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Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
were an American comedy duo composed of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, whose work on radio and in film and television made them the most popular comedy team of the 1940s and early 1950s. Their patter routine "Who's on First?" is one of the best-known comedy routines of all time, and set the framework for many of their best-known comedy bits.

Contents

1 Early years 2 Radio
Radio
and Broadway 3 Movies and Fame 4 Radio 5 Television 6 "Who's on First?" 7 Private lives 8 Later years 9 Filmography

9.1 Box office ranking

10 Discography 11 Spin-offs 12 In popular culture 13 References 14 Further reading 15 External links

Early years[edit] Bud Abbott
Bud Abbott
(1897–1974) was a veteran burlesque entertainer from a show business family. He started in burlesque box offices as a treasurer around 1918, and eventually managed and produced touring burlesque companies before becoming a performer. He worked as a straight man with his wife Betty, then with veteran burlesque comedians such as Harry Steppe and Harry Evanson.[1] Lou Costello
Lou Costello
(1906–1959) became a burlesque comic after failing to break into movie acting and working as a stunt double and film extra. He appears briefly in the 1927 Laurel and Hardy
Laurel and Hardy
silent two-reeler, The Battle of the Century, seated at ringside during Stan Laurel's ill-fated boxing match. (As a teenager, Costello had been an amateur boxer in his hometown of Paterson, New Jersey.) Costello's first appearance in burlesque was in 1929 in St. Joseph, Missouri. He joined the Mutual Burlesque wheel in 1930, and Minsky's in 1932.[1] While they crossed paths a few times, the two comedians first worked together in 1935 at the Eltinge Burlesque Theater on 42nd Street[2]—now the lobby of the AMC Empire movie complex in New York City. This performance came about after Costello's regular partner became ill.[1] When AMC moved the old theater 168 ft (51 m) further west on 42nd Street to its current location, giant balloons of Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
were rigged to appear to pull it.[3] Other performers in the show, including Abbott's wife, Betty, encouraged a permanent pairing. The duo built an act by refining and reworking numerous burlesque sketches with Abbott as the devious straight man and Costello as the dimwitted comic. Radio
Radio
and Broadway[edit]

With Carmen Miranda, The Streets of Paris, in 1939.

