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  • Who's on first

    i had to post this, the best standup about baseball ever.


    Abbott: Well Costello, I'm going to New York with you. You know Bookie Harris, the Yankee's manager, gave me a job as coach for as long as you're on the team.

    Costello: Look Abbott, if you're the coach, you must know all the players.

    Abbott: I certainly do.

    Costello: Well you know I've never met the guys. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team.

    Abbott: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names.

    Costello: You mean funny names?

    Abbott: Strange names, pet names...like Dizzy Dean...

    Costello: His brother Daffy.

    Abbott: Daffy Dean...

    Costello: And their French cousin.

    Abbott: French?

    Costello: Goofè.

    Abbott: Goofè Dean. Well, let's see, we have on the bags, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third...

    Costello: That's what I want to find out.

    Abbott: I say Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third.

    Costello: Are you the manager?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: You gonna be the coach too?

    Abbott: Yes.

    Costello: And you don't know the fellows' names?

    Abbott: Well I should.

    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...

    Abbott: Who is on first!

    Costello: 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: That's it.

    Costello: That's who?

    Abbott: Yes.

    PAUSE

    Costello: Look, you gotta first baseman?

    Abbott: Certainly.

    Costello: Who's playing first?

    Abbott: That's right.

    Costello: When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?

    Abbott: Every dollar of it.

    Costello: All I'm trying to find out is the fellow's name on first base.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The guy that gets...

    Abbott: That's it.

    Costello: Who gets the money...

    Abbott: He does, every dollar. Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.

    Costello: Whose wife?

    Abbott: Yes.

    PAUSE

    Abbott: What's wrong with that?

    Costello: Look, all I wanna know is when you sign up the first baseman, how does he sign his name?

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: The guy.

    Abbott: Who.

    Costello: How does he sign...

    Abbott: That's how he signs it.

    Costello: Who?

    Abbott: Yes.

    PAUSE

    Costello: All I'm trying to find out is what's the guy's name on first base.

    Abbott: No. What is on second base.

    Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.

    Abbott: Who's on first.

    Costello: One base at a time!

    Abbott: Well, don't change the players around.

    Costello: I'm not changing nobody!

    Abbott: Take it easy, buddy.

    Costello: I'm only asking you, who's the guy on first base?

    Abbott: That's right.

    Costello: Ok.

    Abbott: All right.

    PAUSE

    Costello: What's the guy's name on first base?

    Abbott: No. What is on second.

    Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.

    Abbott: Who's on first.

    Costello: I don't know.

    Abbott: He's on third, we're not talking about him.

    Costello: Now how did I get on third base?

    Abbott: Why 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: What's on first?

    Abbott: What's on second.

    Costello: I don't know.

    Abbott: He's on third.

    Costello: There I go, back on third again!

    PAUSE

    Costello: Would you just stay on third base and don't go off it.

    Abbott: All right, what do you want to know?

    Costello: Now who's playing third base?

    Abbott: Why do you insist on putting Who on third base?

    Costello: What am I putting on third.

    Abbott: No. What is on second.

    Costello: You don't want who on second?

    Abbott: Who is on first.

    Costello: I don't know.

    Abbott & Costello Together:Third base!

    PAUSE

    Costello: Look, you gotta outfield?

    Abbott: Sure.

    Costello: The left fielder's name?

    Abbott: Why.

    Costello: I just thought I'd ask you.

    Abbott: Well, I just thought I'd tell ya.

    Costello: Then tell me who's playing left field.

    Abbott: Who's playing first.

    Costello: I'm not... stay out of the infield! I want to know what's the guy's name in left field?

    Abbott: No, What is on second.

    Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.

    Abbott: Who's on first!

    Costello: I don't know.

    Abbott & Costello Together: Third base!

    PAUSE

    Costello: The left fielder's name?

    Abbott: Why.

    Costello: Because!

    Abbott: Oh, he's centerfield.

    PAUSE

    Costello: Look, You gotta pitcher on this team?

    Abbott: Sure.

    Costello: The pitcher's name?

    Abbott: Tomorrow.

    Costello: You don't want to tell me today?

    Abbott: I'm telling you now.

    Costello: Then go ahead.

    Abbott: Tomorrow!

    Costello: What time?

    Abbott: What time what?

    Costello: What time tomorrow are you gonna tell me who's pitching?

    Abbott: Now listen. Who is not pitching.

    Costello: I'll break your arm, you say who's on first! I want to know what's the pitcher's name?

    Abbott: What's on second.

    Costello: I don't know.

    Abbott & Costello Together: Third base!

    PAUSE

    Costello: Gotta a catcher?

    Abbott: Certainly.

    Costello: The catcher's name?

    Abbott: Today.

