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Abbott & Costello Quarterly Who's On First?


"Who's On First?" is descended from turn-of-the-century burlesque sketches like "The Baker Scene"
(the shop is located on Watt Street) and "Who Dyed" (the owner is named Who).
By the early 1930s, a "Baseball Routine" had become a standard bit for burlesque comics across the country.
After Abbott and Costello teamed up, they adopted the routine and kept adding to it until it became
the team's signature skit. (They even copyrighted it.) Below is a transcript of what is considered
their finest rendition of the routine, from their 1945 film The Naughty Nineties.
In 1956, "Who's On First?" was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
In 1999 Time magazine voted it the Best Comedy Sketch of the 20th Century.
An early radio recording was placed in the Library of Congress' National Recording Archives in 2003.


LOU:	I love baseball. 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 St. Louis ballpark I'll be able to know those fellows?

BUD:	All right. But you know, strange as it may seem, they give ball players nowadays
	very peculiar names.

LOU:	Funny names?

BUD:	Nicknames, pet names. Now, on the St. Louis team we have Who's on first, 
	What's on second, I Don't Know is on third---

LOU:	That's what I want to find out; I want you to tell me the names of the fellows
	on the St. Louis team. 

BUD:	I'm telling you: Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third. 

LOU:	You know the fellows' names? 

BUD:	Yes. 

LOU:	Well, then, who's playin' first? 

BUD:	Yes. 

LOU:	I mean the fellow's name on first base. 

BUD:	Who. 

LOU:	The fellow playin' first base for St. Louis. 

BUD:	Who. 

LOU:	The guy on first base. 

BUD:	Who is on first. 

LOU:	Well what are you askin' me for? 

BUD:	I'm not asking you---I'm telling you: Who is on first. 

LOU:	I'm asking you---who's on first? 

BUD:	That's the man's name! 

LOU:	That's who's name? 

BUD:	Yes. 

LOU:	Well go ahead and tell me. 

BUD:	Who. 

LOU:	The guy on first. 

BUD:	Who. 

LOU:	The first baseman! 

BUD:	Who is on first!

LOU:	Have you got a first baseman on first? 

BUD:	Certainly!

LOU:	Then who's playing first? 

BUD:	Absolutely!

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

BUD:	Every dollar of it! And why not, the man's entitled to it. 

LOU:	Who is? 

BUD:	Yes. 

LOU:	So who gets it? 

BUD:	Why shouldn't he? Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it. 

LOU:	Who's wife? 

BUD:	Yes. After all, the man earns it. 

LOU:	Who does? 

BUD:	Absolutely. 

LOU:	All I'm trying to find out is what's the guys name on first base.

BUD:	Oh, no, no, What is on second base. 

LOU:	I'm not asking you who's on second. 

BUD:	Who's on first. 

LOU:	That's what I'm trying to find out!

BUD:	Well, don't change the players around. 

LOU:	I'm not changing nobody!

BUD:	Now, take it easy. 

LOU:	What's the guy's name on first base? 

BUD:	What's the guy's name on second base. 

LOU:	I'm not askin' ya who's on second. 

BUD:	Who's on first. 

LOU:	I don't know. 

BUD:	He's on third. We're not talking about him. 

LOU:	How did I get on third base? 

BUD:	You mentioned his name. 

LOU:	If I mentioned the third baseman's name, who did I say is playing third?

BUD:	No, Who's playing first. 

LOU:	Stay offa first, will ya?!

BUD:	Well, what do you want me to do? 

LOU:	Now what's the guy's name on third base? 

BUD:	What's on second. 

LOU:	I'm not asking ya who's on second. 

BUD:	Who's on first. 

LOU:	I don't know. 

BUD:	He's on third. 

LOU:	There I go, back on third again. 

BUD:	Well, I can't change their names. 

LOU:	Will you please stay on third base? 

BUD:	Please. Now what is it you want to know? 

LOU:	What is the fellow's name on third base. 

BUD:	What is the fellow's name on second base. 

LOU:	I'm not askin' ya who's on second! 

BUD:	Who's on first. 

LOU:	I don't know. 

BUD & LOU:	Third base! 

LOU:	You got an outfield? 

BUD:	Oh, sure. 

LOU:	St. Louis has got a good outfield? 

