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Posted by on May 3, 2006 in At TMV | 0 comments

TMV SPECIAL: Lou Costello Outtakes

We plan to use videos VERY SPARINGLY on TMV…but this is one we must share with readers. Since TMV himself is in entertainment and comedy he has his favorite “classic comedians” and at the top of the list is the great Lou Costello, part of the famous Abbott & Costello comedy team. Costello died at the age 52 in 1959 (he had the same heart disease that later took the young life of singer Bobby Darin).

We’ve wanted to write a special tribute to him one day (and we will save the longer piece for later). If you watch him in the Abbott & Costello movies and in their early 50s TV show you’re impressed — but when you watch him and Bud Abbott appear “live” on the Colgate Comedy Hour (videos and dvds are available of that show, which aired before TMV’s time) you have to be blown away by the fact that he was true comedic genius — a master of physical comedy, improvisation and timing.

The above You Tube video shows some rare Costello outtakes. WARNING: Some adult language and situations.

Why view Costello and other 20th Century comedians? Because many of them left behind bodies of work that remain fresh, often hilarious and if you’re in comedy you can learn some wonderful things from them.

These outtakes are fun as outtakes usually are. But if you’re an aspiring comedian (or just someone who like to laugh at things other than politician’s election year promises) then you should get some DVDs and watch Costello at his peak.

Best place to start: order the old Colgate Comedy Hour shows (they’re hard to find and actually quite cheap if you find them now) and his classic two season Abbott & Costello Comedy Show — the show that reportedly inspired Jerry Seinfeld to do Seinfeld. The complete series is available on digitally-restored DVDs and is owned by the Costello family. The Colgate Comedy Hour shows were done live in front of an audience. The TV series was shot at the old Hal Roach Studios (where Laurel & Hardy’s best movies were made) and canned laughter was added later.

PS: We will also do a special post one day on Bud Abbott, who made being a comedy team “straight man” look easy. It wasn’t.