    Costello: Today, and tomorrow's pitching.

    Abbott: Now you've got it.

    Costello: All we got is a couple of days on the team.

    PAUSE

    Costello: You know I'm a catcher too.

    Abbott: So they tell me.

    Costello: I get behind the plate to do some fancy catching, Tomorrow's pitching on my team and a heavy hitter gets up. Now the heavy hitter bunts the ball. When he bunts the ball, me, being a good catcher, I'm gonna 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 talking about!

    PAUSE

    Abbott: 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.

    PAUSE

    Costello: Look, if I throw the ball to first base, somebody's gotta get it. Now who has it?

    Abbott: Naturally.

    Costello: Who?

    Abbott: Naturally.

    Costello: Naturally?

    Abbott: Naturally.

    Costello: So I pick up the ball and I throw it to Naturally.

    Abbott: No you don't, you throw the ball to Who.

    Costello: Naturally.

    Abbott: That's different.

    Costello: That's what I said.

    Abbott: You're not saying it...

    Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally.

    Abbott: You throw it to Who.

    Costello: Naturally.

    Abbott: That's it.

    Costello: That's what I said!

    Abbott: You ask me.

    Costello: I throw the ball to who?

    Abbott: Naturally.

    Costello: Now you ask me.

    Abbott: You throw the ball to Who?

    Costello: Naturally.

    Abbott: That's it.

    Costello: Same as you! Same as YOU! I throw the ball to who. Whoever it is drops the ball and 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. Another guy gets up and hits a long fly ball to Because. Why? I don't know! He's on third and I don't give a darn!

    Abbott: What?

    Costello: I said I don't give a darn!

    Abbott: Oh, that's our shortstop.
    The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America is ruled by it like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come. -James Earl Jones as Terence Mann in Field Of Dreams

    Sailors Creed

    11 General Orders of Sentry

  • #2


    I've heard that and read it a thousand times, and man, it never loses a thing! Thanks for posting this, ADunn!
    --Annie
    Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, enemy to none. -Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790)
    Remember Yellowdog
    ABNY

    Comment


    • #3
      Who's on First?
      Dan

      Comment


      • #4
        Here's a transcript of the Kids in the Hall sketch pardoying the famous routine. Kevin and Dave play the not so well renowned team of McGillicuty and Greene:

        Kevin: "Say Mr. Greene, I hear you manage a baseball team."
        Dave: "No. I'm a vaudevillian."
        K: "No, I think you manage a baseball team!"
        D: "Yes of course, yes I do manage a baseball team."
        K: "I understand some of the players have rather strange nicknames, rather
        silly pet names the players have nowadays."
        D: "Yes, it's true. In fact, I have the team roster with me right here.
        For instance, Hu is on first base, Watt is on second, and Iduno is on third
        base."
        K: "Who's on first base?"
        D: "Yes."
        K: "Who?"
        D: "Yes, Hu is the man on first base."
        K: "Why are you asking me; I'm asking you! What's the name of the guy on
        first base?"
        D: "No no, Watt is on - oh, I see what your problem is! Look, you're
        confused by their names, because they all sound like questions."
        K: "I dunno (whispers) third base."
        D: "Well, I'll explain it to you. See, on first base is Hu, Samuel Hu, and
        you're probably not familiar with that name because his grandfather was
        Chinese. And on second base is Hector Watt, W-A-T-T Watt, and that's not so
        unusual because James Watt invented the steam engine. And on third base is
        Phil Iduno, I-D-U-N-O, and if you do say that fast, it does sound like the
        phrase 'Gee, I dunno,' but it's actually Iduno, Phil Iduno."
        K: "That's it. You're hopeless, you're pathetic, you're the worst straight
        man I ever worked with. I quit. I should have never saved you from those
        seals."
        D: "What are you talking about? I auditioned for this job."
        K: "Bastaaaard!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Who's On Force?

          I'm sorry. I simply can't resist. There's a video version of part of this routine and, well, the voices are Abbot & Costello but the faces are... would you believe, Yoda and JarJar? Check it out here for yourselves; it's worth the 8MB download if you've got broadband. And, I think George Lucas will forgive me, as he's promoting all things Star Wars this week.
          Last edited by Ursa Major; 05-10-2005, 10:43 PM.
          sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by The Commissioner

            Kevin: "Say Mr. Greene, I hear you manage a baseball team."
            Dave: "No. I'm a vaudevillian."
            K: "No, I think you manage a baseball team!"
            D: "Yes of course, yes I do manage a baseball team."


            Oh, man.

            When they were bad they really SOTJ, but every now and then ...

