The Abbott and Costello Show season 2, Fencing Master originally aired April 10, 1954
In Fencing Master, Bud Abbott volunteers Lou Costello as a human guinea pig in a zany experiment performed by mad scientist, Dr. Bluzak. Lou thinks he’s indestructible until he gets challenged to a duel by a French fencing master.
Fencing Master begins with Lou Costello losing yet another job — literally thrown out. So Bud Abbott has to find Lou another job, to pay their bills. He sees and advertisement in the paper, where someone’s advertising for a human guinea pig! So, he drags Lou to the address.
It turns out that there’s a mad scientist, Dr. Bluzak, who thinks he’s perfected a process to make people indestructible! Effectively, taking the idea of being accident prone, and reversing it. His “pal” Bud volunteers Lou — for the $100 pay. He even helps strap Lou into the crazy gadget!
And Lou actually appears to be indestructible! He even goes into a police firefight with a wanted criminal, captures him single-handed, and they return to the boardinghouse. There, he has an altercation with the rude, easily offended Professor Roberto — the “fencing master” of the title.
Professor Roberto: [When Professor Robert enters, he bumps into Lou] Out of my way, you pig.
Lou Costello: You apologize.
Professor Roberto: Yes, I apologize… to the first pig I meet.
Fencing Master – Act II
Soon enough, Lou’s set to participate in a sword duel with him! But, there’s nothing to worry about — he’s indestructible, right? Bud tries to visit Dr. Bluzak, but — he’s been taken back to the insane asylum! It turns out he was literally a mad scientist! What to do? Lou tries to talk his way out of the due, but to no avail. So, what to do? Bud tries to teach Lou the rudiments of fencing, but that goes about as well as you might expect.
Bud tries to prepare Lou a last meal, but Lou’s got no appetite. Can they get Harry the policeman to intervene? Sure! Until it turns out that he & Roberto are old friends. So, the next day, the duel’s set to begin in the park. Sid Fields is acting as Roberto’s second — and Bud and Lou are very late. They finally show up — with Lou in a suit of armor!
Professor Roberto is offended. He slaps Lou across the face with his glove. So Lou responds — with his heavy metal gauntlet, knocking him unconscious! Sid Fields objects, and Lou knocks him out next! Bud raises Lou’s arm in victory …. And he’s nearly hit next, ending the episode.
Cast of characters
- Bud Abbott … Bud Abbott
- Lou Costello … Lou Costello
- Fortunio Bonanova (Double Indemnity, Citizen Kane) … Professor Roberto
- Sid Fields (Mexican Hayride) … Sid Fields
- Byron Foulger (The Man They Couldn’t Hang, Edison the Man) … Dr. Bluzak
- Harry Clexx … Harry–Policeman
- Robert Karnes (Road House) … Jones–Flower Pot Man
- Roy Lennert … Ryan
- Benny Burt (Pick a Star) … Bank Robber