In Cheapskates, Bud and Lou accidentally purchase a crate of roller skates at an auction. Unbeknownst to them, the skates have diamonds hidden inside of them, and the smugglers behind the scam have moved into the rooming house.
Cheapskates – The Abbott and Costello Show season 2, originally aired December 19, 1953
Lou’s new “suit” and the auction
Cheapskates begins with Lou Costello popping corn in their boarding room — violating Sid Fields’ rules. And, to add insult to injury, Lou has spent his half of the rent money on buying a new suit. A suit of itchy long johns!
He’s wearing the itchy underwear as Bud Abbott leads him to find a job, so they can pay the rent. And they go to Acme Warehouse, where an auction’s going on. There, the itchy underwear causes him to scratch, raising his arm in the process. And he’s the winning bid! On a large crate of roller skates! After they leave, a small gang of crooks arrive at the warehouse. They’re looking for their crate of skates, where they hid smuggled diamonds!
Something that’s odd, and somewhat out of character, is Mike the Cop. He wants to give Lou a ticket for “parking” his crate of skates illegally by a fire hydrant, as he’s carrying it home. Although he’s only set it down for a moment, by the fire hydrant.
Abbott and Costello — Cheapskates
Back at the boarding house, there’s a funny bit as Lou’s back has been thrown out. So,, his pal Bud tries to help. But Lou’s bad back is contagious! They finally open the crate, and realize that they’ve got hundreds of roller skates. Lou Costello’s trying to recoup his money by borrowing Baccagalupe’s cart, and sell the skates. For pennies each. And then an obnoxious child keeps bothering him. Next, all of the kids in the neighborhood on running around on skates. Including Bingo the Chimp!
Lou’s plan fails, of course. And then Mike writes him another ticket for not having a sales license!
Back at the boardinghouse
Sid Fields introduces Bud and Lou to the new roomer, Millie Montrose — one of the smugglers! But Bud has to tell Mr. Fields they don’t have the rent money, although they get distracted. And Millie and Blackie conspire to look for the skates, while she’s distracting the boys.
Sid Fields listens to Mike the Cop talk about smugglers, hiding their goods in a crate of skates. So, he offers to take Bud Abbott up on his earlier offer to take the box of skates in exchange for his rent. And, Bud also squeezes an extra fifty dollars out of him.
Unknown to Sid Fields, his new boarders are the very smugglers, trying to track down “their” skates. And the lovely female smuggler invites Lou to her room, to get “better acquainted”. Lou goes upstairs, while Bud helps Sid Fields move the crate of skates out. In Millie’s room, she’s putting movie on a nervous Lou. Then there’s some slapstick as Lou’s eating cookies there. In the meantime, Millie’s partner Black looks through the boys’ room. And not finding the skates, of course.
Lou overhears Blackie and Millie talk about pulling the “badger game” on Lou. But Lou calls Bud for advice, and he quickly recognizes the con they’re going to try. But the other crook, Shiv, has taken Blackie’s place. And he’s willing to carve Lou up like a thanksgiving turkey! After a comedy fight, Lou busts through the door and runs downstairs! Where Mike places the crooks under arrest.
But Lou’s running away — on roller skates! He falls, and the skate breaks — revealing the smuggled diamonds! And Bud goes money crazy, fighting with Mr. Fields over who owns the diamonds, ending the episode.
Cast of characters in Cheapskates
- Bud Abbott … Bud Abbott
- Lou Costello … Lou Costello
- Sid Fields (Mexican Hayride) … Sid Fields
- Gordon Jones (McLintock!) … Mike Kelly
- Phyllis Coates (Superman and the Mole Men, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein) … Millie Montrose
- Paul Fix (El Dorado, To Kill a Mockingbird) … Lefty the Shiv
- Anthony Warde (Buck Rogers 1939) … Blackie
- Ralph Gamble (Sudden Danger) … Auctioneer
- Teddy Infuhr (The Bishop’s Wife) … Fresh Kid