            Comment


            • #7
              I always love this one, too; and it's been parodied so many times. Remember the Sporting News column w/the battle Ready and the pitcher Dunne? I think it was 1987. And I've done a few things like this - like a parody of "Waiting for Godot" for school (we had to do a project on one thing in AP English each semester) which became a one-person play titled "Abbott and Costello Wait for DontKnow." (And of course, Pozo becomes Bozo, and other silly stuff ensues.) But, the original is still the best.

              BTW, we never hear a rightfielder's name - I gues Costello's supposed to be playing RF, though, from what I gather.

              Anyone else do any Abbott and Costello type stuff? Even a couple decades later, they're still my favorite comediaans, I think. Actually, I had an actual incident /wa friend in college who walked in just as I was finishing talkign with our mutual friend Humayun, who we called "Hoom..." I'm sure you get the picture.
              Last edited by DTF955; 05-13-2005, 10:23 AM.
              If Baseball Integrated Early - baseball integrated from the beginning - and "Brotherhood and baseball," the U.S. history companion, at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Baseballifsandmore - IBIE updated for 2011.

              "Full House Chronology" at yahoo group fullhousefreaks & fullhouse4life with help of many fans, thanks for the input

              Comment


              • #8
                There was one a long time ago with rock bands, I think the premise was somebody putting a festival together, featuring the Who, Yes, It's a Beautiful Day ... you get the idea ...

                Comment


                • #9
                  You're very close ont the rock festival parody. It was Who, Guess Who, and Yes, and almost as clever as the original. Nout sure which comedy group did it, but it was featured on the 1977 movie Cracking Up. Wish I could find an audio clip.
                  sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh Man!!!11

                    Originally posted by Ursa Major
                    I'm sorry. I simply can't resist. There's a video version of part of this routine and, well, the voices are Abbot & Costello but the faces are... would you believe, Yoda and JarJar? Check it out here for yourselves; it's worth the 8MB download if you've got broadband. And, I think George Lucas will forgive me, as he's promoting all things Star Wars this week.
                    That was absolutely worth the download. OMG - too funny! Just wish it was longer!
                    Maybe this *could* be the year??
                    :gt

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ursa Major
                      Guess Who,


                      That's it!

                      If only one of the players in the A&C routine had been named Guess ...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Computer Salesman

                        Nothing to do with baseball but this is a similar routine based on the "whose on first" sketch.

                        ABBOTT: Ultimate SuperDuper Computer Store. Can I help you?

                        COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up a home office in the den, and I'm thinking
                        of buying a computer.

                        ABBOTT: Mac?

                        COSTELLO: No, the name is Lou.

                        ABBOTT: Your computer?

                        COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.

                        ABBOTT: Mac?

                        COSTELLO: I told you, my name is Lou.

                        ABBOTT: What about Windows?

                        COSTELLO: Why? Does it get stuffy?

                        ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

                        COSTELLO: I don't know. What do I see when I look out the windows?

                        ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

                        COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

                        ABBOTT: Software that runs on Windows?

                        COSTELLO: No, on the computer! I need something I can use to write
                        proposals, track expenses. You know, run a business. What have you got?

                        ABBOTT: Office.

                        COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

                        ABBOTT: I just did.

                        COSTELLO: You just did what?

                        ABBOTT: Recommended something.

                        COSTELLO: You recommended something?

                        ABBOTT: Yes.

                        COSTELLO: For my office?

                        ABBOTT: Yes.

                        COSTELLO: Okay, what did you recommend for my office?

                        ABBOTT: Office.

                        COSTELLO: Yes, for my office.

                        ABBOTT: Office for Windows.

                        COSTELLO: I already have an office and it already has windows! Let's say I'm
                        sitting at my computer, and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?

                        ABBOTT: Word.

                        COSTELLO: If I'm writing a proposal, I'm going to need lots of words. But
                        what program do I load?

                        ABBOTT: Word.

                        COSTELLO: What word?

                        ABBOTT: The Word in Office.

                        COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

                        ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

                        COSTELLO: Which word in "office for windows?"

                        ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue W.

                        COSTELLO: I'm going to click your big W if you don't give me a straight
                        answer. Let's forget about words for a minute. What do I need if I want to
                        watch a movie over the Internet?

                        ABBOTT: RealOne.

                        COSTELLO: Maybe a real movie, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your
                        business. But what do I need to watch it?

                        ABBOTT: RealOne.

                        COSTELLO: If it's a long movie I'll also want to watch reels two, three and
                        four. Can I watch reel four?

                        ABBOTT: Of course.

                        COSTELLO: Great! With what?

                        ABBOTT: RealOne.

                        COSTELLO: Okay, so I'm sitting at my computer and I want to watch a movie.
                        What do I do?

                        ABBOTT: You click the blue 1.

                        COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?

