This week we celebrate the feast of Saint Bud. Born Louis Francis Cristillo, he grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, a tough town where he was a well known basketball player and an amateur boxer before becoming turning to show biz.
He got a few jobs in Hollywood as a stunt double and an extra, but his career didn't take off and trying to get back home, he ran out of money. Stuck in the midwest, he became a burlesque comic, adopting the stage name Costello after a popular actress of the times. It was working the circuit that he met straightman Bud Abbott and they worked together on and off until 1936 when they became an official team.
Their big break came in 1938 when they played the Kate Smith Hour, a major radio program where they performed possibly the best known skit in the history of comedy, "Who's on First." It cemented their place in comedy history and they went on to become two of the biggest names in radio and film.
Sunday mornings growing up always meant Abbott and Costello movies on the tv, something that cable has sadly displaced.
Happy Birthday, Lou Costello.
Live, love, and laugh,
Saturday, March 07, 2009