Who’s on First

Who’s on First by Abbott and Costello

Abbott and CostelloOne of the most famous baseball comedy acts to occur was the following exchange between Abbott and Costello.  The words alone cannot do it justice but it is still quite funny.  It was originally done on the radio live but the duo later included it in ‘The Naughty Nineties.’  Abbott is the Manager of a baseball team and Costello wants to play catcher.  Before he can play, the manager wants to make sure he knows everyone’s name on the team.  This exchange has been translated into thirty languages!  The duo performed this live on the radio pretty close to the original, thousands of times on radio and television!

Abbott:  Alright, now whaddya want?
Costello:  Now look, I’m the head of the sports department.  I’m going to New York.  I gotta know the St. Louis baseball players’ names.  Do you know the guys’ names?
Abbott:  Oh sure!
Costello:  So you go ahead and tell me some of their names.
Abbott:  Well, I’ll introduce you to the boys in the St. Louis team.  You know sometimes nowadays they give ballplayers peculiar names.
Costello:  You mean funny names.
Abbott:  Nicknames, pet names, like Dizzy Dean –
Costello:  His brother Daffy –
Abbott:  Daffy Dean –
Costello:  And their cousin!
Abbott:  Who’s that?
Costello:  Goofy!
Abbott:  Goofy, huh? Now let’s see.  We have on the bags – we have Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know’s on third.
Costello:  That’s what I wanna find out.
Abbott:  I say Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know’s on third –
Costello:  You know the fellows’ names?
Abbott:  Certainly!
Costello:  Well then who’s on first?
Abbott:  Yes!
Costello:  I mean the fellow’s name!
Abbott:  Who!
Costello:  The guy on first!
Abbott:  Who!
Costello:  The first baseman!
Abbott:  Who!
Costello:  The guy playing first!
Abbott:  Who is on first!
Costello:  Now whaddya askin’ me for?
Abbott:  I’m telling you Who is on first.
Costello:  Well, I’m asking YOU who’s on first!
Abbott:  That’s the man’s name.
Costello:  That’s who’s name?
Abbott:  Yes.
Costello:  Well go ahead and tell me.
Abbott:  Who.
Costello:  The guy on first.
Abbott:  Who!
Costello:  The first baseman.
Abbott:  Who is on first!
Costello:  Have you got a contract with the first baseman?
Abbott:  Absolutely.
Costello:  Who signs the contract?
Abbott:  Well, naturally!
Pause
Costello:  When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?
Abbott:  Every dollar.  Pause … Why not? The man’s entitled to it.
Costello:  Who is?
Abbott:  Yes.  Pause … Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.
Costello:  Who’s wife?
Abbott:  Right.
Pause
Costello:  All I’m tryin’ to find out is what’s the guy’s name on first base.
Abbott:  Oh, no – wait a minute, Pause … Don’t switch ’em around.  What is on second base.
Costello:  I’m not askin’ you who’s on second.
Abbott:  Who is on first.
Costello:  I don’t know.
Abbott:  He’s on third – now we’re not talkin’ ’bout him.
Costello:  Now, how did I get on third base?
Abbott:  You mentioned his name!
Costello:  If I mentioned the third baseman’s name, who did I say is playing third?
Abbott:  No – Who’s playing first.
Costello:  Never mind first – I wanna know what’s the guy’s name on third.
Abbott:  No – What’s on second.
Costello:  I’m not askin’ you who’s on second.
Abbott:  Who’s on first.
Costello:  I don’t know.
Abbott:  He’s on third.
Costello:  Aaah!  Would you please stay on third base and don’t go off it?
Abbott:  What was it you wanted?
Costello:  Now who’s playin’ third base?
Abbott:  Now why do you insist on putting Who on third base?
Costello:  Why? Who am I putting over there?
Abbott:  Yes.  But we don’t want him there.
Costello:  What’s the guy’s name on third base?
Abbott:  What belongs on second.
Costello:  I’m not askin’ you who’s on second.
Abbott:  Who’s on first.
Costello:  I don’t know.
Abbott & Costello:  THIRD BASE!
Pause
