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Who’s on First? script

Who’s on First? Abbott and Costello’s signature routine

The most famous of all of Abbott and Costello’s routines, Who’s on First? had been performed countless times in vaudeville and on radio, as well as a shortened version of it in their first movie, “One Night in the Tropics“, with the longer, definitive version (shown here) filmed in “The Naughty Nineties.”

Who's on First - Abbott and CostelloBud Abbott: Well Costello, I’m going to New York with you. You know Bookie Harris, the Yankee’s manager, gave me a job as coach for as long as you’re on the team.

Lou Costello: Look Abbott, if you’re the coach, you must know all the players.

Bud Abbott: I certainly do.

Lou Costello: Well you know I’ve never met the guys. So you’ll have to tell me their names, and then I’ll know who’s playing on the team.

Bud Abbott: Oh, I’ll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names.

Lou Costello: You mean funny names?

Bud Abbott: Strange names, pet names…like Dizzy Dean…

Lou Costello: His brother Daffy.

Bud Abbott: Daffy Dean…

Lou Costello: And their French cousin.

Bud Abbott: French?

Lou Costello: Goofé.

Bud Abbott: Goofé Dean. Dean. Well, let’s see, we have on the bags, Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third…

Lou Costello: That’s what I want to find out.

Bud Abbott: I say Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know’s on third.

Lou Costello: Are you the manager?

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: You gonna be the coach too?

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: And you don’t know the fellows’ names?

Bud Abbott: Well I should.

Lou Costello: Well then who’s on first?

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: I mean the fellow’s name.

Bud Abbott: Who.

Lou Costello: The guy on first.

Bud Abbott: Who.

Lou Costello: The first baseman.

Bud Abbott: Who.

Lou Costello: The guy playing…

Bud Abbott: Who is on first!

Lou Costello: I’m asking YOU who’s on first.

Bud Abbott: That’s the man’s name.

Lou Costello: That’s who’s name?

Bud Abbott: Yes.

Lou Costello: Well go ahead and tell me.

Bud Abbott: That’s it.

Lou Costello: That’s who?

Bud Abbott: Yes.

PAUSE
Lou Costello: Look, you gotta first baseman?

Bud Abbott: Certainly.

Lou Costello: Who’s playing first?

Bud Abbott: That’s right.

Lou Costello: When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?

Bud Abbott: Every dollar of it.

Lou Costello: All I’m trying to find out is the fellow’s name on first base.

Bud Abbott: Who.

Lou Costello: The guy that gets…

Bud Abbott: That’s it.

Lou Costello: Who gets the money…

Bud Abbott: He does, every dollar. Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.

Lou Costello: Who’s wife?

Bud Abbott: Yes.

PAUSE
Bud Abbott: What’s wrong with that?

Lou Costello: Look, all I wanna know is when you sign up the first baseman, how does he sign his name?

Bud Abbott: Who.

Lou Costello: The guy.

Bud Abbott: Who.

Lou Costello: How does he sign…

Bud Abbott: That’s how he signs it.

Lou Costello: Who?

Bud Abbott: Yes.

PAUSE
Lou Costello: All I’m trying to find out is what’s the guy’s name on first base.

Bud Abbott: No. What is on second base.

Lou Costello: I’m not asking you who’s on second.

Bud Abbott: Who’s on first.

Lou Costello: One base at a time!

Bud Abbott: Well, don’t change the players around.

Lou Costello: I’m not changing nobody!

Bud Abbott: Take it easy, buddy.

Lou Costello: I’m only asking you, who’s the guy on first base?

Bud Abbott: That’s right.

Lou Costello: Ok.

Bud Abbott: All right.

PAUSE
Lou Costello: What’s the guy’s name on first base?

Bud Abbott: No. What is on second.

Lou Costello: I’m not asking you who’s on second.

Bud Abbott: Who’s on first.

Lou Costello: I don’t know.

Bud Abbott: He’s on third, we’re not talking about him.

Lou Costello: Now how did I get on third base?

Bud Abbott: Why you mentioned his name.

Lou Costello: If I mentioned the third baseman’s name, who did I say is playing third?

Bud Abbott: No. Who’s playing first.

Lou Costello: What’s on base?

Bud Abbott: What’s on second.

Lou Costello: I don’t know.

Bud Abbott: He’s on third.

Lou Costello: There I go, back on third again!

PAUSE
Lou Costello: Would you just stay on third base and don’t go off it.

Bud Abbott: All right, what do you want to know?

