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Lou Substitutes For Joe DiMaggio

Lou Substitutes For Joe DiMaggio - The Abbott and Costello Radio show

Lou Substitutes For Joe DiMaggioThe Abbott and Costello Radio show

Lou Substitutes For Joe DiMaggio
Broadcast: May 11, 1942
Starring: Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, Marilyn Maxwell, Skinnay Ennis, Elvira Allman


During their opening comedy routine, a telegram is delivered — from Joe DiMaggio! In the real world, he’s recovering from foot surgery. So, in this episode, he wants Lou Costello to fill in for him while he recovers! And yes, this will lead to a classic rendition of their Who’s on First? routine.

Bud Abbott: You don’t know anything about baseball.
Lou Costello: Are you kidding? I eat baseball, I live baseball. All night when I’m asleep, I dream about baseball!
Bud Abbott: Don’t you ever dream about girls?
Lou Costello: And miss my turn up at bat?

Lou Costello: In Patterson, New Jersey, I worked out with a baseball team. I used to stay out until 4 o’clock in the morning.
Bud Abbott: Why did you stay out until 4 o’clock in the morning?
Lou Costello: This was a girl’s baseball team!

Marilyn Maxwell comes in, and Lou wants to take her along as a pitcher. Bud asks what she knows about baseball? Lou replies that he should see all they guys she struck out who were trying to get to first base! This kid has some nice curves …

Getting Lou Costello in shape

Bud Abbott: Costello, you want to be a big league ball player, you’ve got to get yourself in shape. Now, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. you’ll lift weights, from 9 to 10 deep knee bends, from 10 to 11 skip rope, 11 to 12 run five miles.
Lou Costello: 12 to 1 I’ll never make it!
Bud Abbott: You idiot, you’ll never be a ball player. Staying up late and going to night clubs, eating rich foods, running around with beautiful girls. Do you know what can happen to you?
Lou Costello: Yes. I can become manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Bud Abbott: Costello, I don’t even know why DiMaggio picked you. You don’t know how to swing a bat.
Lou Costello: I know all about swingin’ bats. When I was a kid, my father used to hit me with a baseball bat. My brother used to hit me with a baseball bat. My Uncle Artie Stebbins used to hit me with a baseball bat. And my mother used to hit me with a tennis racket.
Bud Abbott: With a tennis racket?
Lou Costello: Yes. She didn’t like baseball.

After some quick jokes with Skinnay Ennis, Lou’s getting ready for his first game against the Cleveland Indians. And there’s a set of jokes around Feller pitching. Bob Feller was the person, but of course Lou Costello’s confusing Feller with fella.

Sporting Goods Store

So, they go into a sporting goods store, to get Costello’s baseball outfit. They run into a friend of theirs, a lady who comically mispronounces words. Then, they run into the clerk:

Clerk: As Johnny Weissmuller said to Buster Crabbe, what dive did you come out of?

[Editor’s note: both Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe were professional swimmers, before acting — Tarzan and Flash Gordon, respectively]

Bud Abbott: : I’d like to see a baseball uniform that would fit Costello.
Clerk: So would I! But as Adam said to Eve, “Quit ribbing me!”

Clerk: Aren’t you overweight?
Lou Costello: : I’m about 120 pounds overweight. But I’m going back to my normal weight.
Clerk: What’s normal?
Lou Costello: Sixty pounds overweight.
Bud Abbott: Costello, you should really go on a diet. You know what a diet is, don’t you?
Lou Costello: Oh, sure. That’s where you can eat all you want of everything you don’t like.
Clerk: Young man, if you really want to reduce, why don’t you exercise with a couple of dumbbells?
Lou Costello: Okay, I’m ready whenever you and Abbott are!

After Lou gets confused about the baseball bat “designed for Slaughter” — Enos Slaughter, famous ball player of the time — he repeats the “Feller” routine with the clerk.

Clerk: As Orville said to Wilbur — you’re right! (Wright)

Mrs. Wetwash

Abbott gets the idea of visiting Mrs. Wetwash. Her late husband was a professional ball player, and he’s hoping she’ll loan Costello one of his baseball bats. She and Lou tend to get along like oil and water, however.

Lou Costello: Mrs. Wetwash, I wish you hadn’t said that. I was just telling Abbott how your face reminds me of a rose.
Mrs. Wetwash: An American Beauty Rose?
Lou Costello: No, a rhinocer-rose!

Mrs. Wetwash: What do the Yanks want with a little jerk like him?

So, she gives him a baseball bat — to the head! Clunk! “Hey, Abbott!”

Who’s on First?

After Marilyn Maxwell sings “New Orleans“, Bud and Lou do their classic “Who’s on First?” routine.

After a Camels commercial, Lou gets another telegram from Joe DiMaggio:

“Dear Lou,
Just heard your show. I think you’ve got the makings of the world’s greatest natural ball player. You have spiked teeth, a club head, and you’ve been off your base for years!”

The show ends with get well wishes for Joe DiMaggio, and a preview of next week’s episode, where Lou will build a prefabricated house.



  • Skinnay Ennis sings “Linda
  • Marilyn Maxwell sings the title song to the movie “New Orleans


  • Lou Costello
  • Bud Abbott
  • Marilyn Maxwell – playing the part of Lou’s girlfriend
  • Skinnay Ennis – thin singer, foil for Lou Costello
  • Elvia Allman – here, she’s playing Mrs. Wetwash, a foil for Lou. She typically plays Mrs. Niles — also an antagonist to Lou.
  • Clerk — unsure who this is. It might be Frank Nelson, but I can’t find anything definitive.
  • Michael Roy Hollywood – announcer

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