooge Viller had developed an attraction to Tess, and they started dating. Tess soon discovered evidence against Stooge. Stooge panicked and shot her. Tess survived, Tracy was exonerated, and Viller was later arrested.
Alliance with Steve the Tramp[edit | edit source]
Stooge re-appeared in Tracy's life several times. He staged a prison break with Steve the Tramp. Stooge and Steve briefly joined Stooge's sister Maxine in her criminal efforts, but they were thwarted by Tracy. Stooge and Maxine fled to Halifax, where they encountered Pat Patton, Junior and Hank Steele. During a struggle, Stooge shot and killed Steele [July 30, 1933], then fled.
Stooge returned to the city with the help of a former associate Mike the Smuggler. They kidnapped Tess Trueheart and set a trap for Tracy. Tess escaped, Mike was killed in an explosion on his boat, and Stooge went back to prison; in comic relief he accidently came across his ex-partner Steve the Tramp. Both got into a brawl with one another [Steve hated Viller because of Maxine's involvement resulted in Steve being arrested again; Stooge hated Steve for ruining an Jewlery heist Job]
Release and Death[edit | edit source]
Later, after being released from prison, Stooge reunited with several of his previous criminal associates. He sought out the reclusive inventor Professor Emirc, and arranged to sell the Professor's inventions (designed to aid criminals) to the underworld. Stooge enjoyed some success with this endeavor. At one point, he and his gang captured Dick Tracy and stranded him inside an abandoned well, intending that the detective should suffer for several days before they returned to kill him. Tracy escaped and was returned to the city, with the help of Tess and her Girl Scout troop.
Stooge became fixated upon the idea that he would re-enter the life of his estranged daughter Binnie. Stooge made several attempts to contact Binnie, but she wanted nothing to do with him. Stooge became so obsessed with Binnie that the members of his gang decided that he was no longer reliable and removed him from his position of authority. Desperate, Stooge kidnapped Binnie and took her to his apartment. Tracy tracked the child to Stooge's home, and the two men struggled.
Stooge was accidentally shot when he kicked at a gun that Binnie was pointing at him and it went off. He attempted to escape, but the severity of his wounds and the exertion of trying to flee weakened him and Tracy took him into custody. As he lay dying in the hospital, Viller managed to reconcile with Tracy, and Stooge asked Tracy to not tell Binnie about his death. His last words were "Always tell her, I'm in the big house". Tracy agreed to honor Stooge's last request.
Stooge's official cause of death was stated as "gangrene".
Years later, Dick Tracy investigated a case involving a warehouse that Stooge Viller had owned. He showed the location to Dethany Dendrobia and explained who Stooge had been. It was believed that Stooge had hidden a large amount of cash in the warehouse, and a some criminals were attempting to delay the building being renovated so they could look for it.
Appearances in Other Media[edit | edit source]
1960s Animated Series[edit | edit source]
Stooge Viller was in the 1960s The Dick Tracy Show. He was often partnered with Mumbles. Although he did not interact much with Tracy directly, he was typically defeated by Tracy's "funny" sidekicks, (Hemlock Holmes, Joe Jitsu, Go-Go Gomez and Heap O'Calorie). Stooge and Mumbles' schemes rarely made sense, and frequently backfired on them. Stooge often acted as Mumbles' interpreter. In one episode, for example, Mumbles was in court, and the case was about to be thrown out because his testimony was incomprehensible. Go-Go Gomez was sent to find Stooge and bring him to the courthouse before Mumbles was released from custody.
Archie's TV Funnies[edit | edit source]
Stooge appeared in a Dick Tracy segment in an episode of the 1971 animated series Archie's TV Funnies.
Stooge had a reputation as the world's greatest gold smuggler. He robbed an armored car, using a device that temporarily froze people (including Sam Catchem). Tracy planned a sting operation that would lure Stooge into attempting to steal a large quantity of gold from a train. Stooge posed as a railroad police officer and confronted Junior (who had been left out of the plan and was attempting to sneak onto the gold car after dark). Stooge learned of Tracy's plan and was able to successfully steal the gold by stealing the entire train car. He was eventually thwarted by Junior.
1990 Movie Continuity[edit | edit source]
Stooge Viller was a minor character in the 1990 Dick Tracy feature film. He was played by Jim Wilkey.
Stooge partially resembled his appearance in the comic strip, with the round face and wide mouth, but was depicted as having orange hair rather than black and missing his signature cigarette holder. It is unclear which lines in the scene were spoken by Viller, other than when he was seen to say "Hmph, cat".
Tie-In Video Game[edit | edit source]
- Nintendo Entertainment System- Stooge is identified as a "talkative thug". He provides Dick Tracy with useful information.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Stooge's appearance has been likened to that of the actor Edward G. Robinson
- Stooge is one of the few villains that creator Chester Gould re-used on several occasions. He was shown to be in and out of jail several times during the 1930s, similar to Big Boy and Steve the Tramp.
- Stooge's prisoner number was 2603. This was consistent from the first time he was incarcerated to the time at which he was released.
- It was not stated if Stooge had ever been married to Binnie's unnamed mother, so his relationship to her and to Binnie's grandmother cannot be confirmed.
- Stooge was released from prison in 1939, and was said to have served 6 years. This seems like an inappropriately short sentence given the severity of his crimes, which included the murder of Hank Steele. Similarly, none of the characters in the strip seem to have aged 6 years, particularly Junior (see sliding time-line).
- Like Little Face, Stooge Viller is not featured in the comic book prequel to the 1990 feature film, nor was he made into an action figure by Playmates Toys.
- On the Topps trading card released for the 1990 feature film, Stooge was referred to as "the Stooge", and in the book adaption his last name was given as "Villers".