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The Great Gildersleeve

The Great Gildersleeve - The Abbott and Costello radio show

The Great GildersleeveThe Abbott and Costello radio show, originally broadcast January 20, 1944

Lou gets into an insult contest with Harold Peary, The Great Gildersleeve. And they decide to settle their differences with a football game!

Lou burns his breeches behind him

Costello: Hey, ABBBOOOOOTTTTTT! A terrible thing just happened. I was invited down to the shipyards where they were building a new ship, and I got caught between two guys that were throwing hot rivets.
Abbott: What happened?
Costello: One of those red-hot rivets landed in my back pocket.
Abbott: Yes?
Costello: And before I knew it, I was four miles out to sea under my own steam!
Abbott: How did they save you — did they throw you a breeches buoy?
Costello: No, I came back without any breaches, kid!
Abbott: Well, you made a fool of yourself again
Costello: Yeah, I burned my bridges behind• me!

Costello: My cousin Hugo is a sailor down there . He’s in the signal corpsl
Abbott: The signal corps?
Costello: Yeah, he keeps signaling his mother to get him out


Then, Ken & Mrs. Niles want Lou to babysit their nephew, little Hector. Which Lou doesn’t want to do!

Abbott: That’s no way to talk! What did little Hector ever do to you?
Costello: What did he do? He poured a bottle of ink in my bathtub last year!
Abbott: Last year? Did you speak to him about it?
Costello: No, I only discovered it yesterday …

Ken Niles: Sorry we’re late, Bud . My wife and I just got back from a hunting trip.
Mrs. Niles: Yes — I got a moose head!
Costello: Put a hat on your antlers and nobody will notice it!
Abbott: Pay no attention to Costello, Mrs . Niles. Hels a little tired. He just came from launching a ship.
Mrs. Niles: He just launched a ship . Ha ha ha . That must have been a pretty picture …ONE TUB LAUNCHING ANOTHER!
Ken Niles: Ho ho ho . That was wonderful, dear. What a clever remark! It’s no wonder I go for you; Mrs. Niles: And Kenneth, I go for yout
Ken Niles: I go for youl
Mrs. Niles: I go for youl
Costello: Ladies and gentlemen, you have just heard from Mr. and Mrs. Gopher!

Soon, little Hector is playing with a BB gun! Not only does Lou take buckshot to the face, he shoots out the window and hits Harold Peary – the Great Gildersleeve!

The Great Gildersleeve

Abbott: Mr, Gildersleeve, those shots were an accident! Where did he get you?
The Great Gildersleeve: Between my bay windov and the back porch … and furthermore, one of those bee-bees lodged in my head!
Costello: Lodged in your head? I don’t believe it J Shake your head once!
The Great Gildersleeve: All right, I will! [sound of a little pellet shaken in a gourd]
Costello:He’s right, Abbott. Imagine a little bee-bee all alone in that big head l

Football game

Eventually,Gildersleeve and Costello decide to resolve their differences on the football field.

Costello: [yelling] OWWNUW! Referee! HELP! DID YA SEE WHAT HAPPENED!
Referee: Yes, and I penalize you fifteen yards for interference!
Referee: I don’t believe it …you wouldn’t do a thing like that, would you, Gildy?
The Great Gildersleeve: No, Uncle Ralph!


  • Freddie Rich & his orchestra perform “Dancing in the Dark
  • Connie Haines sings “Shoo Shoo Baby“ by special request


  • Bud Abbott – straight man
  • Lou Costello – comedian.
  • Harold Peary (Look Who’s Laughing) – radio star, playing the Great Gildersleeve, who began on the “Fibber McGee and Molly” show, before spinning off to star in his own series.
  • 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 – the voice of little Hector, who drive Lou to the breaking point. Mrs. Niles’ nephew.
  • Arthur Q. Bryan – the voice of Elmer Fudd. Here, the plays the role of little Tommy Tompkins, a child with a speech impediment.
  • John Brown – The unbiased referee at the football game. Coincidentally, Gildersleeves’ Uncle Ralph!

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