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Bud Abbott and Lou Costello eating oyster stew in The Abbott and Costello Show episode, "Hungry"

HungryThe Abbott and Costello Show, season 1, originally aired March 6, 1953

Hungry – Bud and Lou visit a couple of restaurants in search of a satisfying meal and encounter trouble with Mr. Bacciagalupe’s meatballs, twin waitresses and a very fresh oyster.  Hightlights include their classic sandwich and a cup of coffee routine.


Mr. Bacciagalupe

Lou Costello's afraid of meatballs!

Hungry begins with … Lou Costello being hungry! So, Bud Abbot takes them to the new restaurant that their friend Mr. Bacciagalupe has opened. After some word play with “abalone”, Mr. Bacciagalupe serves Lou meatballs. And Lou throws a fit! He apparently can’t stand meatballs! Why? Nobody knows. So, Mr. Bacciagalupe tries to show him how a meatball is made — like a hamburger. “I like hamburgers!” So, all’s well — until he presents Lou with the raw meatball! Lou has another fit, and races out the door.

The payphone sketch – Alexander 4444

Lou Costello destroying the phone book in the Alexander 4444 routine

After a short interlude of trading cards with Stinky, Lou goes into the apartment house. Bud wants him to call the Fields Employment Agency, to find Lou a job. After Lou clownishly damages the phone book, he calls the operator. And she immediately hangs up on him! This quickly turns into the Alexander 4444 routine. Every time Lou tries to use the payphone to call the phone number, the number is busy. Anybody else’s phone call goes through without any issue, of course. Long distance to Australia, Brazil, Italy, Pennsylvania. But “Alexander 4444” is perpetually busy, until the telephone operator adds them up to “Oh, Alexander 16!” Finally, as Lou is frustrated and screaming into the phone, he replies, “I’m as dry as can be!” So, the phone squirts him! Lou borrows a seltzer bottle from a passerby, and returns the favor, soaking the operator!

Twin Waitresses

Sandwich and a cup of coffee in "Hungry"

Lou is still hungry, of course. Bud is taking him to another new restaurant. Unknown to them, the waitresses are twins — one of them is searching for a man! This is their classic Turkey Sandwich and a cup of coffee routine. As the waitress goes in and out, they change places, and Abbott and Costello have no clue. They think the waitress is crazy, as she switches from being sweet on Lou to being stern! And Bud, trying to keep up appearances, encourages Lou to order a little something …. Despite having already told him to not order anything, since he’ll split his sandwich with Lou. It’s a very funny routine. Finally, one of the waitresses brings out … A meatball! Lou pitches a fit again, and they leave. On the way, they pass Mr. Bacciagalupe’s new restaurant, and he pitches a fit at Lou!

Oyster stew

The oyster in the oyster stew gets the better of Lou Costello in "Hungry"

Bud is actually kind to his pal Lou, who’s having a bad day. And he offers to take him out to dinner at a new fish restaurant. They both have a bowl of oyster stew. Lou’s silverware seems to be working against him, however, as the stew dribbles through his spoon. Then, the oyster strikes back! It’s what I call a “Snuffleupagus” moment, as Bud is looking away, reading his paper, etc. every time the oyster strikes. It first eats Lou’s cracker. Then, bites on Lou’s right hand! He frees it with a blow from silverware, but it bites his other hand! Then, Lou tries to use his tie as a fishing line …. But the oyster reels him in! In anger, Lou blows the oyster a raspberry — but the oyster squirts stew in his face! Now Bud notices, and tells Lou off for making a scene in public!

At the closing curtain, Lou is still hungry …. And Bud steals his sandwich, ending the episode.

Comedy routines




  • After Bobby Barber calls long distance to Australia, to see how Mr. Smith’s kangaroo farm is doing, Lou asks how it’s going. The answer: “Fine, fine! The whole place is jumping!”
  • Milt Bronson calls Brazil: “How’s the coffee business? Just a grind, eh?”

Watch S01:E14 – Hungry on Tubi:

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