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The Wrestling Story

Why don't you boys wrestle at the policeman's benefit tonight? The Wrestling Story

The Wrestling ShowThe Abbott and Costello Show, season 1

The Wrestling Story – Lou and Stinky agree to settle their differences in a wrestling match for the policemen’s benefit. Before the match, Bud comes up with a plan to get a free meal by borrowing Mike the Cop’s uniform. Later, when Stinky falls ill, Lou is forced to wrestle his kid brother, Ivan the Terrible.


Lou Costello makes a joke about shadow boxing …. Foreshadowing the main conflict later on. But first, he does a practical joke on Bud Abbott. Make a fist, put your elbow like this …. And Bud punches himself! A bit I associate with the Three Stooges, but I’m sure predates them all. Bud chases Lou offstage, and the story begins.

Fighting with Stinky

Why don't you boys wrestle at the policeman's benefit tonight?

The Wrestling Match begins with Lou, once again fighting with his pal Stinky. Mike the Cop intervenes, suggesting that if they have to fight, they should wrestle tonight at the auditorium for the policeman’s benefit. After all, the winner will get a $25 defense bond. It sounds good … As Mike the Cop says,, “There will be no favoritism shown, absolutely not, or I ain’t Stinky’s uncle!”

Using Mike the Cop’s uniform

Lou in Mike the Cop's uniform, as part of a scam in "The Wrestling Story"

Bud Abbott has a scheme to use Mike the Cop’s uniform to scam a free meal from a restaurant before the fight. He “borrows” Mike’s uniform while Mike’s getting a shave at Bacciagalupe’s barber shop. He goes into a restaurant, and eats a big meal …. That he can’t pay for. When the proprietor wants to call the cops, Bud blows Mike’s whistle …. And in comes Lou, dressed in Mike’s uniform, to “arrest” Bud. He takes him outside, and they switch, so that Lou can now steal a free meal. But, Mike the Cop’s done with his shave by now! So when Lou blows the whistle, Mike comes in!

The Wrestling Match

“All I did was give Stinky 26 malted milks.” Clearly, Lou’s trying to get Stinky too sick to wrestle. But instead, Mike the Cop has a substitute wrestler, Stinky’s younger brother. Ivan the Terrible!

Bud Abbott: Come on, get up that nerve of yours. I want you to go into that ring like a bullfighter, wrestle him like a matador, throw him like a picador.
Lou Costello: And they’ll carry me out like a cuspidor.

"The Wrestling Story" - Ivan the Terrible, Mike the Cop (referee) and Lou Costello in the ring

Mike the Cop is the referee, who does the classic clown routine “don’t do this”! As he demonstrates the various illegal moves on Lou.

Then, the match begins! Despite an early display by Lou, Ivan’s clearly in control:

Lou Costello: Abbott! He’s breaking my arm!
Bud Abbot: What’re you worried about, you’ve got another arm.

You've got another arm!  Ivan, Lou, and Bud

A true friend, that guy. At one point, as Ivan is pounding Lou’s head into the mat …. Bud uses his head to crack walnuts! However, Lou’s other friends, Hillary & Mr. Bacciagalupe are in the audience to cheer him on. And he needs it! And in a twist of fate — while twisting Ivan’s leg — Lou wins! Bud comes into the ring to raise Lou’s arm in triumph …. And accidentally knocks him out cold!

Cast of characters


  • Written by Sid Fields
  • Mike Kelly, the cop, is Stinky Davis’ uncle.

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