The Abbott and Costello Show
Synopsis of TV Show
This early television series brought the legendary vaudeville team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello to the small screen after years of film, radio and stage work. Audiences couldn’t get enough of the talented duo, and the show was another entry in the team’s long line of successes.
This time, Abbott and Costello played a pair of seldom-employed actors living in a boarding house owned by the cranky Mr. Fields. Other tenants included Hillary (Lou’s girlfriend) and Stinky, a malevolent little brat in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit. Although Stinky was a child, he was played by adult Joe Besser, who would later become one of the Three Stooges.
The show’s plotlines usually revolved around the subject of money, as Lou either tried to enact a moneymaking scam or the duo tried to avoid paying bills. These stories were designed to give Abbott and Costello the maximum time to work in the vast array of classic routines that they had been honing for two decades.
Halfway into the series’ run, director Jean Yarbrough tried to bring a greater sense of discipline to the show by emphasizing more consistent storylines and incorporating a new gag writer, Clyde Bruckman, to create some fresh material for the duo. Several of the regular cast members also left around this time, adding to the show’s new streamlined feel. Just the same, classic Abbott and Costello routines like ‘Who’s On First’ were the heart of the show.
The Abbott and Costello Show continued for another season and ended its original syndicated run in 1954. Only 52 episodes were produced, but the show almost immediately became a hot property in rerun form, playing again and again for decades on end. Abbott and Costello would only produce a few more films before Lou Costello’s untimely death in 1959, but The Abbott and Costello Show served as a memorable last hurrah for these pioneers of comedy.
Release History of Prime Time Show1952 - 1954 syndicated
TV Sub Categoriescomedy
Television StudioTelevision Corporation of America
TV CastBud Abbott Himself
Lou Costello Himself
Hillary Brooke Herself (1952-53)
Sid Fields Himself
Mike The Cop Gordon Jones
Mr. Bacciagalupe (1952-53) Joe Kirk
Stinky (1952-53) Joe Besser
Various (1952-53) Joan Shawlee
Various Bobby Barber
Various Milt Bronson