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Hillary’s Birthday

Lou kisses Hillary in "Hillary's Birthday"

Hillary’s Birthday, The Abbott and Costello Show season 1

Hillary’s Birthday – Mr. Fields posts new house rules just as the boys plan a surprise party for Hillary. Lou causes trouble at the supermarket. Later, at Bud’s insistence, Lou infuriates Mr. Fields by playing loud music during the party.

Act I – Hillary’s Birthday

Do my kisses bring tears to your eyes?

Lou goes to Hillary’s apartment, to invite her to the birthday party. Hillary is very sweet, and accepts. In fact, she offer to kiss “Louis” goodbye when it’s time for him to leave. Lou is shy, but eventually accepts. He kisses her, and she’s on the verge of tears. Is she emotional? No! He’s standing on her foot!

Abbott and Costello meet the grocery store

Lou Costello and the stack of cans at the grocery store in "Hillary's Birthday"

Afterward, Bud and Lou go shopping for the things they’ll need for the party. There’s a fair amount of humor packed into a small span of time, as:

  • Lou pulls cans from the bottom of a pyramid — which is fine! It’s only when he takes the top can that it collapses!
  • Lou takes a paper bag for produce — “look at the old bag …” — and gets hit by a woman who thinks Lou’s talking about her!
  • Sid Fields cautions Lou Costello to set his watch by the big clock on the wall. But Lou’s trying to use the scale is the produce department, that changes every time people weigh items.
  • Lou keeps running his cart into another lady’s. She “suggests” that he signal in the future! So, he signals to turn left …. And goes right!
  • He “bumps into” someone at the store.
  • He has his head mistaken for produce by a store worker!
At the grocery store in "Hillary's Birthday"

Eventually, it’s time to check out. During Lou’s shenanigans, Bud’s been trying to invite a pretty grocery clerk, Phyllis, to the party. For every sweet nothing he says to her, Lou interrupts. For example, “Every time I look at those beautiful eyes of yours, they remind me of two …” “Tomatoes.”

Party game – you can’t punch me in the nose

Bud demonstrates to Lou an idea he has for the party. He bets Lou twenty cents that if he puts a handkerchief on the floor, stands on one side, Lou stands on the other …. Lou can’t punch him in the nose. But …. he puts the handkerchief in the doorway, where the door prevents Lou from hitting Bud!

Handkerchief gag in "Hillary's Birthday" - Lou Costello, Sid Fields

In the classic “that was terrible — let’s do it to someone else” idea, Lou invites Mr. Fields into the room, and makes the same bargain. But Mr. Fields realizes it’s a double door! He pulls the top half of the door open, punches Lou, and wins the bet!

Act II – Hillary’s Birthday

Would you like a hot dog?

At the party, Bud offers Mike the Cop a hot dog. He does the “Coney Island hot dog business”. He holds it with his finger inside the bun, as he adds mustard. After he hands it to Mike, he pulls out his finger and wipes it off. Lou watches the whole thing, and emulates it when he offers a hot dog to Mr. Bacciagalupe. Who’s too fast for Lou, and bites his finger!

Pickle squirter

Lou’s new invention, to keep from being squirted by a pickle when eating it. It’s a small straw, that goes in one end of the pickle. Lou demonstrates, and the juice squirts out …. Soaking Mike the Cop.

Turn off that radio!

Turn off that radio! Sid Fields beats up Lou Costello

Lou has unintentionally offended Mr. Fields, who’s left the party. When Lou plays the radio so Hillary can dance with the male guests, Mr. Fields comes in, and threatens Lou. But Bud insists that Lou play the music! So it’s a recurring joke that Lou turns on the music, Mr. Fields comes in and beats him up — as Bud sits there nonchalantly, and Bud convinces him to turn the music back on!

A bet with Mike the Cop

Finally, Lou makes the statement that nobody can punch him in the nose if he doesn’t want them to. So, he has Mike the Cop do the handkerchief bet. But Mike punches through the door, and hits Lou!

Finale on stage

Bud Abbott: Well, ya did it again. Go and ruin a beautiful party, a beautiful party, just because of your jealous disposition.
Lou Costello: Well, I can’t help it. You were dancin’ with Hillary.
Bud Abbott: Why should you be jealous of that?
Lou Costello: Because she’s the girl of my dreams, Hillary is.
Bud Abbott: Ahh, stop it. Why break up a party because I danced with her?
Lou Costello: I don’t mind, though, Bud. I don’t mind… . You can have Hillary.
Bud Abbott: Why? What happened?
Lou Costello: I found out today at the party that her father’s a very, very wealthy man, and that makes Hillary a very, very wealthy girl. And I don’t want to marry no wealthy girl.
Bud Abbott: You don’t want to marry a wealthy girl? Why not?
Lou Costello: She’s apt to run away.
Bud Abbott: Well, a poor girl’s apt to run away, too.
Lou Costello: But who cares!

Classic Routines in Hillary’s Birthday

  • Turn down that radio!
  • You stand on one side of the handkerchief …


  • Bud Abbott: How old would you take me to be?
    Sid Fields: Oh, I’d say you’re about 39.
    Bud Abbott: I’ll take that.
    Lou Costello: Take it? You snapped at it.

Cast of characters

Cast of characters in "Hillary's Birthday"


  • Story by Sid Fields

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