Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Saturtainment: The Abbott & Costello Show (1952)

A while back, we took a look at the animated adventures of Abbott & Costello. Now, we turn our attention to the real thing, as their live-action sitcom did, in fact, spend some time on Saturday mornings, albeit in repeats, on CBS in 1953, while the 2nd season aired in syndication.

My first exposure to this series was when WPIX in NYC aired the show on Sundays ahead of the team's feature films, which held a regular slot at lunch time (11:30-1) for years. Abbott & Costello, in fact, would be replaced periodically by F-Troop reruns once the two seasons of episodes cycled through.

The basic concept was that there weren't always storylines. The series served as an outlet for Bud Abbott & Lou Costello's famous routines, such as "Who's On First?", which were inerwoven into the fabric of the show. The episode presented here, "Killer's Wife", features boxer Max Baer as the "Killer" in the title. Of course, you know that Max's son, Max, Jr., became better known as an actor (Beverly Hillbillies) in the 60's and 70's. You can just imagine the torture Baer intends to put Bud & Lou through.........

Joe Besser, formerly with The Three Stooges, was a series regular during the first season, but he was like a round peg that didn't fit in a square, if you get my drift. He was more of a distraction than an asset to the series.

Rating: B+.

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