So as Spring Training is heating up in Florida, baseball season is not that far away.
I miss being near a major league team, although the AAA Buffalo Bisons is not bad baseball indeed. Buffalo really got a the bum’s rush when they thought they’d be granted a MLB team and weren’t.
Regardless, someone brought up the famed Abbott and Costello “Who’s On First?” routine. Which is hysterical old time comedy. Their sense of timing is incredible, the mark of a good comic genius.
However, I think the entire show where Who’s on First? originated should be heard in its entirety to really appreciate it even more. The show’s premise is that Costello has been asked to take Joe DiMaggio’s place on the Yankees while he recovers from foot surgery (for heel spurs–the injury is the only true part of the story). The rest of the show is a whirlwind of some of the best radio comedy of all time.
But I think who’s on first takes a back seat to when they go into a sporting good store. I have the show somewhere on cassette and had a lot of this memorized. Here’s just a snip of what I can remember from the scene–where they refer to Cardinals great Enos Slaughter.
Abbott: “Excuse me sir, do you have any bats?”
Salesman: “Certainly, here’s a fine bat! Autographed by Slaughter of the Cardinals. This bat was made for Slaughter!”
Costello: “Ain’t ya got one that was made for baseball?” (BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)
Salesman: “No, no. Slaughter the baseball player.”
Costello: “Slaughter the baseball player?! With that bat you could slaughter ANYONE!”
Salesman: “Young man, everyone knows Slaugher. E-nos Slaughter (emphasis on long e here).”
Costello: “Well, maybe he knows Slaughter but I don’t know him!”
They do a similar bit on Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians. “What Feller is pitching for the Cleveland Indians?” is the key to that one.
But here is the famed original “Who’s on First?” routine for your enjoyment.
And happy spring training: