Classic Cornucopia of Confusion

Abbott & Costello

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Classic Cornucopia of Confusion Review

by Bruce Eder

This 76-minute CD of Abbott & Costello routines is drawn from the duo's radio and television broadcasts. The version of "Who's on First" that's here is a slightly edited version of the performance they gave on The Abbott And Costello Television Show (the episode called "Retired Actors Home") -- it's still the best cut here, in terms of editing and timing, despite its being the oldest recording here. "Flee-Flu" is a radio bit that's not as funny, though it has some clever topical moments and does reveal the source for a gag involving romantic pet names that was used in one episode of Seinfeld; the character of "Hercules" is portrayed by an actor who is very likely Phil Kramer, and there's a guest appearance by Peter Lorre. Other performers include Milt Bronson and Sidney Fields, regular members of the duo's entourage from films and radio -- the flubbed lines are very funny in and of themselves -- and one will recognize comic bits that they recycled many times in their movies, including "Horse's Fodder," "Up and Down," and "Moby Dick," though "Who's on First" is easily the most famous bit here. The sound quality is very good, and the annotation is reasonably thorough.

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