Abbott & Costello’s “Who’s On First?” routine has been a part of American pop culture for over 70 years. It was first performed by the pair in 1937 shortly after they formed their burlesque team. This was back in the days when they were appearing in vaudeville revues and the like.
In Cooperstown, New York, a video of “Who’s On First?” is shown in a never-ending loop at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Time Magazine rated “Who’s On First?” the greatest comedy sketch of the 20th century.
The general premise behind the exchange has Costello (a peanut vendor named Sebastion Dinwiddle) talking to Abbott who is Dexter Broadhurt, the manager of the mythical St. Louis Wolves. However, before Costello can get behind the plate, Abbott wants to make sure he knows every one’s name on the team. What follows is an intricately woven exchange between the two legends of comedy.
Here is a clip of the comedy duo performing “Who’s On First?” in the 1945 movie, The Naughty Nineties.