Famous for their movie careers, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello began their steep ascent into comedy stardom through radio. Abbott was the vivacious straight man to Costello. Abbott made famous their routine "Who's on First" and coined the still popular catchphrase, "I'm a baaaad boy!" Bud and Lou got their start in the usual way - dumb luck. Actually, when they were barely out of their teens, Bud was working in the box office of a local vaudeville where Lou Costello was on the bill. After meeting, Bud told Lou that what he really needed a straight man, and that he, Bud, was available. Lou said "Oh, yeah?" "Oh, yeah, and I'll prove it!" They continued on the circuit together. The rest is show-biz history. During the later part of the 1930's, the boys had perfected their trademarked rapid-fire on-stage personalities, doing the types of routines they would use for the rest of their lives.
They got their first radio show break as a summer substitute for Fred Allen in 1940. With Camel Cigarettes sponsorship, they got their own radio show in 1942 and kept the audiences rolling in the aisles and glued to their radios for the rest of the decade. This continued into the 1950's, when they moved to TV.
The Abbott and Costello Show featured their comedy in a variety-show-with-guests format. Character actors such as Mel Blanc (Jack Benny Show, The Mel Blanc Show), Sid Fields (who worked with them on their TV show), and vocalists Connie Haines and Marilyn Maxwell were regulars. Abbott & Costello publicity shotThe Orchestra was under the baton of the swing-associated leaders Skinnay Ennis and then Will Osborne. It was a raucous show, as well it should be with these guys. Abbott and Costello were never known for droll or witty humor. The boys stormed Hollywood, doing films along with their radio work, and were a natural for that "idiot box" called TV. Before they were done with radio, however, they did a kiddy show in the late 1940's called The Abbott and Costello Children's Show. It was not quiet or refined either, and the kiddies loved it.
Numbers refer to production or broadcast dates (yymmdd) and series number when known.
This disc includes the following shows (list may include duplicates):