Lou Costello: Now who’s playing third base?

Bud Abbott: Why do you insist on putting Who on third base?

Lou Costello: What am I putting on third.

Bud Abbott: No. What is on second.

Lou Costello: You don’t want who on second?

Bud Abbott: Who is on first.

Lou Costello: I don’t know.

Abbott & Costello Together:Third base!
PAUSE
Lou Costello: Look, you gotta outfield?

Bud Abbott: Sure.

Lou Costello: The left fielder’s name?

Bud Abbott: Why.

Lou Costello: I just thought I’d ask you.

Bud Abbott: Well, I just thought I’d tell ya.

Lou Costello: Then tell me who’s playing left field.

Bud Abbott: Who’s playing first.

Lou Costello: I’m not… stay out of the infield! I want to know what’s the guy’s name in left field?

Bud Abbott: No, What is on second.

Lou Costello: I’m not asking you who’s on second.

Bud Abbott: Who’s on first!

Lou Costello: I don’t know.

Abbott & Costello Together: Third base!
PAUSE
Lou Costello: The left fielder’s name?

Bud Abbott: Why.

Lou Costello: Because!

Bud Abbott: Oh, he’s centerfield.

PAUSE
Lou Costello: Look, You gotta pitcher on this team?

Bud Abbott: Sure.

Lou Costello: The pitcher’s name?

Bud Abbott: Tomorrow.

Lou Costello: You don’t want to tell me today?

Bud Abbott: I’m telling you now.

Lou Costello: Then go ahead.

Bud Abbott: Tomorrow!

Lou Costello: What time?

Bud Abbott: What time what?

Lou Costello: What time tomorrow are you gonna tell me who’s pitching?

Bud Abbott: Now listen. Who is not pitching.

Lou Costello: I’ll break your arm, you say who’s on first! I want to know what’s the pitcher’s name?

Bud Abbott: What’s on second.

Lou Costello: I don’t know.

Abbott & Costello Together: Third base!
PAUSE
Lou Costello: Gotta a catcher?

Bud Abbott: Certainly.

Lou Costello: The catcher’s name?

Bud Abbott: Today.

Lou Costello: Today, and tomorrow’s pitching.

Bud Abbott: Now you’ve got it.

Lou Costello: All we got is a couple of days on the team.

PAUSE
Lou Costello: You know I’m a catcher too.

Bud Abbott: So they tell me.

Lou Costello: I get behind the plate to do some fancy catching, Tomorrow’s pitching on my team and a heavy hitter gets up. Now the heavy hitter bunts the ball. When he bunts the ball, me, being a good catcher, I’m gonna throw the guy out at first base. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?

Bud Abbott: Now that’s the first thing you’ve said right.

Lou Costello: I don’t even know what I’m talking about!

PAUSE
Bud Abbott: That’s all you have to do.

Lou Costello: Is to throw the ball to first base.

Bud Abbott: Yes!

Lou Costello: Now who’s got it?

Bud Abbott: Naturally.

PAUSE
Lou Costello: Look, if I throw the ball to first base, somebody’s gotta get it. Now who has it?

Bud Abbott: Naturally.

Lou Costello: Who?

Bud Abbott: Naturally.

Lou Costello: Naturally?

Bud Abbott: Naturally.

Lou Costello: So I pick up the ball and I throw it to Naturally.

Bud Abbott: No you don’t, you throw the ball to Who.

Lou Costello: Naturally.

Bud Abbott: That’s different.

Lou Costello: That’s what I said.

Bud Abbott: You’re not saying it…

Lou Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally.

Bud Abbott: You throw it to Who.

Lou Costello: Naturally.

Bud Abbott: That’s it.

Lou Costello: That’s what I said!

Bud Abbott: You ask me.

Lou Costello: I throw the ball to who?

Bud Abbott: Naturally.

Lou Costello: Now you ask me.

Bud Abbott: You throw the ball to Who?

Lou Costello: Naturally.

Bud Abbott: That’s it.

Lou Costello: Same as you! Same as YOU! I throw the ball to who. Whoever it is drops the ball and the guy runs to second. Who picks up the ball and throws it to What. What throws it to I Don’t Know. I Don’t Know throws it back to Tomorrow, Triple play. Another guy gets up and hits a long fly ball to Because. Why? I don’t know! He’s on third and I don’t give a darn!

Bud Abbott: What?

Lou Costello: I said I don’t give a darn!

Bud Abbott: Oh, that’s our shortstop.