Abbott and Costello

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Abbott and Costello
File:Abbott and Costello circa 1940s.JPG
Abbott (left) and Costello (right) circa 1940s.
Born New Jersey, United States
Medium Stand-up, television, film, vaudeville, radio
Nationality American
Genres Word play, slapstick, deadpan

Abbott and Costello were a comedy double act composed of William "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.

Early years[edit]

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 (1906–1959) became a burlesque comic in 1928 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 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.) Costello's first appearance in burlesque was in St. Joseph, Missouri. He joined the Mutual Burlesque wheel in 1929, 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 when Costello's regular partner became ill.[3] 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 were rigged to appear to pull it.[4]

Other performers in the show, including Abbott's wife Betty, advised 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.

Movies and fame[edit]

[[wikipedia:File:Abbott, Costello and Carmen Miranda.jpg|thumb|With Carmen Miranda, The Streets of Paris, in 1939.|]] The team's first known radio appearance was on The Kate Smith Hour in February 1938.[3] 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 began affecting a high-pitched, childish voice. "Who's on First?" was first performed for a national radio audience the following month.[2] They performed on the program as regulars for two years, while also landing roles in a Broadway revue, The Streets of Paris, in 1939.[3]

In 1940, Universal Studios signed them for the film One Night in the Tropics. Cast in supporting roles, they stole the show with several classic routines, including the "Who's on First?" routine. The same year they were a summer replacement on radio for Fred Allen. Two years later, they had their own NBC program, The Abbott and Costello Show. Universal then signed them to a long-term contract, and their second film, Buck Privates, in 1941[3] made them box-office stars.

In most of their films, the plot was a loose framework for the two comics to reintroduce comedy routines they first performed on stage. Universal also added musical acts such as Ted Lewis and his Orchestra, Ella Fitzgerald, Martha Raye, The Merry Macs, and Dick Foran, singing "I'll Remember April" in Ride 'Em Cowboy.

The most popular singing act in their films was The Andrews Sisters. Several films featured some of the Andrews Sisters' most popular hits of World War Two, the Oscar-nominated "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", as well as "I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time", both from Buck Privates. Bud & Lou's sequel, In The Navy, featured crooner Dick Powell along with the Andrews Sisters, and 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. Acccording to Patty Andrews, when Hold That Ghost (which had been filmed before In the Navy) was shown to preview audiences, film-goers said they were disappointed not to see The Andrews Sisters, so the trio (and Ted Lewis) were added to the film's prologue and epilogue. The singing sisters became good friends with Costello during this period. In 1945, the two acts traded guest appearances on each other's top-rated radio shows.[5]

Bud and Lou made 36 films together between 1940 and 1956. They were among the most popular and highest-paid entertainers in the world during World War II. (In 1942 their earnings for the fiscal year were $789,026.[6])

Other film successes included Keep 'Em Flying, Who Done It?, Pardon My Sarong, The Time of Their Lives, Buck Privates Come Home, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. In the latter film, Bela Lugosi reprised his famous role as Dracula for the final time, with Lon Chaney Jr. reprising his role as the Wolf Man. The film ended with a voice cameo by Vincent Price as the Invisible Man.

On December 8, 1941, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Abbott and Costello had their hand and foot prints set in concrete at what was then "Grauman's Chinese Theatre". In 1942, they were the top box office draw with four films, earning a total of $10 million, and remained a top ten box office attraction until 1952.


thumb|Abbott and Costello on 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 and Charlie McCarthy on The Chase and Sanborn Hour in 1941. Two of their films (Buck Privates and Hold That Ghost) were adapted for Lux Radio Theaterthat year. They launched their own weekly show October 8, 1942, sponsored by Camel cigarettes.

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 Singers). Regulars and semi-regulars on the show included Artie Auerbach ("Mr. Kitzel"), Elvia Allman, Iris Adrian, Mel Blanc, Wally Brown, Sharon Douglas, Verna Felton, Sidney Fields, Frank Nelson, 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, with announcing chores also handled over the years by 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, 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, and Lucille Ball.[5]

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 Children's Show),[7] on Saturday mornings. The program featuring child vocalist Anna Mae Slaughter and child announcer Johnny McGovern.


