Old Time Radio has lots of famous comedians but other than Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, I just don't find them funny (although Bob Hope and Bing Crosby were great in the movies Road to Zanzibar and Road to Morocco).
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello started out as burlesque comics but they weren't a comedy team initially. The team would appear on the radio program, The Kate Smith Hour, in February 1938. The skit, Who's on First was performed for the radio audience in March 1938.
During World War 2, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello pitched Defense Bonds in support of America's war effort. You can watch the minute-long promotion.
The N.B.C. radio program, The Abbott and Costello Show, began as a substitute for Fred Allen from July to September 1940. The pair's radio program was brought back by N.B.C . two years later on October 8, 1942. In October 1947, the program moved to A.B.C. Radio.
Abbott and Costello were also successful in the movies with a string of hits such as Buck Privates, In the Navy, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man.
The team also had success on television. In 1951, they hosted the Colgate Comedy Hour and in 1952 they had the short-lived TV program, The Abbott and Costello Show.
Many of the television episodes are set at the rooming house where Bud and Lou live and they always seem to be behind on the rent. In the episode "The Army Story", the landlord is after 13 weeks of back rent. Lou uses some fancy "new math", Abbott and Costello style, to pull one over on the landlord. Watch the four-minute audio/video clip.
Two themes from the 1952 TV show:
Click here to watch Bud and Lou support America's war effort.
Click here or the image above to watch Bud and Lou baffle the landlord in this video clip from the episode "The Army Story."
Here's one audio version of the legendary Who's on First skit
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