Who's On First? Abbott and Costello Video

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Sput, Jun 14, 2007.

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  1. Sput

    Sput Boilerphile In Memoriam Thread Starter

    Not in Michigan
  2. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    This is a classic and will always be funny in my book.
  3. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    ...probably one of the most original bits ever! BRILLIANT!
  4. -Alan

    -Alan Moderator

    Connecticut, USA
    Abbot and Costello's Who's on First? has a long history and continues to influence comedy to this day. (I remember watching the Abbot and Costello television show reruns and old television movies as a child and greatly enjoying them. Lou Costello was an especially talented ad-libber as can be heard on their old-time radio shows):

    "Who's On First?" is descended from turn-of-the-century burlesque sketches like "The Baker Scene" (the shop is located on Watt Street) and "Who Died" (the owner is named Who). In England, in the variety halls (Britain's equivalent of vaudeville theatres), comedian Will Hay was doing a routine in the early 1930s (and possibly earlier) as a schoolmaster interviewing a schoolboy named Howe who came from Ware but now lives in Wye. By the early 1930s, a "Baseball Routine" had become a standard bit for burlesque comics across the United States of America.

    Shortly after Abbott and Costello teamed up, they honed the sketch, using the nicknames of then-contemporary baseball players like Dizzy and Daffy Dean (and their alleged French cousin, "Goofé") to set up the premise. In 1938 burlesque producer John Grant, working with Abbott and Costello, asked Will Glickman, a staff writer on The Kate Smith Hour radio show, to sharpen and amplify the Baseball Routine for performance on the show. This version, with extensive word play based on the names of contemporary baseball players became known as "Who's On First". By 1944, Abbott and Costello had the routine copyrighted.

    It was said that Abbott and Costello performed "Who's On First?" a thousand times in their careers, and rarely was it performed the same way twice. Once, they did the routine at President Roosevelt's request. It was featured in the team's 1940 film debut, One Night in the Tropics. The duo reprised the bit in their 1945 film The Naughty Nineties, and it is that version which is considered their finest recorded rendition. They also performed the routine numerous times on radio and television (notably in the Abbott and Costello Show episode "The Actor's Home").

  5. Sput

    Sput Boilerphile In Memoriam Thread Starter

    Not in Michigan
    I believe that. And yet...look at the rapid fire retorts and hidden concentration on their faces. This is not an easy skid to do. Razor sharp and quick minds are needed. These are pros.:righton:
  6. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    I remember watching Abbott and Costello on WPIX TV sunday mornings at 11:30AM back in the 1970's--loved them then and still do today.

    Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein is one of the all time great movies.

  7. rburly

    rburly This space for rent

    It's really a credit to their talent that the joke is still part of culture when someone is confused about something a says, "Wait a minute. 'Who's on First?'"
  8. CD Heaven West

    CD Heaven West Active Member

    Tamarac, Florida
    Hey Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabot!!!!:D
  9. FatherMcKenzie

    FatherMcKenzie Well-Known Member

    Winnetka, CA, USA
    I remember a silly mathematical routine where no matter how they multiplied it, divided it, etc. 21 and 7 equalled 28. At least , I think that's how it went.

    For a little kid in the fifties who was fascinated by numbers, it was very cool.
  10. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    The routine is on an endless loop in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
  11. hal9000

    hal9000 Active Member

    san diego, ca
    thanks for posting this...amazing that this bit is still hilarious.
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