The wonderful nonsense that made up the comedy of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello is carefully preserved and is to be treasured in this two season television series which I can remember from my earliest days. It seemed like it was in syndication forever on WPIX TV in New York in the fifties, sixties and seventies. Made those Honeymooner episodes look like nothing.
A careful viewing of all their feature films will find all their famous routines in them at one point. But if you just want to see the boys do their stuff and not have to worry about the plot of some movie, than by all means try to acquire these shows on VHS or DVD.
The plots of these shows are absolutely meaningless. The common thread was the fact that they didn't pay the rent at their rooming-house and as their harassed landlord said on one show, they were going into their second year. Of course the fact that they didn't want to work and when they got jobs, they inevitably blew them up didn't help matters.
The landlord was Sidney Fields who went back in burlesque as long as Abbott and Costello did. Fields had one magnificent temper and when Abbott wasn't abusing his hapless partner, Fields was. He got almost as many laughs as the boys did, in fact they could have been a trio act.
Another tenant at the rooming-house was Gordon Jones, known as Mike the cop, though in one episode it did slip that his last name was Kelly. He also was driven to distraction by Costello's antics. There was the beautiful and ever patient Hillary Brooke who Costello was crushing out on big time. And there was Joe Kirk, in real life Lou's brother-in-law, who was the ever excitable Italian, Mr. Baciagalupe. Kirk was a poor man's Henry Armetta and the boys constantly made him lose his "temperature".
Somewhere on some cable station these shows are still playing, with comedy that is absolutely timeless and will be enjoyed a thousand years from now.
One thing I did wonder when I got older. Why didn't Fields just take Abbott and Costello to Landlord and Tenant Court. He had more than enough grounds.
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