*13 x 7 = 28* – the classic Abbott and Costello routine, where Lou Costello tries to prove that 13 x 7 Is 28

*13 x 7 = 28* is a very funny, popular Abbott and Costello routine. They did it on their radio show, television show, and movies. The routine below is taken from *The Little Giant*.

**Benny Miller (Lou Costello)**: Mr Chairman, twenty-eight vacuums a week, that’s a lot of vacuums to sell, and you only have seven salesmen.**T.S. Chandler (Bud Abbott)**: Certainly.**Costello**: That means they gotta sell thirteen vacuums a piece.**Abbott**: You’re right. Thirteen vacuum cleaners a piece.**Costello**: Yes, sir.**Abbott**: What are you talking about? 7 times 13 is not 28.**Costello**: Yes it is.**Abbott**: 7 times 4 is 28.**Costello**: Mr Chairman, 7 times 13 is 28.**Abbott**: 7 times 4 is 28. Did you ever go to school, stupid?**Costello**: Yes sir, and I came out the same way.**Abbott**: Come here a minute. You claim that 7 goes into 28, 13 times.**Costello**: That’s right.**Abbott**: Go ahead. Prove it. Prove it. Prove it. Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.**Costello**: Alright.**Abbott**: There’s the board. Well, go ahead.**Costello**: Ok, Mr. Chairman, I’m going to prove it.**Abbott**: Well, go ahead.

### Multiplication

**Costello**: Now, you’ve got seven salesmen.**Abbott**: That’s right.**Costello**: Ok, now, there’s the 7.**Abbott**: Where is it?**Costello**: Right there!**Abbott**: Alright.**Costello**: Now, you’ve got twenty-eight vacuum cleaners a week you’ve got to sell.**Abbott**: That’s right.**Costello**: Then you divide. Now, there’s your 28 vacuum cleaners.**Abbott**: Now –wait, you claim that 7 goes into 28 thirteen times?**Costello**: That’s right.**Abbott** Show me.**Costello** Seven into two –seven won’t go into two-**Abbott**: Certainly not!**Costello** So I’ve got to take the two from there and put it down there. Right over here.**Abbott**: Put it down there?**Costello**: Yeah, I am going to use it after work! That’s a cute little two.**Abbott**: Yeah, right.**Costello**: Now, seven into eight–**Abbott**: Once.**Costello**: Once. Now, I’m going to carry the seven from here and put it under the eight. Seven from eight?**Abbott**: One.**Costello**: One. Now, a minute ago, I didn’t use that little two.**Abbott**: What are you going to do?**Costello**: I’m going to use that two now! And I take it from there and I got to put it right there.**Abbott**: Aright.**Costello**: Now, seven into twenty-one**Abbott**: Three times.**Costello**: That’s correct! Seven into twenty-eight is thirteen!

### Division

I am going to divide

7 ) 28 ( 13

-7

21

**Abbott**: Oh, no no no no no. Nothing of the kind. What kind of figures are these? Just a minute.**Costello**: Check they came out right.**Abbott**: We’ll multiply this. [*Laughing*] Okay, go ahead!**Costello**: Multiply?**Abbott**: Put down thirteen.

Multiply. Put down 13 and 7.

13

x7

21

+7

28

**Costello**: Okay. Thirteen.**Abbott**: That’s right. That’s seven salesmen. Put that down.**Costello**: Seven salesmen.**Abbott**: Now, you claim that 7 times 13 amounts to what?**Costello**: Twenty-eight.**Abbott**: Ho ho, prove that.**Costello**: Seven times three–**Abbott**: Yeah, twenty-one.**Costello**: Seven times one**Abbott**: Seven.**Costello**: Seven and one?**Abbott**: Eight.**Costello**: And a two!**Abbott**: Wait–no! Wait a minute! How do you figure, boy?**Costello**: I figure good!**Abbott**: No, no you can’t do that.**Costello**: That’s right.

### Addition

**Abbott**: No, no, nothing of the kind! We will add them up this time.**Costello**: Add them?**Abbott**: Put down thirteen, uh, seven times. Okay.

Put down 13 seven times. We will add these up.”

13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13.

**Costello**: One. Two.**Abbott**: Two.**Costello**: Three.**Abbott**: Three. Four.**Costello**: Four.**Abbott**: Five.**Costello**: Five.**Abbott**: Six.**Costello**: Six.**Abbott**: Seven.**Costello**: Seven.**Abbott**: Now, wait a minute. You claim that all of that added up amounts to what?**Costello**: Twenty-eight.**Abbott**: If it does, you’ve got a job.**Costello**: Thank you! three–**Abbott**: Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute.**Abbott**: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21- now 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. 13 + 13 + 13 +13 +13 +13 +13 = 28.**Costello**: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28.**Abbott**: What? [*defeated*] You’re hired!