Who's On First (Sketch by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello)

I saw the movie version again recently (done a slight bit differently than the text below but they must do it a little differently ever time they do it!) and it struck me that, from the perspective of both Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, they are both accurate and logical in what they are saying. Neither is illogical and yet the situation is totally out of control.

This seems true for a variety of human communications and must be true for the discussions between boss and employee -- both are saying things that are correct and yet both can be a bit frustrated that the other person, "Just doesn't get it!"

I put in bold the first exchange like this -- fabulous!

Anyway, this is a Hoot! And worth the time to read. Enjoy.


LOU: Hey Abbott.

BUD: What do want Costello?

LOU: Look Abbott. I understand that you're going to be the manager of the Lou Costello Junior Youth Foundation baseball team.

BUD: Yes. We just organized the thing.

LOU: Oh you did?

BUD: Sure!

LOU: Well I'd like to play on the team myself, you know, I know something about baseball.

BUD: Well that can be accomplished.

LOU: Well I'd like to know some of the guys names on the team, so that when I meet them on the street or in the ballpark, I'll be able to say hello to them.

BUD: Well surely I'll introduce you to the boys. But, you know strange as it may seem, they give these ballplayers, nowadays, very peculiar names.

LOU: You mean funny names?

BUD: Nicknames. Petnames. Like Dizzy Dean.....

LOU: Brother Daffy....

BUD: Daffy Dean......

LOU: I'm their french cousin,.....

BUD: French cousin?

LOU: Goofe'.

BUD: (singing) Take me out to the Ball game, Take me out to the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and...

LOU: I love baseball. When we get to St. Louis, will you tell me the guys' name on the team so when I go to see them in that ball park I'll be able to know those fellows?

BUD: All right. but you know, strange as it may seems, they give ball players nowadays very peculiar names, nick names, like "Dizzy Dean."

LOU: Not as peculiar as mine.... Sebastian Dimwitty

BUD: Oh Yes.

LOU: They got names funnier than mine? WOOOOOOOoooo (siren yell)

BUD: Oh Absolutely.

BUD: Now on the St. Louis team we have Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third --

LOU: That's what I want to find out. I want you to tell me the names of the fellows on the St. Louis team.

BUD: I'm telling you. Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third --

LOU: You know the fellows' names?

BUD: Yes.

LOU: Well, then who's playin' first.

BUD: Yes

LOU: I mean the fellow's name on first base.

BUD: Who.

LOU: The fellow playin' first base for St. Louis.

BUD: Who.

LOU: The guy on first base.

BUD: Who is on first.

LOU: Well, what are you askin' me for?

BUD: I'm not asking you -- I'm telling you. WHO IS ON FIRST.

LOU: I'm asking you -- who's on first?

BUD: That's the man's name!

LOU: That's who's name?

BUD: Yes.

LOU: Well, go ahead and tell me.

BUD: Who.

LOU: The guy on first.

BUD: Who.

LOU: The first baseman.

BUD: Who is on first.

LOU: Have you got a first baseman on first?

BUD: Certainly.

LOU: Then who's playing first?

BUD: Absolutely.

LOU: (pause) When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?

BUD: Every dollar of it. And why not, the man's entitled to it.

LOU: Who is?

BUD: Yes.

LOU: So who gets it?

BUD: Why shouldn't he? Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.

LOU: Who's wife?

BUD: Yes. After all the man earns it.

LOU: Who does?

BUD: Absolutely.

LOU: Well all I'm trying to find out is what's the guys name on first base.

BUD: Oh, no, no, What is on second base.

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

BUD: Who's on first.

LOU: That's what I'm trying to find out.

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

LOU: I'm not changing nobody.

BUD: Now, take it easy.

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

BUD: What's the guy's name on second base.

LOU: I'm not askin' ya who's on second.

BUD: Who's on first.

LOU: I don't know.

BUD: He's on third. We're not talking about him.

LOU: How could I get on third base?

BUD: You mentioned his name.

LOU: If I mentioned the third baseman's name, who did I say is playing third?

BUD: No, Who's playing first.

LOU: Stay offa first, will ya?

BUD: Well what do you want me to do?

LOU: Now what's the guy's name on first base?

BUD: What's on second.

LOU: I'm not asking ya who's on second.

BUD: Who's on first.

LOU: I don't know.

BUD: He's on third.

LOU: There I go back on third again.

BUD: Well, I can't change their names.

LOU: Say, will you please stay on third base.

BUD: Please. Now what is it you want to know.

LOU: What is the fellow's name on third base.

BUD: What is the fellow's name on second base.