The team's first known radio broadcast was on The Kate Smith
Kate Smith
Hour on February 3, 1938.[1] At first, the similarities between their voices made it difficult for radio listeners (as opposed to stage audiences) to tell them apart during their rapid-fire repartee. As a result, Costello affected a high-pitched, childish voice. "Who's on First?" was first performed for a national radio audience the following month.[1] They performed on the program as regulars for two years, while also landing roles in a Broadway revue, The Streets of Paris, in 1939.[4] Movies and Fame[edit] In 1940, Universal Studios
Universal Studios
signed them for a musical, One Night in the Tropics. Cast in supporting roles, they stole the show with several classic routines, including the "Who's on First?" routine. Universal signed them to a two-picture contract. Their second film, Buck Privates (1941), directed by Arthur Lubin
Arthur Lubin
and co-starring The Andrews Sisters, was a massive hit, earning $4 million at the box office and launching Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
as stars.[1] Their next film was a haunted house comedy, Oh, Charlie!. However Buck Privates was so successful that the studio decided to delay its release so the team could hastily make and release a second service comedy, In The Navy (1941), co-starring crooner Dick Powell
Dick Powell
and the Andrews Sisters. This film initially out-grossed Buck Privates. Loew's Criterion in Manhattan was open until 5 a.m. to oblige over 49,000 customers during the film's first week. [1] Oh, Charlie was put back into production to add music featuring the Andrews Sisters and Ted Lewis. The film was eventually released as Hold That Ghost
Hold That Ghost
(1941). The duo next made Ride 'Em Cowboy
Ride 'Em Cowboy
(1941), with Dick Foran, but its release was delayed so they could appear in a third service comedy, Keep 'Em Flying
Keep 'Em Flying
(1941). This was their last film with Arthur Lubin. All of these films were big hits, and Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
were voted the third biggest box office attraction in the country in 1941. Universal loaned the team to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
for a musical comedy, Rio Rita (1942). During filming, on December 8, 1941, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
had their hand and foot prints set in concrete at what was then "Grauman's Chinese Theatre". Back at Universal they made Pardon My Sarong
Pardon My Sarong
(1942), a spoof of South Sea Island movies; and Who Done It? (1942), a comedy-mystery. In 1942 exhibiters voted them the top box office stars in the country, and their earnings for the fiscal year were $789,026.[5]) The team did a 35-day tour during the summer of 1942 to promote and sell War Bonds. The Treasury Department credited them with $85 million in sales.[1] After the tour the team made It Ain't Hay
It Ain't Hay
(1943), from a story by Damon Runyon; and Hit the Ice (1943). Costello was stricken with rheumatic fever upon his return from a winter tour of army bases in March 1943 and was bedridden for approximately six months. On November 4, 1943, the same day that Costello returned to radio after a one-year layoff due to his illness, his infant son Lou Jr. (nicknamed "Butch" and born November 6, 1942) died in an accidental drowning in the family's swimming pool.[6] Maxene Andrews remembers visiting Costello with sisters Patty and LaVerne during his illness, and remembered how Costello's demeanor changed after the tragic loss of his son, saying, "He didn't seem as fun-loving and as warm...He seemed to anger easily...there was a difference in his attitude.[citation needed] Once Costello recovered, they made Lost in a Harem
Lost in a Harem
(1944) at MGM, then returned to Universal for In Society
In Society
(1944), Here Come the Co-Eds (1945) and The Naughty Nineties (1945). Their third and final film for MGM was Abbott and Costello in Hollywood (1945). In 1945 a rift developed when Abbott hired a domestic servant who had been fired by Costello. Costello refused to speak to his partner except when performing. The following year they made two films, ( Little Giant
Little Giant
and The Time of Their Lives), in which they appeared as separate characters rather than as a team. This may have been a result of the tensions between them, plus the fact that their most recent films had not performed as well at the box office. Abbott resolved the rift when he suggested naming Costello's pet charity, a foundation for underprivileged children, the " Lou Costello
Lou Costello
Jr. Youth Foundation." The facility opened in 1947 and still serves the Boyle Heights district of Los Angeles. Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
reunited as a team in Buck Privates
Buck Privates
Come Home (1947), a sequel to their big hit. In The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947) they were supported by Marjorie Main. They signed a new contract with Universal which allowed them to make films outside of their studio contract.[1] The first of these, The Noose Hangs High (1948), was released through Eagle-Lion. The team's next film, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
(1948), co-starring Bela Lugosi
Bela Lugosi
and Lon Chaney Jr, was a massive hit and revitalized the duo's careers. It was followed by Mexican Hayride (1948), an adaptation of a Cole Porter
Cole Porter
musical without the songs. They then made Africa Screams
Africa Screams
(1949) for Nassour Studios, an independent company which released through United Artists. Back at Universal they returned to horror comedy with Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949). The duo was sidelined again for several months when Costello suffered a relapse of rheumatic fever. They returned to the screen in Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950). The following year they made Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man
(1951); then Comin' Round the Mountain (1952), a hillbilly comedy. Their first color film, Jack and the Beanstalk (1952), was made independent of Universal, and distributed by Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
After making Lost in Alaska
Lost in Alaska
(1952) at Universal, they made a second independent color movie, Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd
Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd
(1953) with Charles Laughton, that was also distributed by Warner Bros. At Universal they did Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953) and Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1954). They were forced to withdraw from Fireman Save My Child in 1954 due to Costello's health, and were replaced by lookalikes Hugh O'Brian
Hugh O'Brian
and Buddy Hackett. Their last films for Universal were Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet the Keystone Kops (1955) and Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy
(1955). Radio[edit]

Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
on Radio
Radio
(notice Bud without his toupee that he always wore in films)

