"You never heard of a comedy team that didn't fight, did you? But for 20 years as a professional team, Lou and I were closer than man and wife." - Bud Abbott
"A husband is what's left of a sweetheart after the nerve has been killed." - Lou Costello
Ironically, one of America's most famous comedy duos, and the performers of the country's most famous skit, came together in part because Lou Costello had already failed to cut it in the film industry. In fact, Costello had appeared in a Laurel and Hardy film in 1927 before meeting his partner, Bud Abbott, on the burlesque circuit in New York City. In fact, the two first performed together in 1935 only because Abbott filled in for Costello's usual partner, who happened to be ill one fateful day.
The legendary comedy duo performed together for decades, and like similar acts, their popularity began to wane over time, but Abbott and Costello are still household names today. While all of their material is still in syndication and watched by many, they are best known today for "Who's on First?", the famous routine in which Abbott's answers about the names of baseball players at various positions on the field sound like questions and completely confuse Costello. Although the skit was pieced together from various others, it was immortalized by Abbott and Costello and helped popularize not only the duo but some of their subsequent material.