Costello:  You got an outfield?
Abbott:  Oh yes!
Costello:  The left fielder’s name?
Abbott:  Why.
Costello:  I don’t know, I just thought I’d ask you.
Abbott:  Well, I just thought I’d tell you.
Costello:  Alright, then tell me who’s playin’ left field.
Abbott:  Who is playing fir-
Costello:  STAY OUTTA THE INFIELD!  I wanna know what’s the left fielder’s name.
Abbott:  What’s on second.
Costello:  I’m not askin’ you who’s on second.
Abbott:  Who’s on first.
Costello:  I don’t know.
Abbott & Costello:  THIRD BASE!
Pause
Costello:  The left fielder’s name?
Abbott:  Why.
Costello:  Because!
Abbott:  Oh, he’s center field. pause … I can’t help it, Lou–these are the guys’ names.
Costello:  Look, you gotta pitcher on this team?
Abbott:  Now wouldn’t this be a fine team without a pitcher.
Costello:  The pitcher’s name.
Abbott:  Tomorrow.
Costello:  You don’t wanna tell me today?
Abbott:  I’m tellin’ you now.
Costello:  Then go ahead.
Abbott:  Tomorrow.
Pause
Costello:  What time?
Abbott:  What time what?
Costello:  What time tomorrow are you going to tell me who’s pitching?
Abbott:  Now listen.  Who is not pitching.  Who is on fir-
Costello:  I’ll break your arm if you say Who’s on first.  I wanna know what’s the pitcher’s name.
Abbott:  What’s on second.
Costello:  I don’t know.
Abbott & Costello:  THIRD BASE!
Pause
Costello:  You got a catcher?
Abbott:  Oh, absolutely.
Costello:  The catcher’s name.
Abbott:  Today.
Costello:  Today.  And Tomorrow’s pitching.
Abbott:  Now you’ve got it.
Costello:  All we’ve got is a couple of days on the team.
Abbott:  Well, I can’t help that.
Costello:  Well, I’m a catcher too.
Abbott:  I know that.
Costello:  Now suppose that I’m catching, Tomorrow’s pitching on my team and their heavy hitter gets up.
Abbott:  Yes.
Costello:  Tomorrow throws the ball.  The batter bunts the ball.  When he bunts the ball, me being a good catcher, I wanna throw the guy out at first base.  So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?
Abbott:  Now that’s the first thing you’ve said right.
Costello:  I don’t even know what I’m talkin’ about!
Abbott:  Well, that’s all you have to do.
Costello:  Is to throw the ball to first base.
Abbott:  Yes.
Costello:  Now who’s got it?
Abbott:  Naturally!
Costello:  If I throw the ball to first base, somebody’s gotta catch it.  Now who caught it?
Abbott:  Naturally!
Pause
Costello:  Who caught it?
Abbott:  Naturally.
Costello:  Who?
Abbott:  Naturally!
Costello:  Naturally.
Abbott:  Yes.
Costello:  So I pick up the ball and I throw it to Naturally.
Abbott:  NO, NO, NO! You throw the ball to first base and Who gets it?
Costello:  Naturally.
Abbott:  That’s right.  There we go.
Pause
Costello:  So I pick up the ball and I throw it to Naturally.
Abbott:  You don’t!
Costello:  I throw it to who?
Abbott:  Naturally.
Costello:  THAT’S WHAT I’M SAYING!
Abbott:  You’re not saying it that way.
Costello:  I said I throw the ball to Naturally.
Abbott:  You don’t – you throw the ball to Who?
Costello:  Naturally!
Abbott:  Well, say that!
Costello:  THAT’S WHAT I’M SAYING! I throw the ball to who?
Abbott:  Naturally.
Costello:  Ask me.
Abbott:  You throw the ball to Who?
Costello:  Naturally.
Abbott:  That’s it.
Costello:  SAME AS YOU!! I throw the ball to first base and who gets it?
Abbott:  Naturally!
Costello:  Who has it?
Abbott:  Naturally!
Costello:  HE BETTER HAVE IT! I throw the ball to first base.  Whoever it is grabs the ball, so the guy runs to second.  Who picks up the ball and throws it to What, What throws it to I Don’t Know, I Don’t Know throws it back to Tomorrow —- Triple play!
Abbott:  Yes.
Costello:  Another guy gets up – it’s a long fly ball to Because.  Why? I don’t know.  He’s on third and I don’t give a darn!
Abbott:  What was that?
Costello:  I said I don’t give a darn!
Abbott:  Oh, that’s our shortstop.

(Costello has a caniption-fit.)

Abbott and Costello

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s