After working as Fred Allen's summer replacement in 1940, Abbott and Costello joined Edgar Bergen
Edgar Bergen
and Charlie McCarthy on The Chase and Sanborn Hour in 1941. Two of their films ( Buck Privates
Buck Privates
and Hold That Ghost) were adapted for Lux Radio
Radio
Theater that year. They launched their own weekly show on October 8, 1942, sponsored by Camel cigarettes. The Abbott and Costello Show
The Abbott and Costello Show
mixed comedy with musical interludes (by vocalists such as Connie Haines, Ashley Eustis, the Delta Rhythm Boys, Skinnay Ennis, Marilyn Maxwell and the Les Baxter
Les Baxter
Singers). Regulars and semi-regulars on the show included Artie Auerbach
Artie Auerbach
("Mr. Kitzel"), Elvia Allman, Iris Adrian, Mel Blanc, Wally Brown, Sharon Douglas, Verna Felton, Sidney Fields, Frank Nelson, Martha Wentworth
Martha Wentworth
and Benay Venuta. Ken Niles was the show's longtime announcer, doubling as an exasperated foil to Costello, who routinely insulted his on-air wife (played by Elvia Allman). Niles was succeeded by Michael Roy, alternating over the years with Frank Bingman and Jim Doyle. The show went through several orchestras, including those of Ennis, Charles Hoff, Matty Matlock, Matty Malneck, Jack Meakin, Will Osborne, Fred Rich, Leith Stevens
Leith Stevens
and Peter van Steeden. The show's writers included Howard Harris, Hal Fimberg, Parke Levy, Don Prindle, Eddie Cherkose (later known as Eddie Maxwell), Leonard B. Stern, Martin Ragaway, Paul Conlan and Eddie Forman, as well as producer Martin Gosch. Sound effects were handled primarily by Floyd Caton. Guest stars included Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, The Andrews Sisters
The Andrews Sisters
and Lucille Ball. In 1947 the show moved to ABC (the former NBC Blue Network). During their time on ABC the duo also hosted a 30-minute children's radio program (The Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Children's Show),[7] on Saturday mornings. The program featuring child vocalist Anna Mae Slaughter and child announcer Johnny McGovern. Television[edit]

Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
on NBC's This Is Your Life
This Is Your Life
November 21, 1956

In January 1951, Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
joined the roster of rotating hosts of The Colgate Comedy Hour
The Colgate Comedy Hour
on NBC. ( Eddie Cantor
Eddie Cantor
and Martin and Lewis were among the others.) Each show was a live hour of vaudeville in front of an audience, revitalizing the comedians' performances and giving their old routines a new sparkle. From the fall of 1952 to the spring of 1954, a filmed half-hour series, The Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Show, appeared in syndication on over 40 local stations across the United States. Loosely based on their radio series, the show cast the duo as unemployed wastrels. One of the show's running gags involved Abbott perpetually hounding Costello to get a job, while Abbott barely lifted a finger in that direction. The show featured Sidney Fields as their landlord and Hillary Brooke
Hillary Brooke
as a neighbor and sometime love interest for Costello. Other regulars were future Stooge Joe Besser
Joe Besser
as Stinky, a whiny child in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit; Gordon Jones as Mike the cop, who always lost patience with Lou, Joe Kirk (Costello's brother-in-law) as Mr. Bacciagalupe, an Italian immigrant caricature whose role varied with the requirements of the script; and Bobby Barber, who played many "extra" parts. The simple plot lines were often an excuse to recreate comedy routines from their films and burlesque days, including "Who's on First?" Since Lou owned the series (with Abbott working on salary), this allowed them to own these versions of the classic routines as well. Although The Abbott and Costello Show
The Abbott and Costello Show
originally ran for only two seasons, it found a larger viewership in reruns from the 1960s to the 1990s. The shows have also been released in three different DVD sets over the years. "Who's on First?"[edit] Main article: Who's on First? "Who's on First?" is Abbott and Costello's signature routine. (They usually referred to it as "Baseball.") The sketch was based on other burlesque wordplay routines. Depending upon the version, Abbott has either organized a new baseball team and the players have nicknames, or he points out the proliferation of nicknames in baseball (citing St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
sibling pitchers Dizzy and Daffy Dean) before launching into the routine. The infielders' nicknames are Who (first base), What (second base) and I Dunno (third base). The key to the routine is Costello's persistent confusion over pronouns, set against Abbott's unwavering nonchalance. Audio recordings are readily available on the Internet.[8] Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
began honing the routine shortly after teaming up in 1936, and performed it in vaudeville acts in 1937 and 1938. It was first heard by a national radio audience in March 1938 when the team was on the Kate Smith
Kate Smith
radio show.[1] By then, John Grant had been writing or adapting other sketches for the team, and may have helped expand "Who's On First?" prior to its radio debut. He stayed on as their head writer into the 1950s. One notable appearance of the sketch is from a 1951 Sunday evening series telecast.[9]

Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
performing "Who's on First?"

"Who's on First?" is believed to be available in as many as twenty versions, ranging from one minute to about ten minutes. The team could time the routine at will, adding or deleting portions as needed for films, radio or television. The longest version is seen in "The Actors' Home" episode of their filmed TV series. A live performance commemorating the opening day of the Lou Costello
Lou Costello
Jr Youth Foundation in 1947 was recorded, and has been included in numerous comedy albums. The team's final performance of "Who's on First?" on TV was on Steve Allen's variety show in 1957. In the full-length version of "Who's on First?", all of the positions are mentioned except right field. Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
performed a special "Who's on First?" for a USO Command Performance. This is the only known recording in which Costello says, "I don't give a damn!" at the end.[10] For a radio performance marking Walgreens
Walgreens
44th anniversary on June 20, 1945, Abbott was ill and was unable to perform. Sidney Fields, in his role as Professor Mellonhead, filled in and performed the straight man role with Costello.[11] Private lives[edit] Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
both met and married women they knew in burlesque. Abbott married Betty Smith, a dancer and comedienne, in 1918, and Costello married a chorus girl, Anne Battler, in 1934. The Costellos had four children; the Abbotts adopted two. Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
faced personal demons at times. Both were inveterate gamblers and had serious health problems. Abbott suffered from epilepsy and turned to alcohol for pain management. Costello had occasional, near-fatal bouts with rheumatic fever. His son, Lou Jr., drowned in a swimming pool two days before his first birthday. Later years[edit] In the 1950s Abbott and Costello's popularity waned with the emergence of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Another reason for their decline was overexposure. Each year they made two new films, while Realart Pictures re-issued their older hits; their filmed television series was widely syndicated, and the same routines appeared frequently on the Colgate program. (Writer Parke Levy told Jordan R. Young, in The Laugh Crafters: Comedy Writing in Radio
Radio
and TV's Golden Age, that he was stunned to learn that Bud and Lou were afraid to perform new material.) Universal dropped the comedy team in 1955 after they could not agree on contract terms. In the early 1950s, the Internal Revenue Service charged them for back taxes, forcing them to sell their homes and most of their assets, including the rights to most of their films.[1] In 1956 they made one independent film, Dance with Me, Henry, and Lou was the subject of the television program This Is Your Life,[12] then formally dissolved their partnership in 1957.[13][14] In his posthumously-published 1959 autobiography, My Wicked, Wicked Ways,[15] Errol Flynn
Errol Flynn
claims that he triggered the breakup. Flynn, an inveterate practical joker, invited them, along with their wives and children, to his house for dinner, and afterwards, he commenced to show a home movie that "accidentally" turned out to be hard-core pornography. While Flynn pretended to be baffled, Costello and Abbott each blamed the other for the film's substitution. In his last years, Costello made about ten solo appearances on The Steve Allen
Steve Allen
Show doing many of the old routines without Abbott. Costello performed stand-up in Las Vegas, and appeared in episodes of GE Theater and Wagon Train. On March 3, 1959, not long after completing his lone solo film, The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, he died of a heart attack three days short of his 53rd birthday.[16] Abbott attempted a comeback in 1960 with Candy Candido. Although the new act received good reviews, Bud quit, saying, "No one could ever live up to Lou." Abbott made a solo, dramatic appearance on an episode of General Electric Theater
General Electric Theater
in 1961. In 1966, Abbott voiced his character in a series of 156 five-minute Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
cartoons made by Hanna-Barbera.[17] Lou's character was voiced by Stan Irwin. Bud Abbott
Bud Abbott
died of cancer on April 24, 1974.[18] Filmography[edit]

