Lou is smitten by a cute girl. Thinking she’s in distress, he bursts into her apartment & her rehearsal for a Civil War play – South of Dixie
South of Dixie – The Abbott and Costello Show season 2, originally aired December 26, 1953
In South of Dixie, Lou is smitten by a cute new neighbor. Thinking that she is in distress, he bursts into her apartment and into her rehearsal for a Civil War melodrama. Lou is so magnificent in his rescue effort that he lands a role in the play.
It’s spring, and Lou Costello has fallen in love with a pretty waitress. After making a fool of himself, she leaves. It’s not only the end of her shift, but her last day on the job. She’s gotten a job as an actress in a play. The smitten Lou follows her, and even pretends to be a blind man, in order to talk with her. But that goes about as well as you might expect.
Back at the boarding house, Mr. Fields asks Lou to help him move a trunk for a new boarder. And Lou nearly knocks himself out in the attempt. But she’s the new boarder!
Later on, Bud, Lou, and Sid Fields all hear a scream from her apartment! And Lou runs to her rescue! But, she’s only rehearsing the play, with her handsome costar. Whom Lou instantly dislikes, of course. But Jean thinks he’ll be perfect for the part of Clem, the nice, not-so-bright country bumpkin. So Lou reads for the part, and gets it. And Bud and Sid Fields gets parts as well. Leading to the actual play …
South of Dixie – the play
South of Dixie is set in the American South, just as the Civil War is breaking out. Bud plays the father of Jean, a retired colonel. Rex, Lou’s romantic rival, announces that he’s going to join the Confederate Army. Not to be outdone, Lou does the same. But accidentally signs up for the Union Army!
Lou rescues Bud from being shot by the Northern Army, and shortly after Bud returns the favor, rescuing Lou from the Southern Army. He then has Lou roll around in the dust to cover the blue of his Union suit, and has him wear a hokey mustache. Which somehow fools Jean, and the Confederate soldiers.
But then, Lou helps the Confederate soldiers with their battle plans. There’s a funny recurring joke where Sid Fields keeps forgetting the names of things, until Lou gives a helpful hint. “Key” to victory, “fork” in the road, etc. But then the grateful soldiers pat him on the back, raising a cloud of dust …. And ruining his disguise! Then, the chase is on!
Thankfully, Bud Abbott has a plan. As the soldiers chase Lou, Bud conks the last person with a club, and throws him into a shack. And it works. And, he only hits Lou once! Lou tries to escape on a horse-drawn carriage, but the horse isn’t connected! Ending the play.
- Lou carrying the trunk & crashing into a wall
- Fake flower stem gag
- Lou pouring the coffee on the officers’ hands
- Confederate soldier chase Lou — who leads them past Bud, who conks the last one in line with a club! Accidentally hitting Lou, of course.
- Lou’s escape wagon has the horse not connected to the horse!
Cast of characters
- Bud Abbott … Bud Abbott
- Lou Costello … Lou Costello
- Jean Porter (Sweet Genevieve) … Jean Wilson
- Glenn Langan (The Amazing Colossal Man) … Rex. Lou’s romantic rival, both at the boarding house & in the play.
- Sid Fields (Mexican Hayride) … Sid Fields (as Sidney Fields)
- Gordon Jones (McLintock!, The Green Hornet) … Mike Kelly / Col. Potts (in play)
- Bob Hopkins (The Flintstones, On Stage Everybody) … Capt. Grant
- Dick Gordon … Col. Davis
- Jeanne Baird (The Living Christ series) … Helen
- Bobby Barber (Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man) … Jake
- Inspired by Buster Keaton‘s The General
- Clyde Bruckman, the episode’s writer, also co-wrote and co-directed The General