[[wikipedia:File:Abbott and costello this is your life.jpg|thumb|Abbott and Costello on NBC's This Is Your Life November 21, 1956|]]

In 1951, Abbott and Costello joined the rotating hosts of The Colgate Comedy Hour on NBC. (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 late 1952 to early 1954, a filmed half-hour series, The Abbott and Costello Show, appeared in syndication on 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 nagging Costello to get a job to pay their rent, while Abbott barely lifted a finger in that direction. The show featured Sidney Fields as the landlord of the rooming house in which they lived, and Hillary Brooke as a neighbor and sometime love interest for Costello. Other regulars were future Stooge 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 merely an excuse to recreate old comedy routines including "Who's on First?" and other familiar set pieces from their films and burlesque days. Since Lou owned the series, this allowed them to own these versions of their classic routines as well. Although The Abbott and Costello Show originally ran for only two seasons, it found a larger viewership in reruns from the late 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, however, usually referred to it as "Baseball.") The sketch was based on other burlesque routines with similar wordplay. 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 sibling pitchers Dizzy and Daffy Dean) before launching the routine. The infielders' nicknames are Who (first base), What (second base) and I Don't Know (third base). The key to the routine is Costello's persistent confusion over pronouns, and Abbott's unwavering nonchalance. Audio recordings are readily available on the Internet.[8]

Abbott and Costello began honing the routine shortly after teaming up in 1936 and performed it in vaudeville in 1937 and 1938. It was first heard by a national radio audience in March 1938, when the team were regulars on the Kate Smith radio show. By then, John Grant had been writing or adapting other sketches for the team, and he may have helped expand "Who's On First?" prior to its radio debut. Grant stayed on as their head writer into the 1950s. One notable appearance of the sketch is from a 1951 broadcast.[9]

[[wikipedia:File:AbbottCostelloWhosOnFirst.jpg|left|thumb|Abbott and Costello performing "Who's on First?"|]] "Who's on First?" is believed to be available in as many as 20 versions, ranging from one minute to about 10 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, Jr. Youth Foundation, in 1947 was recorded, and has appeared on numerous comedy albums. The team's final performance of "Who's on First?" was seen on Steve Allen's TV 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 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 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 both met and married women they knew in burlesque. Abbott married Betty Smith in 1918, and Costello married Anne Battler in 1934. The Costellos had four children; the Abbotts adopted two.

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. 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.[12] 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."[5]

During 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 in which they appeared as separate characters rather than as a team (Little Giant and The Time of Their Lives). This may have been a result of the tensions between them, plus the fact that their most recent films had performed well at the box office. Abbott resolved the rift when he volunteered to help with Costello's pet charity, a foundation for underprivileged children, and suggested naming it the "Lou Costello Jr. Youth Foundation". The facility opened in 1947, and still serves the Boyle Heights district of Los Angeles.

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. Abbott and Costello's routines, already familiar, were now glutting the movie and television markets. 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 and TV's Golden Age, that he was stunned to learn that Bud and Lou were afraid to perform new material.)

They were forced to withdraw from Fireman Save My Child in 1954 due to Costello's health, and were replaced by Hugh O'Brian and Buddy Hackett. 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.[citation needed]

In 1956 they made one independent film, Dance with Me, and Lou was the subject of the television program This Is Your Life,[13] then formally dissolved their partnership in 1957.[14][15] In his posthumously-published 1959 autobiography, My Wicked,[16] 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 Show and headlined in Las Vegas. He also 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, just days short of his 53rd birthday.[17]

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 in 1961. In 1966, Abbott voiced his character in a series of 156 five-minute Abbott and Costello cartoons made by Hanna-Barbera.[18] Lou's character was voiced by Stan Irwin. Bud Abbott died of cancer on April 24, 1974.[19]


Year Movie Lou Costello Role Bud Abbott Role Notes
1940 One Night in the Tropics Costello Abbott Film Debut, Universal
1941 Buck Privates Herbie Brown Slicker Smith Universal, First Starring Roles[3]
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 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 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 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 release
1948 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 release
1949 Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer Freddie Phillips Casey Edwards Universal
1950 Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion Lou Hotchkiss Bud Jones Universal
1951 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. release
1952 The Abbott and Costello Show Himself Himself First TV Show by the pair; Presented by Allan Enterprises
1952 Lost in Alaska George Bell Tom Watson Universal
1952 Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd Oliver "Puddin' Head" Johnson Rocky Stonebridge In color; Warner Bros. release
1953 Abbott and Costello Go to Mars Orville Lester Universal
1953 Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Tubby Slim Universal
1955 Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops Willie Piper Harry Pierce Universal
1955 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 Lou Henry Bud Flick Their final film; United Artists release
1959 The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock Artie Pinsetter 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 were ranked among the most popular stars in the US according to the Quigley Publishers Poll of Exhibitors:

  • 1941 - 3rd[20]
  • 1942 - 1st
  • 1943 - 3rd
  • 1944 - 8th
  • 1947 - 16th[21]
  • 1948 - 3rd
  • 1949 - 3rd
  • 1950 - 6th (US), 2nd (UK)[22]
  • 1951 - 4th (US), 4th (UK)
  • 1952 - 11th
  • 1953 - 20th


  • 1942: Laugh, Laugh, Laugh (Parts I and II) Victor 27737[23]


The cartoon series was not the first time Abbott and Costello were in animation. During the height of their popularity in the 1940s, Warner Bros.'s Looney Tunes/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. thumb|right|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 were strong influences on his work—hosted a television special Abbott and Costello Meet 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]

Abbott and Costello are among the few non-baseball personnel to be memorialized in the Baseball Hall of Fame, although they are not inductees of the Hall itself. 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.[24]

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 (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 and SNL cast-member Rachel Dratch performed a modified version of "Who's On First?" in a sketch.