Year Movie Lou Costello
Lou Costello
Role Bud Abbott
Bud Abbott
Role Notes

1940 One Night in the Tropics Costello Abbott Film
Film
Debut, Universal

1941 Buck Privates Herbie Brown Slicker Smith Universal, First Starring Roles[4]

1941 In the Navy Pomeroy Watson Smokey Adams Universal

1941 Hold That Ghost Ferdinand Jones Chuck Murray Universal

1941 Keep 'Em Flying Heathcliffe Blackie Benson Universal

1942 Ride 'Em Cowboy Willoughby Duke Universal

1942 Rio Rita Wishy Dunn Doc First of three films for Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Studios

1942 Pardon My Sarong Wellington Phlug Algy Shaw Universal

1942 Who Done It? Mervyn Milgrim Chick Larkin Universal

1943 It Ain't Hay Wilbur Hoolihan Grover Mickridge Universal

1943 Hit the Ice Tubby McCoy Flash Fulton Universal

1944 In Society Albert Mansfield Eddie Harrington Universal

1944 Lost in a Harem Harvey Garvey Peter Johnson Second MGM release

1945 Here Come the Co-Eds Oliver Quackenbush Slats McCarthy Universal

1945 The Naughty Nineties Sebastian Dinwiddie Dexter Broadhurst Who's On First? from this film is featured at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Universal

1945 Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
in Hollywood Abercrombie Buzz Kurtis Third and final MGM release

1946 Little Giant Benny Miller John Morrison/Tom Chandler Universal

1946 The Time of Their Lives Horatio Prim Cuthbert/Dr. Greenway Universal

1947 Buck Privates
Buck Privates
Come Home Herbie Brown Slicker Smith Sequel to Buck Privates, Universal

1947 The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap Chester Wooley Duke Egan Universal

1948 The Noose Hangs High Tommy Hinchcliffe Ted Higgins Eagle-Lion
Eagle-Lion
release

1948 Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet Frankenstein Wilbur Gray Chick Young Universal

1948 Mexican Hayride Joe Bascom/Humphrey Fish Harry Lambert Universal

1949 Africa Screams Stanley Livington Buzz Johnson United Artists
United Artists
release

1949 Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff Freddie Phillips Casey Edwards Universal

1950 Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
in the Foreign Legion Lou Hotchkiss Bud Jones Universal

1951 Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet the Invisible Man Lou Francis Bud Alexander Universal

1951 Comin' Round the Mountain Wilbert Smith Al Stewart Universal

1952 Jack and the Beanstalk Jack Mr. Dinklepuss In sepia and color; Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
release

1952 The Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Show Himself Himself Television
Television
Show; Presented by Allan Enterprises

1952 Lost in Alaska George Bell Tom Watson Universal

1952 Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet Captain Kidd Oliver "Puddin' Head" Johnson Rocky Stonebridge In color; Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
release

1953 Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Go to Mars Orville Lester Universal

1953 Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Tubby Slim Universal

1955 Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet the Keystone Kops Willie Piper Harry Pierce Universal

1955 Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet the Mummy Costello (erroneously listed in the film as "Freddie Franklin") Abbott (erroneously listed in the film as "Pete Patterson") Universal

1956 Dance with Me, Henry Lou Henry Bud Flick Their final film; United Artists
United Artists
release

1959 The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock Artie Pinsetter

Lou Costello
Lou Costello
only; Columbia release

1965 The World of Abbott and Costello Himself Himself Compilation film

Box office ranking[edit] For a number of years Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
were ranked among the most popular stars in the US according to the Quigley Publishers Poll of Exhibitors:

1941 - 3rd[19] 1942 - 1st 1943 - 3rd 1944 - 8th 1947 - 16th[20] 1948 - 3rd 1949 - 3rd 1950 - 6th (US), 2nd (UK)[21] 1951 - 4th (US), 4th (UK) 1952 - 11th 1953 - 20th

