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Nyucking it up on cell phones

"Woob Woob" and other sound effects and one-liners from the Three Stooges are now available as cell phone ring tones.

Sound effects and one-liners from the Three Stooges have been turned into ring tones, which could be either good news for fans of the mid-20th Century film stars or the latest reason to hate cell phones.

Aside from the brothers' famous exclamations--such as "Woob Woob" and "Nyuck Nyuck"--2ThumbZ Entertainment is making available such gems as chief Stooge Moe Howard screaming, "You idiot, I ought to kill you" to replace the pre-packaged ring on cell phones.

Sales of ring tones are becoming an important source of revenue for U.S. carriers as the price of local, long-distance and international phone calls drops because of unrelenting competition. The 167 million U.S. cell phone subscribers have turned sales of ring tones and other data-oriented services into a $1 billion-a-year revenue generator for some carriers.

But ring tones abet what is arguably the worst cell phone social faux pas--leaving a phone on and unattended. Some people may act on the suggestion of another ring tone from 2ThumbZ Entertainment that involves Moe Howard yelling, "Hey, it's alive. Get something. Kill it; kill it!"

"You'll certainly know it's your phone," a 2ThumbZ Entertainment representative said.

AT&T Wireless, Sprint, Cingular Wireless and T-Mobile USA subscribers who own certain Hitachi, Samsung, LG and Sanyo cell phones can download the ring tones. They cost $2 each.