Despite his volume of film work in Hollywood for four decades, Emil is now remembered primarily for his association with The Three Stooges. Over the course of twenty years, Emil established a close relationship with the team, enacting more than seventy "Stooge" roles in more than sixty productions before it was all over.
Emil has the rare distinction of working with all six "Stooges" in the four different sets of The Three Stooges, including Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, Shemp Howard, Joe Besser, and Curly-Joe DeRita. Of course, he even worked with Shemp, Besser and De Rita when they were solo stars before they became Stooges.
Cementing his unique association with The Three Stooges, Emil was actually asked by Moe Howard twice to become a Stooge himself in the early seventies. After Larry Fine was no longer able to work, Moe wanted to carry on with the act. So Moe asked Emil if he thought he could come up with a character to be the "middle" Stooge. Emil was of course honored! This would be the pinnacle of his career.