Discography[edit]

1942: Laugh, Laugh, Laugh (Parts I and II) Victor 27737[22]

Spin-offs[edit] The 1960s cartoon series was not the first time Abbott and Costello were animated. During the height of their popularity in the 1940s, Warner Bros.'s Looney Tunes/ Merrie Melodies
Merrie Melodies
animation unit produced 3 cartoons featuring the pair as cats or mice named "Babbit and Catstello". One of the cartoons, Bob Clampett's A Tale of Two Kitties (1941), introduced Tweety. The other cartoons are A Tale of Two Mice and Mouse-Merized Cat. In all three cartoons, Tedd Pierce (normally a storyman/writer for the cartoons) and Mel Blanc, respectively, provide voice impressions of the comedy duo.

Caricature of the pair from NBC-TV's Colgate Comedy Hour.

The revival of their former television series in syndicated reruns in the late 1960s and early 1970s helped spark renewed interest in the duo, as did the televising of many of their old film hits. In 1994, comedian Jerry Seinfeld— who says Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
were strong influences on his work — hosted a television special Abbott and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld
(the title refers to the duo's popular film series in which they met some of Universal's famed horror picture characters), on NBC; the special was said to have been seen in 20 million homes. In popular culture[edit]

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Although they are not inductees of the Hall itself, Abbott and Costello are among the few non-baseball personnel to be memorialized in the Baseball Hall of Fame. A plaque and a gold record of the "Who's On First?" sketch have been on permanent display there since 1956, and the routine runs on an endless video loop in the exhibit area.[23] The comedy group The Credibility Gap performed a rock and roll update of "Who's on First?" using the names of rock groups The Who, The Guess Who, and Yes, recorded and released on their first album, The Bronze Age of Radio. In the 1988 movie Rain Man, Dustin Hoffman's autistic character Raymond Babbitt recites an affectless "Who's on First?" as a defense mechanism. NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
(2006), a drama about life backstage at a television comedy series, used "Who's on First?" as a plot device. On the January 13, 2001 episode of Saturday Night Live host Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen
and SNL cast-member Rachel Dratch performed a modified version of "Who's On First?" in a sketch. A TV movie called Bud and Lou, based on a book by Hollywood correspondent Bob Thomas, was broadcast in 1978. Starring Harvey Korman as Bud Abbott
Bud Abbott
and Buddy Hackett
Buddy Hackett
as Lou Costello, the film told the duo's life story, focusing on Costello and portraying him as volatile and petty. Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld
is an avid Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
fan and their influence on him was celebrated in a 1994 NBC special, Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld's TV series includes numerous references to the team. George Costanza's middle name is "Louis," after Costello. "The Old Man (Seinfeld)" (Season 4, Episode 18, aired February 18, 1993) featured a cantankerous old man named "Sid Fields," played by veteran actor Bill Erwin, as a tribute to the landlord on the Abbott and Costello TV show. A friend of Kramer's is named Mickey Abbott. A copywriter for the J. Peterman catalog is named Eddie Sherman, after the team's longtime agent. In Episode 30, Kramer hears the famous Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
line, "His father was a mudder. His mother was a mudder." In 2003 Montclair State University
Montclair State University
dedicated a student residential complex aptly named The Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Center on Clove Road in the Little Falls portion of the university's campus.[24] In Robin Hood: Men in Tights, a 1993 spoof comedy directed by Mel Brooks, Dick Van Patten
Dick Van Patten
played the part of the Abbot. At one point, a man who looked and sounded like Lou Costello
Lou Costello
(played by Chuck McCann) yelled "Hey, Abbott!", in exactly the same way Lou did in the Abbott and Costello movies, repeating a joke from Brooks' Robin Hood
Robin Hood
sitcom When Things Were Rotten
When Things Were Rotten
in which Van Patten shouted the line. In the 1999 episode of The Simpsons, "Marge Simpson in: 'Screaming Yellow Honkers'", Superintendent Chalmers
Superintendent Chalmers
and Principal Skinner
Principal Skinner
try their hand at being Abbott and Costello. In the VeggieTales show, "Duke and the Great Pie War", the Scallion plays a character referred by Novak (Mr. Nezzer) as the Abbott Costello. Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
were inducted into the New Jersey
New Jersey
Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2015 a non profit fan film was produced titled Abbott & Costello Meet Superman. The film was screened at the Superman Celebration Film
Film
Festival in Metropolis Illinois and is currently streaming on YouTube. Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
are played by two actors from New York, Aaron M. Lambert and Jake Navatka. In the 2016 sci-fi movie Arrival, the two Heptapods (alien beings) are named Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
by the scientists. As two of the main themes in the movie are linguistics and miscommunication, it mirrors themes of the "Who's on First?" Routine. The names also have significance in the film because the heptapod named Abbott is taller and quieter while the heptapod named Costello is shorter and chattier, just as the real Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
were on their shows.[25] References[edit]

