A classic Abbott and Costello routine from their radio show – where Bud Abbott is talking about his Uncle Herman who works in a dye factory, and Lou Costello confuses “dyeing” for “dying”
Bud Abbott: Youâd better take that suit over to my Uncle Hermanâs, At the Kurt Dry Cleaning Plant.
Lou Costello: Dry Cleaning Plant? Whatâs your Uncle Herman doing there?
Bud Abbott: Well this is Wednesday, Heâs dyeing today.
Lou Costello: Thatâs terrible Abbott, I didnât even know he was sick.
Bud Abbott: Oh, He isnât sick, heâs dyeing.
Lou Costello: Heâs dying and he isnât sick?
Bud Abbott: Thatâs right, if he was sick he couldnât dye.
Lou Costello: Why not?
Bud Abbott: Well itâs against the rules of the cleaning plant.
Lou Costello: You mean they wouldnât let him die if heâs sick.
Bud Abbott: Thatâs right. If a man is sick they wont let him into the place to dye.
Lou Costello: What do they do leave him out in the alley?
Bud Abbott: Oh no no no! He cant dye in the alley.
Lou Costello: He canât?
Bud Abbott: No, if he wants to dye he has to go up seven floors.
Lou Costello: Heâs got to die on the seventh floor?
Bud Abbott: Well certainly.
Lou Costello: Is there any elevator in the place?
Bud Abbott: No.
Lou Costello: The nerve of the people!
Bud Abbott: What do you mean?
Lou Costello: Making a poor man climb seven floors to die! Why donât they send him home?
Bud Abbott: Because his wife wonât let him dye in the house.
Lou Costello: Wife donât?
Bud Abbott: She donât want him dyeing in the house.
Lou Costello: She donât?
Bud Abbott: No.
Lou Costello: He might as well go crawl under a rock. Imagine a guy canât even die in his own house.
Bud Abbott: No no, if thereâs any dyeing to be done around the house, his wife does it.
Lou Costello: You mean his wife has got to die too?
Bud Abbott: Certainly.
Lou Costello: Abbott, what are you trying to do bump off the whole family?
Bud Abbott: Oh, keep quiet.
Lou Costello: Iâm going to bring Uncle Herman to my house to die.
Bud Abbott: Oh, he couldnât dye at your house.
Lou Costello: And why couldnât he die at my house?
Bud Abbott: Because you have no dye.
Lou Costello: You gotta have dye to die?
Bud Abbott: Costello would you pay attention! Iâm trying to tell you that Uncle Herman has to dye so he could live.
Lou Costello: Well naturally…What was that?
Bud Abbott: I said my Uncle Herman has to dye to live. If he doesnât dye he canât eat.
Lou Costello: You mean he eats after he dies?
Bud Abbott: Well certainly, he dyes for a while then he eats. Then he dyes again then he eats some more.
Lou Costello: Must be the food thatâs killing him!!! He must be eating at your Backstage joint.
Bud Abbott: No no no you idiot!! A man has to eat if he stands up all day dyeing.
Lou Costello: You mean he has to stand up to die?
Bud Abbott: Naturally, did you ever hear of anybody lying down to dye?
Lou Costello: All the people I ever knew. They use the standard way.
Bud Abbott: No no no, he canât lie down on the job. Heâs got to be through dyeing by six oâclock. If he dyes after six he gets time and a half.
Lou Costello: You mean he gets paid for dying?
Bud Abbott: Oh sure, Itâs piece work.
Lou Costello: He dies a piece at a time?
Bud Abbott: Look you idiot, when I say Uncle Herman is dyeing, I donât mean that heâs dying like a person dies when he dies. I mean heâs dyeing for a living and a person that dyes for a living is living even though that heâs dyeing!
Lou Costello: When you say that Uncle Herman is dyeing, you donât mean that heâs dying like a person dies when he dies. You mean heâs dyeing for a living and a person that dyes for a living is living even though that heâs dyeing!
Bud Abbott: Now youâve got it.
Lou Costello: I donât even know what Iâm talking about!