Before last week, if you’d asked me to guess the history and derivation of stooge, I’d have ventured that it was a bit of thieves’ cant like fake or phony, probably from the golden age of such words: 18th-century London. And I’d have been dead wrong.
The Stooge (1952). From Wikipedia: “In 1930, entertainer Bill Miller [Dean Martin] believes that he has the ability to become a solo performer. He and his partner Ben Bailey split up and go their separate ways. Miller fails miserably, and his manager, Leo Lyman thinks it would be a good idea to perform with a "stooge." Enter Ted Rogers [Jerry Lewis], who plays an accident-prone foil for Miller. Soon afterwards, Miller's act is a hit.”