^ a b c d e f g h i j k Furmanek, Bob, and Ron Palumbo. "Abbott and Costello in Hollywood." Perigee, 1991. ^ Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
in Hollywood, ISBN 0-399-51605-0 ^ The New York Times, Sunday, February 28, 1998 ^ a b "Abbott, Bud; and Costello, Lou". Encyclopædia Britannica. I: A-Ak - Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2010. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8.  ^ "111 Film
Film
Toppers earned close to $18 mill in '42". Variety. Archive.org: 6. October 18, 1944. Retrieved July 28, 2016.  ^ Lou's on First: The Tragic Life of Hollywood's Greatest Clown Warmly Recounted by his Youngest Child ISBN 0-312-49914-0 ^ [1][dead link] ^ "Listen to "Who's on First?" from a 1942 radio performance" (MP3). Archive.org.  ^ " Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
performing "Who's on First?" in 1951 from the Colgate Comedy Hour" (MP4). Archive.org.  ^ " Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
"Who's on First?" from USO Command Performance" (MP4). Archive.org.  ^ "Listen to Sidney Fields version of "Who's on First?"" (MP3). Archive.org.  ^ "This is your Life Lou Costello" (MP4). Archive.org.  ^ "Abbott, Costello Split. Comedy Team Breaks Up to Let Abbott Raise Horses". New York Times. United Press International. July 15, 1957.  ^ "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Google News Archive Search". News.google.com. Retrieved September 23, 2017.  ^ Flynn, Errol; Meyers, Jeffrey (November 4, 2002). "My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Autobiography of Errol Flynn". Cooper Square Press. Retrieved September 23, 2017 – via Amazon.  ^ "Lou Costello, 52, Dies on Coast. Comic Had Teamed With Abbott. 'Little Guy Trying to Be a Big Shot' in Films and on TV-Partners Broke Up in '57". New York Times. March 4, 1959.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 30, 2007. Retrieved June 1, 2007.  ^ "The Glasgow Herald". Google News Archive Search. Retrieved 23 September 2017.  ^ Mickey Rooney Tops List Three Times in a Row: Leads Money-Making Stars Again in 1941; Hollywood Luminaries Pay Capital a Visit; Items of News and Gossip of the Theater The Washington Post (1923-1954) [Washington, D.C] January 2, 1942: 18. ^ Bing's Lucky Number: Pa Crosby Dons 4th B.O. Crown By Richard L. Coe. The Washington Post (1923-1954) [Washington, D.C] January 3, 1948: 12. ^ Of Local Origin New York Times
New York Times
(1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] December 29, 1950: 15. ^ "On the Records" (PDF). Billboard. January 10, 1942. p. 14. Retrieved March 11, 2015.  ^ Dunning, J. On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford Univ. Press (1998), pp. 2-3. ISBN 0-19-507678-8 ^ Who's on First?
Who's on First?
At MSU, it's Bud and Lou Archived February 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. ^ All you Arrival plot questions, explained Archived January 8, 2017, at the Wayback Machine.

