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The 10 Best Abbott and Costello Skits

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The 2018 season for Major League Baseball is just beginning to get into full swing (pun intended). If your not a fan of the great American pastime you might be asking, what does that do of for me? The answer is simple

Abbott and Costello.

Whether your a fan of film, comedy or just a lost soul wallowing away in your self-pity while your friends chant and cheer like ravenous fiends at every towering Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton 400+ yard dinger, the classic comedy duo will help fill that gaping void.

You might also be asking, what does a comedic duo from Hollywood’s Golden Age have to do with one of America’s most popular sports?

The answer is their skit Who’s on First? which was ultimately made famous by the two. The skit is rather is simple in its premise, but it is the absurdity of it coupled with the comedic genius of both Bud Abbott and Lou Costello that makes it so legendary.

However, the legendary comedy duo’s vast library of brilliance does not end with a befuddled Lou desperately attempting to learn the names of the St. Louis Wolves ballclub, here is the Top 10 Abbott and Costello skits

10.) The Candle Skit

The candle skit, as it appeared in their classic film, “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” is simple in its design but brilliantly performed by Bud and Lou. The routines appeared in several films, including another one of their popular capers “Hold that Ghost”, with a slight variation. No matter what situation it is performed in, the structure always remains the same. Lou, usually by himself but never with Bud, is the victim of some cosmic or paranormal occurrence. In his fear, he calls out to Bud to tell him of the horror he just witnessed, in the case of “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” it was the candle sliding from on top of Dracula’s coffin as he slowly opens the door from inside. Bud, who never witnesses continually berate’s Lou, suggesting it was only his imagination. Believing his friend, Lou goes back to his work as Bud leaves the room, only for the same event to happen again, and again.

9.) Dice

Another classic scene, usually portrayed in their wartime films and skits. Bud is playing a game of dice with some friends in the army. Lou, who is usually portrayed as the childlike innocent blubbering oaf, decides that he wants to play. Bud, seeing an easy way to score a quick buck off the naive Lou, gives him a quick rundown of the rules before jumping into the game. There is just one problem. Lou, it seems, might know all about dice. Who is hustling who?

8.) Abbott and Costello Go Fishing

An old act performed by many comedy acts, the fishing scene, as seen here in their film “The Naughty Nineties”, features Bud and Lou sitting in a lifeboat aboard a riverboat. As the two just engage in casual discussion, Lou continually reels in huge fish. To Bud’s bewilderment, Lou continually throws the fish back into the river in hopes of hooking an even bigger fish. In the end, Lou indeed catches his prize fish, or does it catch him.

7.) Loafing

In another classic sketch from their television show, “The Abbott and Costello Show”, Bud and Lou are once again the victims of miscommunication when Lou believes that when Bud goes to work at the bakery, he is loafing around such as he does, not loafing bread.

6.) Jonah and the Whale

A skit performed in their film “Here Come the Co-eds” Lou is the victim of Bud’s inability to allow him to simply tell a joke. Bud routinely interrupts Lou, infuriating him along the way with each interruption. In the end, Bud commits the ultimate comedic sin, causing Lou to collapse in a heap of sorrow and sadness.

5.) 7 x 13 = 28

In a classic skit that assuredly both infuriates and delights all math teachers, Lou attempts to convince people that seven into thirteen is indeed twenty-eight. Usually involving Lou and a landlord, Lou uses his charm, and wit to convince his landlord of his numerical expertise through several creative ways of using seven, and thirteen to arrive at twenty-eight. To the landlord’s shock, Lou is somehow always successful.

4.) Two Tens for a Five

In a skit that really utilizes the straight man skill of Bud and the comedic skill of Lou, a slightly more nefarious Bud attempts to scam his naive little buddy out of a couple extra bucks when he convinces Lou to give him two tens for a five. Not only does Lou feel like something is fishy about the whole scenario, he somehow still owes Bud.

3.) Susquehanna Hat Company

A variation on another famous comedic skit, “Niagra Falls”, Bud and Lou gladly do a favor for a friend. The task? simply deliver a box of quality hats to the Susquehanna Hat Company. The only problem? It was located on Bagel Street. As Bud and Lou walk the streets, an unsuspecting Lou attempts to ask a people the exact location of Bagel Street. Unfortunately for Lou, every person he asks had a terrible experience on Bagel Street, and they take out their frustration on both Lou, and the hats.

2.) The Payphone Sketch

Perhaps one of their funniest sketches, the skit involves Bud demanding that Lou use the payphone to make a phone call. In “The Abbott and Costello Show”, Lou was looking for a job. In their film “Who Done It?”, Lou was calling up a radio station to accept the award for a contest he had just won. The hilarity ensues when Lou is routinely rejected by a phone operator who couldn’t care less about Lou’s phone call. Adding to the dilemma, it seems that every single person who makes a phone call between his attempts is making calls to the most distant places, while Lou just wants to reach a couple streets over.

1.) Who’s on First

Perhaps, by default, the number one sketch is their legendary baseball skit. The act that got them inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame revolves around Lou asking his friend Bud to give him the names of the St. Louis Wolves baseball club. Despite Bud’s attempt to explain the strange nicknames that baseball player’s had, such as Bobby Barber, Lou is completely flabbergasted when Bud recites the names of the St. Louis team. In a brilliant play on words, Lou continually asks for their names, and Bud keeps telling him.

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The 10 Best Abbott and Costello Skits