Who’s on first?

‘Who’s on First?’ with a topical twist
The classic ‘Who’s on First’ sketch by Abbott and Costello.

Abbott and Costello: [snipped for brevity]

Lou Costello: I love baseball.

Bud Abbott: We all love baseball.

Lou Costello: When we get to St. Louis, will you tell me the guys’ names on the team? So when I go to see them in that singles ballpark, I’ll be able to know those fellas.

Abbott and Costello: [snipped for brevity]

Bud Abbott: But you know, as strange as it may seem, they give ball players nowadays very peculiar names.

Lou Costello: Funny names?

Bud Abbott: Nicknames, pet names.

Lou Costello: Not as funny as my name: Sebastian Dinwiddie.

Bud Abbott: Oh, yes, yes, yes.

Lou Costello: Funnier than that?

Bud Abbott: Oh, absolutely, yes. Now, on the St. Louis team we have: Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know’s on third.

Lou Costello: That’s what I want to find out. I want you to tell me the names of the fellows on the singles team.

Bud Abbott: I’m telling you: Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third.

Lou Costello: You know the fellows’ names?

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: Well, then who’s playing first?

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: I mean, the fellow’s name on first base?

Bud Abbott: Who.

Lou Costello: The fellow playing first base for St. Louis.

Bud Abbott: Who.

Lou Costello: The guy on first base.

Bud Abbott: Who is on first.

Lou Costello: Well, what are you asking me for?

Bud Abbott: I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. Who is on first.

Lou Costello: I’m asking you who’s on first.

Bud Abbott: That’s the man’s name.

Lou Costello: That’s who’s name.

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: Well, go ahead and tell me.

Bud Abbott: Who.

Lou Costello: The guy on first.

Bud Abbott: Who.

Lou Costello: The first baseman.

Bud Abbott: Who is on first.

Lou Costello: Have you got a first baseman on first?

Bud Abbott: Certainly.

Lou Costello: Then who’s playing first?

Bud Abbott: Absolutely.

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

Bud Abbott: Every dollar of it. And why not? The man’s entitled to it.

Lou Costello: Who is.

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: So who gets it?

Bud Abbott: Why shouldn’t he? Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.

Lou Costello: Whose wife?

Bud Abbott: Yes. After all, the man earns it.

Lou Costello: Who does?

Bud Abbott: Absolutely.

Lou Costello: Well, all I’m trying to find out is what’s the guy’s name on first base?

Bud Abbott: Oh, no, no. What is on second base.

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

Bud Abbott: Who’s on first.

Lou Costello: That’s what I’m trying to find out.

Bud Abbott: Well, don’t change the players around.

Lou Costello: I’m not changing nobody.

Bud Abbott: Take it easy.

Lou Costello: What’s the guy’s name on first base?

Bud Abbott: What’s the guy’s name on second base.

Lou Costello: I am not asking you who’s on second.

Bud Abbott: Who’s on first.

Lou Costello: I don’t know.

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

Lou Costello: How did I get on third base?

Bud Abbott: You mentioned his name.

Lou Costello: If I mentioned a third baseman’s name, who did I say is playing
third?

Bud Abbott: No, Who’s playing first.

Lou Costello: Stay off of first will you?

Bud Abbott: Well, what do you want me to do?

Lou Costello: Now, what’s the guy’s name on third base?

Bud Abbott: No, What’s on second.

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

Bud Abbott: Who’s on first.

Lou Costello: I don’t know.

Bud Abbott: He’s on third.

Lou Costello: There I go back on third again.

Bud Abbott: Well, I can’t change their names.

Lou Costello: Will you please stay on third base, Mr Broadhurst?

Bud Abbott: Now, what is it you want to know?

Lou Costello: What is the fellow’s name on third base?

Bud Abbott: What is the fellow’s name on second base.

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

Bud Abbott: Who’s on first.

Lou Costello: I don’t know.

Abbott and Costello: Third base.

Lou Costello: You got an outfield?

Bud Abbott: Oh, sure.

Lou Costello: St. Louis has got a good outfield?

Bud Abbott: Absolutely.

Lou Costello: The left fielder’s name?

Bud Abbott: Why.

Lou Costello: I don’t know, I just thought I’d ask you.

Bud Abbott: Well, I just thought I’d tell you.

Lou Costello: Then tell me who’s playing left field.

Bud Abbott: Who is playing first.

Lou Costello: Stay out of the infield!

Bud Abbott: Don’t mention their names out here.

Lou Costello: I want to know what’s the fellow’s name on left field.

Bud Abbott: What is on second.

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

Bud Abbott: Who is on first.

Lou Costello: I don’t know.

Abbott and Costello: Third base.

Bud Abbott: Alright, take it easy, take it easy, man.

Lou Costello: And the left fielder’s name?

Bud Abbott: Why.

Lou Costello: Because.

Bud Abbott: Oh, he’s center field. Will you pick up your hat, please? Pick up your
hat and stop this.

Lou Costello: Mr Broadhurst, you got a pitcher on the team?

Bud Abbott: Wouldn’t this be a fine team without a pitcher?

Lou Costello: I don’t know. Tell me the pitcher’s name.

Bud Abbott: Tomorrow.

Lou Costello: You don’t want to tell me today?

Bud Abbott: I’m telling you, man.

Lou Costello: Then go ahead.

