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Abbott and Costello made their national TV debut on January 7, 1951 hosting a big-budget variety show called the Colgate Comedy Hour.
The series, which was broadcast live, premiered in 1950 and had a roster of rotating hosts, including Eddie Cantor, Bob Hope, Martin and Lewis, Donald O'Connor, Jimmy Durante, and Fred Allen. When Allen left the show after only a couple of turns, he was replaced by Bud and Lou. The team made 19 more appearances on the program through 1955.
Virtually every classic Abbott and Costello routine was performed as it was meant to be--in front of a live audience. It's an eye-opener to anyone who has only seen the boys in movies or their filmed TV series, The Abbott and Costello Show. Bud and Lou ad-lib, break up, and occasionally flub their lines. It's the closest you'll ever get to seeing the team in its natural element--burlesque.
The DVD sets on this page contain many of the same Colgate episodes. For an even more candid and unscripted glimpse of Abbott and Costello on live TV, check out This Is Your Life, Lou Costello.
The Best of the Abbott & Costello Comedy Hour, Volumes 1 & 2
Eight Colgate shows on two DVD discs. Guests include Louis Armstrong, Victor Borge, Rhonda Fleming, Errol Flynn, Allan Jones, Charles Laughton, Peggy Lee, George Raft, Jane Russell and more. Closed-captioned, NTSC, English, Region 1. Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Good Times Video. Run Time: 496 minutes.
Abbott and Costello
3-disc DVD box set includes 14 hours of material, including 12 Colgate shows. Black and white, NTSC English Region 1. Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1. Run Time: 832 minutes.
TV Rarities Lost and Found
While they never met him on the big screen, Abbott and Costello met the Creature from the Black Lagoon on the Colgate Comedy Hour in 1953. In a 14-minute skit, Bud and Lou visit the Universal prop department where they encounter the Creature (played by Ben Chapman), Frankenstein's Monster (played by Glenn Strange), and the Invisible Man. This DVD anthology also includes the pilot for director Ed Wood's proposed western series "Crossroad Avenger," starring Tom Keene; "Strange Experiences," a "One Step Beyond"-style anthology; Steve Holland starring as "Flash Gordon"; and "The Fifth Glacial Era" episode of "The Lost Spaceship" Italian TV series. 120 min. total. B&W/Color.
Abbott and Costello Meet the Creature in 3D
Includes both the original 14-minute skit from a black and white kinescope and a new, simulated 3-D version. Requires anaglyph (red/blue) 3D glasses.
Abbott & Costello - Christmas Show
The team's only Christmastime appearance on the Colgate Comedy Hour. Colorized.
Abbott & Costello 4-Pack
Movie trailers, bloopers, and scenes from their starring feature films, from their first, (Buck Privates), to their last (Dance With Me, Henry). Approx. 92 minutes. Live 1954 episode of The Colgate Comedy Hour, with Jane Russell, Rhonda Fleming, Connie Haines and Beryl Davis. Approx. 60 minutes. Black and White. Jack and the Beanstalk. The immortal fable gets a zany new twist when Costello nods off while reading the story. Approx. 82 minutes; Color and Sepia Tone. Africa Screams. They boys hunt diamonds in this film from director Charles Barton, whose nine pictures with Bud and Lou include the classic horror spoof Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Approx. 79 minutes Black and white.
This Is Your Life, Lou Costello
This three-disc boxed set contains 18 episodes of Ralph Edwards' classic biography series, spanning the years 1953 (Roy Rogers) to 1987 (Betty White). The diverse gallery of 20th-century icons includes show business legends (Milton Berle, Lou Costello, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Dick Clark), World War II heroes (Rear Admiral Samuel G. Fuqua), Olympic champions (Jesse Owens), and music greats (Johnny Cash, Bobby Darin, Richard and Karen Carpenter). Includes a 30-page booklet, rare behind the scenes photos, and more. 480 mins. Region 1 DVD. Closed captioned.