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Fishing routine

The Fishing Routine - I'm gonna throw him back!

The Fishing routine has Abbott and Costello fishing — but Lou keeps throwing his catch back to use as bait for an even bigger fish!

The fishing routine comes from The Naughty Nineties, where Abbott and Costello are fishing off the side of their paddleboat. They’re both fishing, but only Lou Costello actually catches a fish:

Bud Abbott: What are you using for bait?
Lou Costello: An apple.
Bud Abbott: You’re supposed to use a worm!
Lou Costello: The worm’s in the apple.

And Lou actually catches a very nice fish. What’re you doing? I’m going to throw him back, use him as bait, and catch a really big fish! Which, despite Bud’s protests, is exactly what Lou does.

The Fishing Routine - I'm gonna throw him back!
I’m gonna throw him back!

And Lou catches an even larger fish! And Bud encourages him to keep it, but following the rule of three, Lou throws it back as bet yet again. But, this time the biggest fish pulls Lou into the water!


  • To my knowledge, this is only used in The Naughty Nineties. I can’t think of an episode of The Abbott and Costello Show where they used it. If I’ve missed it, feel free to correct me in the comments.
  • If you remember this same basic routine with the Three Stooges — you’re right. Rockin’ Thru the Rockies is one example.

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