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English Butler with Arthur Treacher

English Butler with Arthur Treacher

English Butler with Arthur Treacher – The Abbott and Costello Radio Show, December 9, 1943 – Costello’s planning on throwing a fancy party for next week’s guest Lynn Bari …. If her butler (Arthur Treacher) will let him!

English ButlerThe Abbott and Costello Radio Show, originally aired December 9, 1943

Lou Costello wants to throw a fancy party for actress Lynn Bari (next week’s guest). So, the episode begins with him taking a bath! This segues into the herd of cow routines, followed by a visit by Ken Niles & his wife. After some verbal jousting, she directs them to her Uncle Hugo’s employment agency to hire a butler. Failing, they make it back to Costello’s home, where Arthur Treacher shows up! He’s there to both verbally spar with Lou, and to see if the place is fancy enough for his employer, Miss Bari, to visit.


Bud Abbott: Costello, what are you doing in the bathtub?
Lou Costello: What do you think I’m doing? I’m taking a bath!
Bud Abbott: What are you with your underwear on?
Lou Costello: The water’s cold!
Bud Abbott: Will you get out of that tub and put your bathrobe on?
Lou Costello: I got the bathrobe on now.
Bud Abbott: You’re wearing your bathrobe in the tub?
Lou Costello: Sure, I don’t want to get my suit wet!

Lou’s expecting the movie star Lynn Bari, and plans to throw a fancy party. Bud Abbott asks him if he’s expecting people, which leads into their herd of cows routine:

Bud Abbott: I’m no mood.
Lou Costello: What kind of mood?
Bud Abbott: A cow mood.
Lou Costello: A cow mooed? Let ’em!

Bud Abbott: A cow gives you milk.
Lou Costello: Oh, no it doesn’t! You gotta take it from ’em!

Bud Abbott: Not skin, hide.
Lou Costello: Why should I hide? I didn’t do nothin’!
Bud Abbott: No, no, no. Hide on the cow.
Lou Costello: How’m I gonna hide on a cow?
Bud Abbott: Just a minute, please listen to me. Hide, hide! A cow’s outside!
Lou Costello: Bring her in! Let her listen to the program!

Ken & Mrs. Niles

Mrs. Niles: Are you surprised to see me, Costello?
Lou Costello: No, ma’am, I was expecting a cow.

Bud Abbott: That’s no way to insult Mrs. Niles!
Lou Costello: You know a better way?

Lou Costello: Me, fat? I just dropped twenty pounds!
Mrs. Niles: You didn’t drop it far enough!

Employment agency

Since Costello needs to hire a butler for his party, Mrs. Niles helpfully gives Bud and Lou her uncle’s business card, since he runs an employment agency.

Lou Costello: That’s very nice, Mrs. Niles. What’s his name?
Mrs. Niles: Hugo. Ask for him.
Lou Costello: Yes ma’am. I go – but who do I ask for?
Bud Abbott: She told you! Hugo!
Lou Costello: I know I gotta go, but I gotta ask for somebody!
Mrs. Niles: But I told you to see my uncle – Hugo!

Lou Costello: What’s his last name?
Mrs. Niles: Gessit.
Lou Costello: Why should I?

After the Niles leave in a huff, Abbott tells Costello to call the number on the card.

Bud Abbott: He founded the business in 1903.
Lou Costello: Who losted it?

At the employment agency

At the Hugo Gessit Employment Agency, there’s no butler for hire. But, the clerk lets them talk to the manager, the fast-talking Cliff Nazarro.

Lou Costello: Frankly, I’m a little confused.
Bud Abbott: Why don’t you pay attention to the man?
Lou Costello: That’s what’s confusing me!

Arthur Treacher arrives

Finally, Lou and Bud arrive at Lou Costello’s home, to prepare for the dinner, But first, there’s an issue with the cook:

Lou Costello: [on the phone] What! She did? At four o’clock in the morning! Wow! How much did it weight? Nine pounds! At her age, too … [hangs up phone] How do you like that, Abbott? Mrs. Blanc got up at four o’clock this morning and ate a nine pound turkey.
Bud Abbott: Ohhh …

Then, Arthur Treacher arrives! Apparently, he’s Lynn Bari’s butler! And he’s there to see if the place lives up to his standards. Which, of course, it doesn’t. But it leads into a lot of verbal jousting!

Lou Costello: Hold on, Treacher! The only reason that I don’t poke you in the nose is that I’m bigger than you.
Arthur Treacher: It so happens that I’m bigger than you.
Lou Costello: That’s an even better reason!

Arthur Treacher: I’ll have you know that my family is very prominent socially. My father has a country seat in Wembly, and a city seat in Devonshire.
Lou Costello: Your father has two seats?
Arthur Treacher: Yes.
Lou Costello: Does Ripley know about it?

Bud Abbott: Be more careful with how you talk to Mr. Treacher. He’s a polished gentleman.
Lou Costello: Sounds like he’s shellacked!

Then the Niles’ show up, and Treacher insults Mrs. Niles! And then Lou joins in! And after a bit, Arthur Treacher wants Lou to demonstrate how he would kiss Lynn Bari — using Mrs. Niles!

Mrs. Niles: Why, Mr. Abbott, in my whole life I’ve only been kissed by two parties!
Lou Costello: Yes, ma’am – the Democrats and the Republicans. Come here, my proud beauty.
Mrs. Niles: Oh, I’m not proud.
Lou Costello: You’re no beauty, either.

But Lou convinces Arthur Treacher to kisss her instead!




  • Bud Abbott – straight man
  • Lou Costello – comedian. Also does the voice of his fictional young brother Sebastian
  • Arthur Treacher (Mary Poppins; The Little Princess) – movie star, this week’s guest. The very proper English butler.
  • Cliff Nazarro – comedian and voice actor, famous for his double talk routine. Which he does as the manager of the Hugo Gessit Agency.
  • Freddie Rich & his orchestra
  • Connie Haines – singer, occasionally plays the part of Lou’s girlfriend
  • Ken Niles – announcer & antagonist to Lou Costello.
  • Alvia Allman – as Mrs. Niles, Ken’s wife & Lou’s antagonist.
  • Mel Blanc – one of the clients at the Hugo Gessit Agency.
  • John Brown – clerk at the Employment Agency

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