The Best Abbott and Costello Routines
Bud Abbot and Lou Costello are one of the most iconic comedy duos of all time. Their popularity extended across nearly every form of media, from radio to movies and TV. In the 1940s and 1950s, they toured the world sharing their comedy and spreading joy.
The Abbott & Costello “Who’s on First?” Statue captures the pair in the middle of one of their most famous acts. But there’s more than just their most famous bit! Let’s look at the top five best Abbott and Costello skits.
Two Tens for a Five
In one of their quickest comedy bits, Bud Abbott is able to pull a fast one on Lou Costello. It’s a simple monetary exchange gone terribly wrong. Abbott just leans over and, in a brilliant swindle, says, “Have you got two tens for a five?” It hardly happens in the space of a heartbeat, so it takes more than a few extra seconds for Costello to catch up before it happens again.
7 X 13 = 28
Abbott and Costello are behind on rent, which is nothing all that new for the duo. Their landlord always gives them a rough time (especially when he gets invited to Birthday Parties!) but in this particular instance, Bud relies on Lou to be particularly clever. Lou just needs to prove to the landlord that they only owe him 28 dollars, and with a little bit of math, he’s able to prove that 7 into 13 truly is 28. Whether they multiply or divide, the math seems to check out! So long as you’re not thinking about it too hard.
Jonah and the Whale
Abbot and Costello walk out on stage and, naturally, Bud has lots to say. But this time, Lou has a good joke to tell! It’s a quick little joke, but Costello says right up front, “Only thing is, you ain’t got nothin’ to say in it! You might as well get a chair and sit down, because you don’t open your mouth once in the whole thing.” As Lou says, it’s about a whale, a ship, and Jonah! But the whole time, Abbott can’t seem to keep his mouth shut — just like the whale. Lou tries his best to tell the joke, but Bud sure doesn’t make it easy.
Susquehanna Hat Company
Bud and Lou are off for vacation! But Abbott and Costello promised to do just one quick favor for a friend. All they have to do is deliver a box of hats to Bagel Street. More specifically, they have to deliver the hats to the Susquehanna Hat Company. They just need to ask for directions to get to Bagel Street, but it seems that every single person that they ask is horrified to even remember Bagel Street, and takes their anger out on Lou and the hats that they’re delivering. Death and disaster sound like the standard for Bagel Street, and that’s all before Lou Costello even meets the ghost!
Who’s On First?
Naturally, their most iconic sketch is their absolute best. It comes down to silly questions and strange nicknames on sports teams. If you can have Bobby Barber on a baseball team, you can have anyone! The name of the player on first base is “Who.” The name of the player on second base is “What.” The name of the player on third base is “I Don’t Know.” When Lou Costello can’t seem to wrap his head around the wordplay, Bud Abbott does the best he can to explain it to him. Who’s on First? I don’t know. Wait no, that’s third base!
What’s your favorite Abbott and Costello sketch? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!