                        ABBOTT: The blue 1.

                        COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue W?

                        ABBOTT: Of course it is. The blue 1 is RealOne. The blue W is Word.

                        COSTELLO: What word?

                        ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

                        COSTELLO: But there's three words in "office for windows!"

                        ABBOTT: No, just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world.

                        COSTELLO: It is?

                        ABBOTT: Yes, although to be fair there aren't many other Words left. It
                        pretty much wiped out all the other Words.

                        COSTELLO: And that word is the real one?

                        ABBOTT: No. RealOne has nothing to do with Word. RealOne isn't even part of
                        Office.

                        COSTELLO: Never mind; I don't want to get started with that again. But I
                        also need something for bank accounts, loans, and so on. What do you have to
                        help me track my money?

                        ABBOTT: Money.

                        COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

                        ABBOTT: Money.

                        COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

                        ABBOTT: No, not really. It comes bundled with your computer.

                        COSTELLO: What comes bundled with my computer?

                        ABBOTT: Money.

                        COSTELLO: Money comes bundled with my computer?

                        ABBOTT: Exactly. No extra charge.

                        COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer at no extra charge? How
                        much money do I get?

                        ABBOTT: Just one copy.

                        COSTELLO: I get a copy of money. Isn't that illegal?> ABBOTT: No. We have a
                        license from Microsoft to make copies of Money.

                        COSTELLO: Microsoft can license you to make money?

                        ABBOTT: Why not? They own it.

                        COSTELLO: Well, it's great that I'm going to get free money, but I'll still
                        need to track it. Do you have anything for managing your money?

                        ABBOTT: Managing Your Money? That program disappeared years ago.

                        COSTELLO: Well, what do you sell in its place?

                        ABBOTT: Money.

                        COSTELLO: You sell money?

                        ABBOTT: Of course. But if you buy a computer from us, you get it for free.

                        COSTELLO: That's all very wonderful, but I'll be running a business. Do you
                        have any software for, you know, accounting?

                        ABBOTT: Simply Accounting.

                        COSTELLO: Probably, but it might get a little complicated.

                        ABBOTT: If you don't want Simply Accounting, you might try M.Y.O.B.

                        COSTELLO: M.Y.O.B.? What does that stand for?

                        ABBOTT: Mind Your Own Business.

                        COSTELLO: I beg your pardon?

                        ABBOTT: No, that would be I.B.Y.P. I said M.Y.O.B.

                        COSTELLO: Look, I just need to do some accounting for my home business. You
                        know--accounting? You do it with money.

                        ABBOTT: Of course you can do accounting with Money. But you may need more.

                        COSTELLO: More money?

                        ABBOTT: More than Money. Money can't do everything.

                        COSTELLO: I don't need a sermon! Okay, let's forget about money for the
                        moment. I'm worried that my computer might...what's the word? Crash. And if
                        my computer crashes, what can I use to restore my data?

                        ABBOTT: GoBack.

                        COSTELLO: Okay. I'm worried about my computer smashing and I need something
                        to restore my data. What do you recommend?

                        ABBOTT: GoBack.

                        COSTELLO: How many times do I have to repeat myself?

                        ABBOTT: I've never asked you to repeat yourself. All I said was GoBack.

                        COSTELLO: How can I go back if I haven't even been anywhere? Okay, I'll go
                        back. What do I need to write a proposal?

                        ABBOTT: Word.

                        COSTELLO: But I'll need lots of words to write a proposal.

                        ABBOTT: No, you only need one Word-the Word in Office for Windows.

                        COSTELLO: But there's three words in...Oh, never mind.

                        ABBOTT: Hello? Hello? Customers! Why do they always hang up on me? Oh, well.
                        Ultimate SuperDuper Computer Store. Can I help you?
                        "I know One Thing, That I Know Nothing" - - - Socrates

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just as sort of a fun fact, my mother-in-law happened to be good friends with Lou Costello's daughter, and she had the rare priviledge of seeing Lou and Bud perform "Who's on First" live at a small party more than once. She says it was easily the funniest thing she's ever seen performed and it was all the better because it was live.

                          Imagine being there for that!!

                          KH14
                          “Well, I like to say I’m completely focused, right? I mean, the game’s on the line. It’s not like I’m thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer — it tastes friggin’ awesome!"--Brian Wilson

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That would have been awesome. Here is a little taste of what that might have been like:

                            Video of: Abbot & Costello - "Who's on First?"
                            Last edited by Richmond Hill Phoenix; 09-17-2006, 02:38 PM.
                            WAMCO!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here is a version that is dubbed over clips from the Mac vs. PC adds. Pretty good as well.

                              YouTube Mac vs/ PC Who's on First?
                              WAMCO!

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