BUD:	Oh, absolutely. 

LOU:	The left fielder's name? 

BUD:	Why. 

LOU:	I don't know, I just thought I'd ask you.

BUD:	Well, I just thought I'd tell you. 

LOU:	Then tell me who's playing left field?

BUD:	Who's playing first!

LOU:	Stay out of the infield! 

BUD:	Don't mention any names out here!

LOU:	I want to know what's the fellow's name in left field? 

BUD:	What is on second. 

LOU:	I'm not askin' ya who's on second!

BUD:	Who is on first. 

LOU:	I don't know!

BUD & LOU:	Third base!

BUD:	Now take it easy, take it easy, man.

LOU:	And the left fielder's name? 

BUD:	Why. 

LOU:	Because! 

BUD:	Oh, he's center field. 

LOU:	Wait a minute. You got a pitcher on the team?

BUD:	Wouldn't this be a fine team without a pitcher. 

LOU:	I dunno. Tell me the pitcher's name. 

BUD:	Tomorrow. 

LOU:	You don't want to tell me today? 

BUD:	I'm tell you, man. 

LOU:	Then go ahead. 

BUD:	Tomorrow. 

LOU:	What time? 

BUD:	What time what? 

LOU:	What time tomorrow are you gonna tell me who's pitching?! 

BUD:	Now listen, Who is not pitching. Who is on---

LOU:	I'll break your arm if you say who's on first!

BUD:	Then why come up here and ask? 

LOU:	I want to know what's the pitcher's name?

BUD:	What's on second. 

LOU:	I don't know. 

BUD & LOU:	Third base!!

LOU:	You gotta catcher? 

BUD:	Yes. 

LOU:	The catcher's name? 

BUD:	Today. 

LOU:	Today. And Tomorrow's pitching. 

BUD:	Now you've got it. 

LOU:	That's all. St. Louis has a couple of days on their team, that's all.

BUD:	Well, I can't help that. All right. What do you want me to do?

LOU:	Gotta catcher?

BUD:	Yes.

LOU:	I'm a good catcher too you know.

BUD:	I know that. 

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

BUD:	Well I might arrange that. 

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

BUD:	Yes. 

LOU:	Tomorrow throws the ball and the guy up bunts the ball---

BUD:	Yes. 

LOU:	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:	Now that's the first thing you've said right. 

LOU:	I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! 

BUD:	Well, that's all you have to do. 

LOU:	Is to throw it to first base? 

BUD:	Yes. 

LOU:	Now who's got it? 

BUD:	Naturally. 

LOU:	Who has it? 

BUD:	Naturally. 

LOU:	Naturally. 

BUD:	Naturally. 

LOU:	O.K. 

BUD:	Now you've got it. 

LOU:	I pick up the ball and I throw it to Naturally. 

BUD:	No you don't, you throw the ball to first base. 

LOU:	Then who gets it? 

BUD:	Naturally! 

LOU:	O.K. 

BUD:	All right. 

LOU:	I throw the ball to Naturally. 

BUD:	You don't! You throw it to Who!

LOU:	Naturally! 

BUD:	Well, that's it. Say it that way. 

LOU:	That's what I said! 

BUD:	You did not. 

LOU:	I said I'd throw the ball to Naturally. 

BUD:	You don't. You throw it to Who. 

LOU:	Naturally.

BUD:	Yes!

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

BUD:	No! You throw the ball to first base---

LOU:	Then who gets it?! 

BUD:	Naturally!

LOU:	That's what I'm saying!

BUD:	You're not saying that. 

LOU:	I throw the ball to Naturally!

BUD:	You throw it to Who! 

LOU:	Naturally! 

BUD:	Naturally. Well, say it that way. 

LOU:	THAT'S WHAT I'M SAYING! 

BUD:	Now don't get excited. Now don't get excited.

LOU:	I throw the ball to first base---

BUD:	Then Who gets it!

LOU:	HE BETTER GET IT!

BUD:	All right, now don't get excited. Take it easy. 

LOU:	Hrmmph. 

BUD:	Hrmmph. 

LOU:	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:	Yeah. It could be. 

LOU:	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:	What was that?

LOU:	I said, I DON'T CARE! 

BUD:	Oh, that's our shortstop! 





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