AFRICA SCREAMS (1949) directed by Charles Barton which parodied the safari genre of the day (the title is a play on the title of the 1930 documentary Africa Speaks!) It was filmed from November 10 through December 22, 1948 at the Nassour Studios in L.A.: and was was produced by A & P heir Huntington Hartford. The film was the first one of the independently financed productions that Abbott and Costello made while they were under contract with Universal, and it was released by United Artists. Africa Screams marked the first time that Abbott and Costello worked with Hillary Brooke and Joe Besser; both actors would later become part of the ensemble cast for the duo's television series The Abbott and Costello Show. The film also marked the only time that Shemp Howard and Joe Besser appeared together in a film; Besser would replace Howard as one of the Three Stooges following the latter's death in 1955.
In 1951, they moved to television as rotating hosts of The Colgate Comedy Hour. (Eddie Cantor and Martin and Lewis were among the others.) Each show was a live hour of vaudeville in front of an audience, revitalizing the comedians' performances and giving their old routines a new sparkle.
THE COLGATE COMEDY HOUR
For two seasons from late 1952 to early 1954, a filmed half-hour series, The Abbott and Costello Show, appeared in syndication on local stations across the United States. Loosely based on their radio series, the show cast the duo as unemployed wastrels. One of the show's running gags involved Abbott perpetually nagging Costello to get a job to pay their rent, while Abbott barely lifted a finger in that direction. The show featured Sidney Fields as the landlord of the rooming house in which they lived, and Hillary Brooke as a friendly neighbor who sometimes got involved in the pair's schemes. Other regulars were future Stooge Joe Besser as Stinky, a whiny child in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit played by the clearly adult Besser, Gordon Jones as Mike the cop, who always lost patience with Lou, Joe Kirk (Costello's brother-in-law) as Mr. Bacciagalupe, an Italian immigrant caricature whose role varied with the requirements of the script, and Bobby Barber, who played many "extra" parts
THE ABBOTT AND COSTELLO SHOW
In 1966, Abbott voiced his character in a series of 156 five-minute Abbott and Costello cartoons made by Hanna-Barbera. Lou's character was voiced by Stan Irwin.
ABBOTT & COSTELLO
"Who's On First?"
"Who's on First?" is Abbott and Costello's signature routine. (They, however, usually referred to it as "Baseball.") The sketch was based on other burlesque routines with similar wordplay. Depending upon the version, Abbott has either organized a new baseball team and the players have nicknames, or he points out the proliferation of nicknames in baseball (citing St. Louis Cardinals sibling pitchers Dizzy and Daffy Dean) before launching the routine. The infielders' nicknames are Who (first base), What (second base) and I Don't Know (third base). The longest version is seen in "The Actors' Home," an episode of their filmed TV series, in which "Who's on First?" constitutes the second half of the program. A live performance commemorating the opening day of the Lou Costello, Jr. Youth Foundation was recorded in 1947.
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