Bud Abbott: Tomorrow.

Lou Costello: What time?

Bud Abbott: What time what?

Lou Costello: What time tomorrow are you going to tell me who’s pitching?

Bud Abbott: Now listen, Who is not pitching. Who is on…

Lou Costello: I’ll break your arm if you say who’s on first.

Bud Abbott: Alright, come up here and ask.

Lou Costello: I want to know what’s the pitcher’s name?

Bud Abbott: What’s on second.

Lou Costello: I don’t know.

Abbott and Costello: Third base!

Lou Costello: You’ve got a catcher?

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: The catcher’s name?

Bud Abbott: Today.

Lou Costello: Today. And Tomorrow’s pitching.

Bud Abbott: Now you’ve got it.

Lou Costello: That’s all… Singles has got a couple of days on their team.

Bud Abbott: I can’t help that. All right. What do you want me to do?

Lou Costello: Got a catcher?

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: I’m a good catcher too, you know.

Bud Abbott: I know that.

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

Bud Abbott: Well, I might arrange that.

Lou Costello: I would like to catch. Now, I’m being a good catcher. Tomorrow’s pitching on the team and I’m catching.

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: Tomorrow throws the ball and the guy up bunts the ball.

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: Now, when he bunts the ball, me being a good catcher, I want to throw the guy out at first base. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?

Bud Abbott: Now, that’s the first thing you’ve said right.

Lou Costello: I don’t even know what I’m talking about.

Bud Abbott: Well, that’s all you have to do!

Lou Costello: Is to throw it to first base?

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: Now who’s got it?

Bud Abbott: Naturally.

Lou Costello: Who has it?

Bud Abbott: Naturally.

Lou Costello: Naturally?

Bud Abbott: Naturally.

Lou Costello: OK.

Bud Abbott: Now you’ve got it.

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

Bud Abbott: No, you don’t. You throw the ball to first base.

Lou Costello: Then who gets it?

Bud Abbott: Naturally.

Lou Costello: OK.

Bud Abbott: All right.

Lou Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally.

Bud Abbott: You don’t, you throw it to Who.

Lou Costello: Naturally.

Bud Abbott: Well, that’s it. Say it that way.

Lou Costello: That’s what I said.

Bud Abbott: You did not.

Lou Costello: I said I throw the ball to Naturally.

Bud Abbott: You don’t, you throw it to Who.

Lou Costello: Naturally.

Bud Abbott: Yes.

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

Bud Abbott: No, you throw the ball to first base.

Lou Costello: Then who gets it?

Bud Abbott: Naturally.

Lou Costello: That’s what I’m saying.

Bud Abbott: You’re not saying that.

Lou Costello: Excuse me, folks.

Bud Abbott: All right. I’m sorry.

Lou Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally.

Bud Abbott: You throw it to Who.

Lou Costello: Naturally.

Bud Abbott: That’s it, well, say it that way.

Lou Costello: That’s what I’m saying!

Bud Abbott: Don’t get excited now.

Lou Costello: I throw the ball to first base.

Bud Abbott: Then who gets it?

Lou Costello: He better get it.

Bud Abbott: Alright, now don’t get excited, take it easy.

Lou Costello: Now, I throw the ball to first base. Whoever it is drops the ball so 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. A triple play.

Bud Abbott: Yeah, it could be.

Lou Costello: Another guy gets up and it’s a long fly ball to because. Why? I don’t know. He’s on third and I don’t care.

Bud Abbott: What was that?

Lou Costello: I said I don’t care.

Bud Abbott: Oh, that’s our shortstop.

The transcript above was made with the help of Sonix, which did most of the donkey work for a tiny fee (I did have to spend some time tidying it up). Note that I do not have the copyright owner’s permission to publish this transcript here. I’ve investigated the copyright rules regarding transcriptions (more about that here), and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s no defence to make a disclaimer like “these aren’t my words, no copyright infringement intended.” However, I offer the transcription here as a service to society (especially the deaf community). I do hope the copyright owner won’t object. And I hope that you find this video as interesting as I did.

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in ... wait, what?, GCD: Global climate disruption, Just for laughs and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Who’s on first?

  1. Martin Lack says:

    I haven’t seen this – one of the funniest things I can remember from my childhood – for a very long time… It was clearly the inspiration for stuff like Monty Python’s “Is this the right room for an argument?” sketch. What is really amazing is that Abbott and Costello – who had surely done this sketch many times(?) – were able to do this without cracking-up and make it seem like it was entirely improvised…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jpgreenword says:

    Although I’ve heard people mention this act before, that was the first time I’d ever actually seen it. Thanks!
    As for the scientist-skeptic analogy, I wonder if a skeptic would be so open as to allow the conversation to last that long : )

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      I thought that’s what made the analogy work, myself. The ‘skeptic’, lost to his conviction of his own understanding of the way things are, is unable to acknowledge that perhaps, just perhaps, the scientist’s responses are actually meaningful.

      Like

      • jpgreenword says:

        Interesting distinction. Have you found skeptics able to be swayed by science based arguments?
        Either way, it was a funny analogy : )

        Liked by 1 person

        • pendantry says:

          Ah – my mistake; my labels were misleading. Replace ‘skeptic’ with ‘denier’. A true skeptic would indeed be open to argument; but climate change ‘skeptics’ are a horse of an entirely different colour.

          Like

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s