LOU: I'm not askin' ya who's on second.

BUD: Who's on first.

LOU: I don't know.

BUD: THIRD BASE!

LOU: You got an outfield?

BUD: Oh, sure.

LOU: St. Louis has got a good outfield?

BUD: Oh, absolutely.

LOU: The left fielder's name?

BUD: Why.

LOU: I don't know, I just thought I'd ask.

BUD: Well, I just thought I'd tell you.

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

BUD: Who's playing first.

LOU: Stay out of the infield!

BUD: Don't mention any names out here.

LOU: I want to know what's the fellow's name on left field?

BUD: What is on second.

LOU: I'm not askin' ya who's on second.

BUD: Who is on first.

LOU: I don't know.

BUD & LOU: (together and calmly) Third base.

LOU: And the left fielder's name?

BUD: Why.

LOU: Because.

BUD: Oh he's Center Field.

LOU: (whimpers) Center field.

BUD: Yes.

LOU: Wait a minute. You got a pitcher on this team.

BUD: Wouldn't this be a fine team without a pitcher.

LOU: I don't know. Tell me the pitcher's name.

BUD: Tomorrow.

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

BUD: I'm telling you, man.

LOU: Then go ahead.

BUD: Tomorrow.

LOU: What time?

BUD: What time what?

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

BUD: Now listen, Who is not pitching. Who is on --

LOU: I'LL BREAK YOU ARM IF YOU SAY "WHO'S ON FIRST!"

BUD: Then why come up here and ask?

LOU: I want to know what's the pitcher's name.

BUD: What's on second.

LOU: I don't know.

BUD & LOU: (together) THIRD BASE!!

LOU: You gotta Catcher?

BUD: Yes.

LOU: The Catcher's name?

BUD: Today.

LOU: Today. And Tomorrow's pitching.

BUD: Now you've got it.

LOU: That's all. St. Louis has a couple of days on their team.

BUD: Well I can't help that.

LOU: You know I'm a good catcher too.

BUD: I know that.

LOU: I would like to play for the St. Louis team.

BUD: Well I might arrange that.

LOU: I would like to catch. Now I'm being a good Catcher, tomorrow's pitching on the team, and I'm catching.

BUD: Yes.

LOU: Tomorrow throws the ball and the guy up bunts the ball.

BUD: Yes.

LOU: Now when he bunts the ball -- me being a good catcher -- I want to throw the guy out a first base, so I pick up the ball and throw it to who?

BUD: Now that's the first thing you've said right.

LOU: I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!!!

BUD: Well, that's all you have to do.

LOU: is to throw it to first base.

BUD: Yes.

LOU: Now who's got it?

BUD: Naturally.

LOU: Who has it?

BUD: Naturally.

LOU: Naturally.

BUD: Naturally.

LOU: O.K.

BUD: Now you've got it.

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

BUD: No you don't you throw the ball to first base.

LOU: Then who gets it?

BUD: Naturally.

LOU: O.K.

BUD: All right.

LOU: I throw the ball to Naturally.

BUD: You don't you throw it to Who.

LOU: Naturally.

BUD: Well, naturally. Say it that way.

LOU: That's what I said.

BUD: You did not.

LOU: I said I'd throw the ball to Naturally.

BUD: You don't. You throw it to Who.

LOU: Naturally.

BUD: Yes.

LOU: So I throw the ball to first base and Naturally gets it.

BUD: No. You throw the ball to first base--

LOU: Then who gets it?

BUD: Naturally.

LOU: That's what I'm saying.

BUD: You're not saying that.

LOU: I throw the ball to Naturally.

BUD: You throw it to Who!

LOU: Naturally.

BUD: Naturally. Well say it that way.

LOU: THAT'S WHAT I'M SAYING!

BUD: Now don't get excited.

LOU: Who's gettin' excited!! I throw the ball to first base--

BUD: Then Who gets it.

LOU: (annoyed) HE BETTER GET IT!

BUD: That's it. All right now. Take it easy.

LOU: Hrmmph.

BUD: Hrmmph.

LOU: Now I throw the ball to first base, whoever it is grabs the ball, so the guy runs to second.

BUD: Uh-huh.

LOU: 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 -- a triple play.

BUD: Yeah. It could be.

LOU: Another guy gets up and it's a long fly ball to center. Why? I don't know, he's on third, and I don't give a damn.

BUD: What did you say.

LOU: I said "I don't give a damn."

BUD: Oh, that's our shortstop!


back to Quotes, Jokes and Other Funnies

back to Articles and Whole Bunch of Other Stuff

home