Did you know that...
Abbott & Costello raised a record 3 million in just 3 days on behalf of the war bond effort.
Lou Cristillo became Lou Costello after the actress Dolores Costello! It was Ms Costello who advised Lou to hone his craft and then let Hollywood ask for him.
One of Lou's first films in Hollywood, long before teaming with Bud, was in a Laurel &
Hardy film "Battle of the Century!" Lou can be seen as a spectator in the boxing sequence.
One of Bud Abbott's first partners was his wife, Betty (Jenny Mae Pratt). In fact, Betty for a time worked with Lou, before Bud and Lou became a team.
Abbott & Costello were the first non-baseball playing celebrities ever to be inducted into the world-famous Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957.
Abbott & Costello were the first contractual stars with a major film studio to contractually receive 10% profit participation on their films.
Abbott & Costello were one of the early pioneers of episodic television. Their 2 season run of "The Abbott & Costello Show" (1951-1952) generated a whole new gathering of fans.
Bud and Lou actually willed many of their routines (including the ever popular "Who's On First") to their sons, Bud, Jr. and Lou, Jr. in hopes that the boys would one day continue the legacy of Abbott & Costello. Lou, Jr. tragically drowned in 1942, just days before his 1st birthday.
Abbott & Costello were one of the few teams to popularize a variety of different mediums in show business... in the 22 years of their partnership they went from burlesque to radio to films to performing on live stage.
According to director, Charles Barton, Bud and Lou were actually the first to have a 3 camera set-up. 1 on Bud, 1 on Bud and Lou and another on Lou to capture his double takes and responses.
Bud and Lou literally supported a local Valley bakery while shooting "Africa Screams" in 1949. The bakery owner used to boast that Abbott and Costello loved his pies so much that they would come in every morning en route to the studio to buy his entire morning selection of cream pies! Little did he know that his pies were being used for pie throws between takes!
Lou NEVER had a drivers license, and whenever he was stopped for a traffic violation (he as known to "kiss the car in front of him") he would get the officer laughing so hard that the cop would forget to write him a ticket!
Bud Jr. loved telling the story of how his dad never had a drivers license and never drove a car, yet owned a very impressive fleet of cars. However, while filming "Time Of Their Lives" in 1946, there was a scene where Bud's character was supposed to drive up this driveway and park in front of the mansion. Bud, Jr. stated that his dad actually took driving lessons in order to feel comfortable behind the wheel and make the scene believable for the camera.
Bud Abbott was considered one of the industry's most illustrious fashion statements? Press and media alike always boasted about his handsome looks and elegant attire. Bud was also known for his large selection and collection of shoes!
Lou NEVER lit his cigars when posing for photos?
During the War, the Japanese used to show the "Drill Routine" from "Buck Privates" to show how stupid the American Army was!
Bud and Lou were one of the first from their era to actually start what today is called "the wrap party" following the shooting of a film.
Abbott & Costello's first film appearance together was not "One Night in the Tropics." Actually the team can be spotted attending the films premiere of "The Boys from Syracuse," captured in a Universal Pictures newsreel on July 11, 1940, in Syracuse, New York.*
Bud Abbott, an avid gun collector, owned one of Adolph Hitler's shotguns and Tom Mix's pearl-handled six-shooters in his collection of firearms.*
Lou Costello was ten years younger than his partner, Bud.*
Bud wore a front-piece toupee in most of The Boys' earlier films, and Lou blackened his
scalp to make his hair appear fuller. Lou's wife would color his head with a toothbrush and then there would be black marks all over his pillow.*
Lou Costello was the godfather of Bud Abbott, Jr.*
For their individual home-theater collections, both Bud and Lou kept 16mm prints of every motion picture and television show they made- even kinescopes of live "Colgate Comedy Hour" appearances.*
Lou Costello's famous high-pitched squeal "I'm a b-a-a-a-d Boy!" came from one of his grade-school teachers, Mrs. Bessie Whitehead, who made him write the phrase on the blackboard one hundred times. Little did she suspect that years later he would turn the phrase into what Liberty magazine called "a veritable laugh-cry of the nation that would be easily identified by millions of radio listeners as Lou's signature."*
Bud Abbott owned a trick gold-colored telephone that blasted water out of the mouthpiece at the person holding the receiver. "He'd have our butler ring the phone, and when the guest was called to the phone Dad would push the button," says Bud Abbott, Jr. John Wayne hounded Bud Abbott for the prank prop and finally swapped prints of his westerns "Hondo," "Stagecoach," and "Red River" for the gadget.*
Lou Costello was the first to recognize entertainer Dean Martin's potential in motion pictures. According to comedian Buddy Hackett, Martin's manager, Lou Perry, got too demanding when Costello set up a contract for Martin at Warner Brothers - and the deal was canceled. Later, Martin teamed with Jerry Lewis as a comedy duo and worked with Bud and Lou on NBC-TV's "The Colgate Comedy Hour." (Incidentally, reports surfaced that Costello paid $500 for Martin to have a nose job. Martin, however, denies the story.)*
Although married in a Christian ceremony thirty-two years earlier, Bud and Betty Abbott remarried on March 13, 1950, in a jewish ceremony in Springfield, Ohio.*
A rumor, published in the book "Hollywood Trivia, has it that "Abbott & Costello once took out a $100,000 insurance policy with Lloyd's of London that stipulated payment if any of their audience should die of laughter." In reality, however, no record of such policy exists in the files, a spokesperson for the famous agency said in 1989.*
Lou's last film, "The Thirty Foot Bride of Candy Rock," wasn't released until nearly two years after completion.*
* Taken from "The Official Abbott & Costello Scrapbook." co. 1990 by Stephen Cox and John Lofflin.