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Flee the Flu

Flee The Flu - The Abbott and Costello Radio Show, with Peter Lorre

Flee the Flu – when the flu flies, you must flee! So, Abbott and Costello flee to … Peter Lorre’s health sanitarium?

Flee The FluThe Abbott and Costello Radio Show, with Peter Lorre, originally broadcast January 13, 1944

Lou Costello has a head cold

Abbott: Please, How many times, have I told you, when you sneeze — sneeze the other way!
Costello: I don’ t know any other way;
Abbott: Oh, talk sense, will you! Do you realize you’ve probably caught a cold! Do you want germs tb spread?
Costello: I won’t let ’em spread!
Abbott: How can you keep germs from spreading?
Costello: OH, I’ll MAKE ‘EM WEAR A GIRDLE!
Abbott: That’s ridiculoust You’ve got a cold in your head . How are you going to keep that cold in your head from going down into your chest??
Costello: I’LL TIE A KNOT IN MY NECK. .. Abbott, What you talking about? You’re not so healthy.
Abbott: Oh no! You ‘re condition’s bad — you’re run down! What you need is exercise. Now look at me. I haven’t paid a doctor’s bill in years. I’ll have you know, my friend, I don’t need a doctor, because I keep regular hours! Every night. I go to bed with the chickens,
Costello: How do you all get in that little coop??
Abbott: No! No!! I’m trying to tell that;I go to bed early~ and I’m up at the crack of dawn. Then, I go out and chop wood for breakfast!
Costello: Chop wood for breakfast? HOW CAN YOU EAT THAT STUFF???
Abbott: Listen, Costello – I chop wood for exercise, For example, every morning I jump out of bed and crawl around the room on all fours.
Costello: You crawl around on all fours??
Abbott: Yes ~ that’s the athlete in met

Lou and Ken Niles

Abbott: Oh, here ‘s Ken Niles, Say, It m glad you dropped in, Take a look at Costello – he doesn’t feel very well.
Ken Niles: Oh, just let a little air out of his head, he’ll be all right! Hahahahaha!
Costello: You got a lot of nerve $ Niles, talkin’ like that – with such, a swelled head like you got!
Ken Niles: I’ll have you know Ilm not swelled-headed!
Costello: Oh yeah? You’re the only guy I know who gets mumps above the ears.
Abbott: Now take it easy, Costello – you’re a sick man!
Costello: [raving] WHO’S A SICK MANI I’M ALL RIGHT$ I JUST … [sneezes]
Ken Niles: Good heavens, Bud! Did you hear Costello sneeze??
Costello: What ‘s wrong with a little sneeze!
Ken Niles: WHAT’S WRONG WITH IT??? Well, if you have to sneeze, why don’t you sneeze with your mouth closed?
Ken Niles: Now wait a minute, Costello — your sneezing is dangerous, I can catch your oold, then I’ll go home and my beautiful wife will get it in her lovely throat!
Abbott: Yes, Costello – Mrs. Niles has a neck like a swan!

Mrs. Niles

Mrs. Niles: [door bursts open] I heard that remark! You might be interested in knowing that all my friends think I have perfect features!
Costello: Is that your nose, or are you lookin’ through a periscope??
Abbott: Oh . stop that. Don’t pay any attention to Costello, Mrs, Niles. You see, he’s got a cold and we’re trying to help him.
Mrs. Niles: Well. you know the old saying – starve a cold! The first thing to do is put him on a diet – no carbohydrates, no starches, no liquids„ and no solids! Think you can stick to that diet, Costello?
Costello: Sure, then what?
Mrs. Niles: Then Kenneth and I’ll split your ration book!
Ken Niles: [laughs] Hahaha, that was a wonderful joke, .poochie.
Mrs. Niles: Don’t say that, darling, you’re my poochie!
Ken Niles: Oh, no, you’re my poochiel
Mrs. Niles: No, no – you’re my poochie!
Mrs. Niles: Humphl Come Kenneth — and as for you, Costello, I hope your cold is nothing triviall

Infecting Adolf Hitler?

Abbott: Before you know it, you’ve got a lot of nasty germs rushin’ through your system,
Costello: Russians are rushin’ through the Nazi Germansl
Abbott: That’s true, Costello .–but I’m talking about flu germs, Do you realize that germs travel with the speed of light? One little sneeze— [Costello sneezes] There you are—the germs are off! They’ve already traveled from California to Maine — they are now crossing the Atlantic …
Costello: I didn’t even say goodbye to them!
Abbott: Costello—right now—at this very minute, someone in Europe is catching your cold.
Costello: [phone rings – Lou answers] Hello—-
Mel Blanc impersonating Hitler: [on phone – does a long string of double-talk German, ending with a sneeze & hating up the phone]
Costello: Well, I sure fixed Adolph!
Abbott: What do you moan?
Costello: He’s Just sneezin’ now , the coughin’ [coffin] will come later-1

Health building course from Professor Hercules

So, Bud tries to help his pal Lou by putting him on an exercise routine that he got from “Professor Hercules”. Then Hercules arrives, and has a physique that would make a 98 pound weakling look robust!

Hercules: Mr . Costello, as I analyze your case, my treatment for you should not bo postponed! … Let me show you what my course can do for you, Hand me the telephone book and I will tear it ….. Are you ready? [sound of a piece of paper tearing] And now the second page!
Costello: What’s so groat about that, Hercules? I can bend bars with my bear hands!
Hercules: Iron bars?
Costello: No, Hershey bars! And I’ll do it the hard way — with nuts!

Peter Lorre Arrives

Next, Peter Lorre arrives, and offers Costello the use of his sanitarium, to help Lou recover.

Peter Lorre: Yes, Mister Costello. I’ve had thousands of patients at my sanitarium and I’ve never had one of them complain . You know what that proves, don’t you?
Costello: YEAH — dead men tell no tales! GET ME OUT OF HERE!

Peter Lorre’s Sanitarium

Peter Lorre: Good evening, gentlemenl Welcome to my Sanatarium. Come Mister Costello — let me take you over close to the fire.
Abbott: Costello! What’s the matter with you?
Peter Lorre: Yes, I mean you no harm . It’s oold’out tonight . You must be killed — I mean, chilledl
Costello: I heard you the first time!

Haunted House Shenanigans

Of course, the expected haunted house shenanigans occur. A skull answers the door and wants Lou’s hat, Peter talks about golfing with Frankenstein, etc.

Costello: Abbott!That guy wasn’t kiddin’~ Ther.e’s the body behind the couch!
Abbott: Is he dead??
Costello: I can’t tell – his head is missing!
Abbott: Say , Costello – look! The bod y is getting up …
Costello: [scared] Hey, He’s comin’ towards me. Listen,-Mister — you’re dead, ain’tcha???
John Brown: [weirdly] Yessss,,I am – dead.
Costello: Then why aren’t ya layin’ down?
John Brown: If you must know, the floor is too cold!

In conclusion

“Doctor” Lorre determines that he has to remove Lou’s appendix — immediately! Luckily for Lou, the show ends first!



  • Bud Abbott – straight man
  • Lou Costello – comedian.
  • Peter Lorre – film star, here relying on his fame as a horror actor
  • 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 – Impersonating Adolph Hitler over the phone, when he’s caught Lou’s cold! Also, one of the patients at the sanitarium.
  • John Brown – The “weird fellow” working at Peter Lorre’s sanitarium, who answers the door. Also the “corpse” behind the couch. And Peter Lorre’s assistant.
  • Mandel Kramer – the “mighty” Hercules, whose exercise program Lou Costello doesn’t want to follow

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