Although numerous plays, musicals, films, books, and television programs have melded humor with the sport of baseball, the quintessential amalgamation of comedy and the American national pastime remains the renowned “
comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Drawn from stock burlesque sketches and honed to perfection by Abbott and Costello over many years and thousands of performances, the skit
The enduring popularity of the “Who’s on First?” sketch created a similarly enduring association between Abbott and Costello and baseball, contributing to the mistaken belief that the comedians have been the only people with no professional connection to the sport to be honored with induction into the National Baseball
In 1956, one year before the release of their last film together, “Dance With Me Henry,” and their official (and amicable) split, Bud and Lou were brought together on THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW before a live nationwide viewing audience. The emotion was further heightened when Steve Allen announced the induction of Abbott & Costello and their Gold Record of “Who’s On First” into the World-famous, BASEBALL HALL OF FAME in Cooperstown, N.Y. Abbott & Costello are the first non-baseball playing celebrities ever to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Q: Right before Bud and Lou broke up, they appeared on The Steve Allen Show and were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Did they know that was going to happen before going on the show?
A: No, I think it was set up as a surprise. Then, of course, the gold record of “Who’s on First?” was dedicated to the Baseball Hall of Fame by Bud and Lou. They were the first non-baseball player celebrities that were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
As of 2019, the Hall of Fame has so far enshrined
According to the Hall of Fame’s FAQ:
Q: Who are the only members of the Hall of Fame that have nothing to do with baseball?
A: We often hear baseball fans ask the following trivia question: “Who are the only members of the Hall of Fame that have nothing to do with baseball?” The supposed answer is “Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.” Actually, that answer isn’t quite correct. Abbott and Costello are not members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, though the comedy duo is featured in our museum. Furthermore, Abbott and Costello most certainly have a lot to do with baseball as they made popular one of the most famous and beloved comedy routines of all time: “Who’s on First?”
The confusion probably stems from a
A gold recording of the “Who’s on First?” routine of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello will be placed on permanent display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame museum in
Cooperstown, N.Y.,a spokesman for the comedians said today.
Also to be exhibited late next month will be a framed copy of the dialogue they have performed more than 15,000 times in twenty years. The spokesman said word of the honor came to Abbott and Costello from
Paul S.Kerr and Sid C.Keener, Hall of Fame officials.
Costello commented, “This is better than getting an Oscar.”
(News of the honor could not have been broken as a surprise to Abbott and Costello on The Steve Allen Show, as that program’s debut didn’t occur until a month after the public announcement quoted above.)
The belief that Abbott and Costello are “in” the Hall of Fame as members is understandable given that the official name of the Cooperstown baseball institution is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and the museum portion (where the “Who’s on First?” recording is housed) is far more prominent
Although Abbott and Costello may not be actual members of the Hall of Fame, they’re featured more prominently in the museum than some of the figures who are. For two men who never set foot on a professional baseball field in any official capacity, that’s quite an honor.