Jerry Seinfeld is an avid fan and "The Old Man" (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 Sidney Fields, the landlord from the Abbott and Costello TV show. The influence of Abbott and Costello on Seinfeld was discussed in a 1994 NBC program Abbott and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld. In Episode 30, Kramer hears the famous Abbott and Costello line "His father was a mudder. His mother was a mudder."

In 2003 Montclair State University dedicated a student residential complex aptly named The Abbott and Costello Center on Clove Road in the Little Falls portion of the university's campus.[25]

In Robin Hood: Men in Tights, a 1993 spoof comedy directed by Mel Brooks, Dick Van Patten played the part of the Abbot. At one point, a man who looked and sounded like 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 sitcom 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 and 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 were inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2009.

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 and Buddy Hackett as Lou Costello, the film told the duo's life story, focusing on Costello and portraying him as volatile and petty.[5]

In 2015 a non profit fan film was produced titled Abbott & Costello Meet Superman. The film was screened at the Superman Celebration Film Festival in Metropolis Illinois and is currently streaming on YouTube. 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 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 were on their show.[26]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Furmanek, Bob, and Ron Palumbo. "Abbott and Costello in Hollywood." Perigee, 1991.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Abbott and Costello in Hollywood, ISBN 0-399-51605-0
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "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. 
  4. The New York Times, Sunday, February 28, 1998
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Sforza, John: Swing It! The Andrews Sisters Story; University Press of Kentucky, 2000; 289 pages.
  6. "111 Film Toppers earned close to $18 mill in '42". Variety: 6. 18 October 1944. Retrieved 28 July 2016. 
  7. Abbott and Costello Children's Show 12/18/1948
  8. Listen to "Who's on First?" from a 1942 radio performance
  9. Abbott and Costello performing "Who's on First?" in 1951 from the Colgate Comedy hour
  10. Abbott and Costello "Who's on First?" from USO Command Performance
  11. Listen to Sidney Fields version of "Who's on First?"
  12. Lou's on First: The Tragic Life of Hollywood's Greatest Clown Warmly Recounted by his Youngest Child ISBN 0-312-49914-0
  13. This is your Life Lou Costello
  14. "Abbott, Costello Split. Comedy Team Breaks Up to Let Abbott Raise Horses". [[wikipedia:New York Times|]]. [[wikipedia:United Press International|]]. July 15, 1957. 
  15. "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Google News Archive Search". 
  16. Flynn, Errol. My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Autobiography of Errol Flynn. Cooper Square Press; 1 edition (November 4, 2002)
  17. "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". [[wikipedia:New York Times|]]. March 4, 1959. 
  18. Toon Tracker: Laurel & Hardy and Abbott & Costello cartoons
  19. "The Glasgow Herald - Google News Archive Search". 
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Of Local Origin New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] December 29, 1950: 15.
  23. "On the Records". Billboard. January 10, 1942. p. 14. Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  24. Dunning, J. On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford Univ. Press (1998), pp. 2-3. ISBN 0-19-507678-8
  25. Who's on First? At MSU, it's Bud and Lou Archived February 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  26. 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 (1998) Oxford University Press
  • Firestone, Ross (ed.), "Bud Abbott and Lou Costello" from The Big Radio Comedy Program (1978) Contemporary Books, Inc.
  • Furmanek, Bob and Palumbo, Ron, 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 Book (1975) Popular Library
  • Nachman, Gerald. Raised on Radio (1998) Pantheon Books
  • Nollen, Scott Allen, Abbott and Costello on the Home Front: A Critical Study of the Wartime Films (2009) McFarland & Co.
  • Sforza, John, "Swing It! The Andrews Sisters Story" (2000) University Press of Kentucky
  • Sies, Luther F., Encyclopedia of American Radio (2000) McFarland & Co.
  • Terrace, Vincent, Radio Programs (1999) McFarland & Co.
  • Thomas, Bob, Bud & Lou: The 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 and TV's Golden Age (1999) Past Times

External links[edit]

Category:American comedy duos Category:Abbott and Costello Category:American male comedians Category:American male film actors Category:American male radio actors Category:American male stage actors Category:American male television actors Category:Burlesque performers Category:Vaudeville performers Category:1930s American radio programs Category:1940s American radio programs Category:National Radio Hall of Fame inductees Category:Male actors from Los Angeles Category:Parody films Category:20th-century American male actors Category:NBC radio programs Category:ABC radio programs Category:Films adapted into television programs