Further reading[edit]

Anobile, Richard J. (ed.), Who's on First?: Verbal and Visual Gems from the Films of Abbott & Costello (1972) Avon Books Costello, Chris, Lou's on First: The Tragic Life of Hollywood's Greatest Clown Warmly Recounted by His Youngest Child (1982) St. Martin's Press ISBN 0-312-49914-0 Cox, Stephen and Lofflin, John, The Abbott & Costello Story: Sixty Years of "Who's on First?" (1997) Cumberland House Publishing (A revised and updated edition of The Official Abbott & Costello Scrapbook) Cox, Stephen and Lofflin, John, The Official Abbott & Costello Scrapbook (1990) Contemporary Books, Inc. Dunning, John, On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio
Radio
(1998) Oxford University Press Firestone, Ross (ed.), " Bud Abbott
Bud Abbott
and Lou Costello" from The Big Radio
Radio
Comedy Program (1978) Contemporary Books, Inc. Furmanek, Bob and Palumbo, Ron, Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
in Hollywood (1991) Perigee ISBN 0-399-51605-0 Maltin, Leonard, The Great Movie Comedians (1978) Crown Publishers Maltin, Leonard, Movie Comedy Teams (1970, revised 1985) New American Library Miller, Jeffrey S., The Horror Spoofs of Abbott and Costello: A Critical Assessment of the Comedy Team's Monster Films (2004) McFarland & Co. Mulholland, Jim, The Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Book
Book
(1975) Popular Library Nachman, Gerald. Raised on Radio
Radio
(1998) Pantheon Books Nollen, Scott Allen, Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
on the Home Front: A Critical Study of the Wartime Films (2009) McFarland & Co. Sforza, John, "Swing It! The Andrews Sisters
The Andrews Sisters
Story" (2000) University Press of Kentucky Sies, Luther F., Encyclopedia of American Radio
Radio
(2000) McFarland & Co. Terrace, Vincent, Radio
Radio
Programs (1999) McFarland & Co. Thomas, Bob, Bud & Lou: The Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Story (1977) J.B. Lippincott Co. (Dual biography featuring a highly unflattering portrait of Lou Costello, contested by friends and family members) Young, Jordan R., The Laugh Crafters: Comedy Writing in Radio
Radio
and TV's Golden Age (1999) Past Times

External links[edit]

Book: Abbott and Costello

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Abbott and Costello.

Bud Abbott
Bud Abbott
on IMDb Lou Costello
Lou Costello
on IMDb Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
at the National Radio
Radio
Hall of Fame Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
on Way Back When Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
on Outlaws Old Time Radio
Radio
Corner Laughterlog.com Full listing of A&C on Radio, Film, Television, Record and in Books. Official Website Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Radio
Radio
Log Official Fan Club Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
at the Internet Archive Zoot Radio, Abbott And Costello Radio
Radio
Shows Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
- Who's on First?

v t e

Abbott and Costello

Bud Abbott Lou Costello

Films

One Night in the Tropics Buck Privates In the Navy Hold That Ghost Keep 'Em Flying Ride 'Em Cowboy Rio Rita Pardon My Sarong Who Done It? It Ain't Hay Hit the Ice In Society Lost in a Harem Here Come the Co-Eds The Naughty Nineties Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
in Hollywood Little Giant The Time of Their Lives Buck Privates
Buck Privates
Come Home The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap The Noose Hangs High Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet Frankenstein Mexican Hayride Africa Screams Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
in the Foreign Legion Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet the Invisible Man Comin' Round the Mountain Jack and the Beanstalk Lost in Alaska Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet Captain Kidd Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Go to Mars Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet the Keystone Kops Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello
Meet the Mummy Dance with Me, Henry The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock
The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock
(Costello only) The World of Abbott and Costello

Shorts

10,000 Kids and a Cop

Television

The Abbott and Costello Show
The Abbott and Costello Show
(List of episodes) The Abbott and Costello Cartoon Show
The Abbott and Costello Cartoon Show
(Abbott only)

Bits

Who's on First?

Key personnel

John Grant Arthur Lubin

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 121166465 LCCN: no2007107892 GND: 6520973-4 MusicBrainz: bd66f7df-645c-4cc3-9f0a-