Navigating Abbott and Costello

Slap him, Bud! No — harder! He’s still moving!

Today is the natal day of the unfortunate Lou Costello. It is one of my chief joys in my life to bait his admirers here on Travalanche and watch them blow their stacks, and toward that end this site actually has an entire section devoted to Abbott and Costello with around 20 posts. It occurred to me though that a finding aid might be in order for, more than possibly any other topic here, my actual views on the team are spread out over several posts and there are nuances you won’t get if you just read the rants. On the whole my animus toward the team has almost entirely to do with the shoddiness of their movies and Costello’s lack of discipline as a comedy performer, as contrasted with about a hundred of his predecessors. (Haha, that sentence was intended to smooth things over, but I never quite got there). Anyway that’s only one slice of a multi-faceted career that also included live performance, radio and television. Here are links to most of the A&C posts, laid out in the best order in which to read them:

Abbott and Costello: The End of an Era (adapted from my book Chain of Fools).

Harry Steppe: Introduced Abbott to Costello

Why Abbott and Costello Are the 8th Greatest Comedy Team of the Sound Era

On Straight Men, Movie Comedy Teams and Belated Props for Abbott and Costello

When, How and Why “Classic Comedy” Died

Why My Low Regard for Lou Costello is Not Just “My Opinion”

Abbott and Costello: The Horror Comedies

Abbott and Costello on Radio

The Colgate Comedy Hour

The Abbott and Costello TV Show: Much Better Than Their Movies

Key Cast Members of the TV Show

Sidney Fields

Joe “Stinky” Besser

Joe Kirk (Mr. Bacciagalupe)

Hillary Brooke

And the entire section, which includes several other posts is here

And remember, if writing doesn’t raise your blood pressure one way or the other, it’s just, to quote Bud, “loafin'”.

For more on variety entertainment, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, and for more on classic comedy read  Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube.