Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are one of the funniest comedy teams of all time. And this disc, featuring four episodes of The Abbot and Costello Show from the 1952-53 season is certainly proof of that. Most of the episodes b... more »egin with Bud and Lou onstage in front of an audience, providing an introduction to each story. The episodes themselves are stand-alone classics, but the plot lines frame famous Abbot and Costello sketches. The disc is formatted with menus so that you can play each episode or skip to the routines. The four episodes featured in this volume, "Duck Dinner," "Hillary's Birthday," "Million Dollar Refund," and "Actor's Home," are heavy on physical comedy and rely on familiar supporting characters such as Mike the Cop, Bacciagalupe, and Mr. Fields to propel the stories. In the final episode, "Actor's Home," we are treated with a cameo appearance from comedian Joe Besser (previous to his joining the Three Stooges) as well as a brilliant performance of "Who's on First." The fact that Abbot and Costello always appear to be in on the gags with their audience (breaking the "fourth wall" with humorous "see what I've gotten myself into now" looks and comments) only adds to the performances. It's also interesting to note that the low-grade special effects and highbrow comedy, which so encompassed the age when these shows were originally filmed, can still entertain audiences all these years later, proving that this pair of comedians, and their style of comedy, is timeless. --Zachary Lively« less
The routines are still as fresh as ever in great DVD quality
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Watching this DVD video is like sitting in front of your television in the 50s. No difference. The routines are as fresh as ever and the DVD quality gives it that first run appearance.I can't wait to buy volume two of this series. This series is a must have for any Abbott and Costello fan and DVD enthusiast. What a great combination!"
An opportunity lost
Mahatma Kane Jeeves | USA | 08/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A&C's classic "Who's On First" routine and Sid Fields' brilliance earn most of the four stars I've given volume 1. However, it's a shame the greedy distributers have shafted A&C fans by: 1)Including only four episodes per disc when DVD's bandwidth provides room for at least seven. Thus the entire series could have fit on eight DVDs with considerable room left for extras. 2)Every A&C fan I've ever met considers the 1952 first season vastly superior to the disappointing 1953 second season. As is done routinely with TV series, the two seasons should have been issued separately on four discs each. That would, of course, have greatly diminished the producers' profits as second season sales would have been relatively meager. A&C fans be damned! 3)The outrageously high price compared to other popular TV series. The 13 volumes cost nearly $200 even after allowing for discounts offered by online sellers or retailers. Two seasons of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" sells for about half that. Also, sellers like deepdiscountdvd.com offer much lower discounts on A&C discs than is their norm, which leads me to believe that the producers have set an unusually high wholesale price, which would preclude sellers from offering the usual discounts. Ironically, the producers' greed has probably cut their profits while concommitently denying many young people a chance to view A&C's brilliance. When browsing for DVDs I often see potential customers pick up A&C discs, visibly recoil when they see the prices, and quickly replace them in their bins. Had the series producers offered the 1st and 2nd seasons separately, on fewer discs, and at more reasonable prices, I believe the set would have sold untold thousands more copies. Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Sid Fields, Joe Kirk, Hillary Brooke, Gordon Jones, Joe Besser, et al, all gone, deserved better."
ONLY a 4 show-DVD---like the identical 13 tapes(* * * * )?
Michael "Big Mac" McCluskey | The Military Academy @ West Point, New York , Unit | 01/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 52 Abbott & Costello TV episodes are a rarity. Must be: with only 4 of them to a DVD that'd easily hold six or seven. These are lovingly-transfered from the original 35mm masters owned by Lou's daughter-- Chris Costello, authoress of the excellent book "LOU'S ON FIRST!". In the "olden days" [before VHS], Bud and Lou insisted upon owning the "home-theatrical rights" of their 36 movies, and 52 TV shows on ACTUAL film. MOST television programs from the 1950s no longer even exist beause filming broadcasts was quite expensive...I LOVE LUCY comes to mind as another survivor (who knew the reruns would build Desi & Lucy-- DesiLu-- their own studios with the first TV program to use multiple cameras? In the early 1940s, when the Abbott & Costello COULD've owned Univeral Studios, outright-- and DID save them from bankruptsy-- one of the biggies in their contracts was "home movie rights". Bud and Lou were competative, and enjoyed watching 16mm films, at liesure, IN their own home-screening rooms at a time when watching movies at home wasn't possible to the average "Joe" who probably didn't even own a television yet...or a horse, a pool, restaurants, a nice car. The comedy team, even in their advancing years, really WERE "the boys!" Everyone knows that "Boys like toys." Good enough reason that ALL of these programs-- like Bud and Lou-- STILL survive. In many cases, these, almost plot-less excuses for repeating "old chestnuts" are the ONLY surviving representations of famous vaudeville skits honed and sharpened by A & C-- also my favorite VITAMINS. (My review COULD have rated a "5" if there were five episodes on this DVD-- a "6" if there were six.) => YOU do the math. "
5 stars are not enough!
Larry C | New Jersey United States | 07/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the minute Abbott and Costello hit the screen to the end credits on this four show set (and each additional set) we are able to witness the end of a great american art form called Burlesque. And Abbott and Costello were easily the greatest surviving exponents of that style comedy. Besides being the absolute best comedy team ever the "boys" are smart enough to give us maybe the best supporting cast ever assembled in a comedy series. First there is the brilliant Sid Fields. Not only does he do multiple duty playing a vast assortment of (always) funny characters but he even wrote the series to boot! And if that weren't enough we have Joe Besser the ex stooge (or was he a stooge after this) playing arguably the funniest fifty year old kid ever! Then there's Hilary Brook who combines timing and beauty as well as maybe being the greatest "straight" woman ever! Filling out the cast is Joe Kirk who also plays several characters and Mike the cop. Both are excellent foils for Lou. After those players you will see many of your favorite character actors and actresses from the fifties such as Gloria De Heaven, Jane Frazee, Phyllis Coates, and many others. Sadly the show ran for only two years and was cancelled. It's a tribute to Lou's brilliance as a business man that he insisted that the boys have ownership of the series after they ran once. In fact Lou forced Bud Abbott to do the series as well. Seems Lou the "dumb" one was actually the mastermind behind the team and made very smart creative decisions. A special Emmy should be given to the boys and to Sid Fields for having written the second greatest conmedy series of all time (the Honeymooners being the first). Buy any volume without hesitation today before they take them off the market and you kick yourself for not getting them when you could have!"
Great DVD, but.......................
T. McGee | Paramus, NJ United States | 07/25/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great DVD, but there should be more shows then the the four. That's probalbly the only reason I wouldn't purchase any more of these DVD's. Either include more episodes or lower the price!!"