Insert 'selected="selected" ' into HTML of Option List in Page Populated by MySQL, to Indicate Which Option Was Previously Selected, According to the Value Currently Stored in MySQL

In an edit/update form to update an existing record in MySQL, the form inputs are populated from the database.  How do I code it to show which option was already selected in a dropdown option box?  

For example, if the select box html is:

<select name="Comedian">
      <option value="">Select Comedian</option>
      <option value="Curly">Curly</option>
      <option value="Larry">Larry</option>
      <option value="Moe">Moe</option>
</select>

and the the $Comedian variable from MySQL = "Larry", how do I make the list echo like:

      <option value="">Select Comedian</option>
      <option value="Curly">Curly</option>
      <option selected="selected" value="Larry">Larry</option>
      <option value="Moe">Moe</option>

where Larry's row contains   selected="selected" ?

Note: I'm not currently populating the entire list of options from MySQL; they're hard-coded into the html form and will not need to change.  The list is currently in a plain-HTML portion of the page, and any php echos in that part are currently like <?php echo $var; ?> .  Is there a way to make php insert the  'selected="selected" ' in the right row of the html list without having to populate the entire list from MySQL?
Randall-BAsked:
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JamesCsslCommented:
You could hard code that as well:

<select name="Comedian">
      <option value="">Select Comedian</option>
      <option value="Curly" <?php echo ($Comedian=='Curly')?'selected="selected"':'';?>>Curly</option>
      <option value="Larry" <?php echo ($Comedian=='Larry')?'selected="selected"':'';?>>Larry</option>
      <option value="Moe" <?php echo ($Comedian=='Moe')?'selected="selected"':'';?>>Moe</option>
</select>
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JamesCsslCommented:
On my site, I did something like the following:

<?php
function contactEntity($entityName, $formalName, $entityEmail) {
      global $contactOptions, $userRecipient;
      $contactOptions .= '<option value="' . $entityName . '" ' .
            (($userRecipient==$entityName)?'selected="selected"':'') .'>' . $formalName . '</option>';
}


      # start list of possible recipients
      contactEntity('person1','First1 Last1','email1@example.com');
      contactEntity('person2','First2 Last2','email2@example.com');
      contactEntity('person3','First3 Last3','email3@example.com');
      echo $contactOptions;
?>

where $userRecipient holds the value of the selected option, and the string of options is built by multiple calls to the function
            
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Randall-BAuthor Commented:
Great. Your first response is exactly what I was looking for, and I may look into using the format from your second comment. Thanks.
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