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<   No. 1366   2006-10-23   >

Comic #1366

1 Dr No: Mr Stud, I am Dr No.
1 Stud: No?
1 Dr No: Yes.
1 Stud: Yes?
2 Dr No: No, No.
2 Stud: No-no?
2 Dr No: No! No!
2 Stud: No, yes?
3 Dr No: Yes! No!
3 Stud: No? Yes-no?
3 Dr No: No! No! No!
3 Stud: Yes! No-no!
4 Dr No: Argh! I don't know!
4 Stud: Third base!

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Who's on First is a classic comedy routine performed by Abbott and Costello, who developed it in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Despite growing up in Australia and knowing very little about baseball at the time, I recall being rendered completely helpless by uncontrollable fits of laughter the first time I heard it as a child.

Although a quintessentially American piece of comedy, and of a considerable vintage, it is so good and so funny, that it has become and remains widely known throughout much of the English-speaking world. Even a British secret agent like James Stud knows it.

2016-05-13 Rerun commentary: And this being the age of YouTube, I can even link to a video showing the famous routine. There are many different versions, as Abbott and Costello performed it many times. Here's an older one from the first time it appeared on film, in The Naughty Nineties.

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