Abbott and Costello — Who's On First

The Greatest Comedy Routine Ever

The Script

Abbott: How do you like my ball club Lou?

Costello: Hey, all those people gonna be at the game today?

Abbott: Certainly.

Costello: Ah, this is gonna be a whopper of a game!

Abbott: Well it should be.

Costello: Hey, Abbott

Abbott: What?

Costello: I understand they made you the manager of this here team.

Abbott: Why not?

Costello: So you the manager?

Abbott: I'm the manager!

Costello: Well, you know, I'd like to know some of the guys' names on the team so when I meet 'em on the street or in the ballpark I'll be able to say, "Hello," to those people.

Abbott: Why sure I'll introduce you to the boys. They give 'em funny names though, Lou.

Costello: Oh I know they give those ball players awful funny names.

Abbott: Well, let's see, on the team we have uh Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third

Costello: Are you the manager?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: You know the guys' names?

Abbott: I sure do.

Costello: Then tell me the guys' names.

Abbott: I say, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third and then you...

Costello: You the manager?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: You know the guys' names?

Abbott: I'm telling you their names!

Costello: Well who's on first?

Abbott: Yeah.

Costello: Go ahead and tell me.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy on first.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy playin' first base.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy on first.

Abbott: Who is on first!

Costello: What are you askin' me for? I'm askin' you!

Abbott: I'm not asking you, I'm telling you.

Costello: You ain't tellin' me nothin'. I'm askin' you, who's on first?

Abbott: That's it!

Costello: Well go ahead and tell me.

Abbott: Who!

Costello: The guy on first base.

Abbott: That's his name.

Costello: That's whose name?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: Well go ahead and tell me.

Abbott: That's the man's name!

Costello: That's whose name?

Abbott: Yeah!

Costello: Well go ahead and tell me!

Abbott: Who is on first!

Costello: What are you askin' me for? I'm askin' you, who's on first?

Abbott: That's it.

Costello: Well go ahead and tell me.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy on first.

Abbott: That's it.

Costello: What's the guy's name on first?

Abbott: No, What's on second.

Costello: I'm not askin' you who's on second!

Abbott: Who's on first.

Costello: That's what I'm askin' you! Who's on first?

Abbott: Now wait a minute. Don't change the players.

Costello: I'm not changin' nobody! I asked you a simple question. What's the guys' name on first base?

Abbott: What's the guy's name on second base.

Costello: I'm not askin' you who's on second!

Abbott: Who is on first.

Costello: I don't know.

Abbott: He's on third. Now we're not talking about him.

Costello: Look, you got a first baseman?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: Then tell me the fella's name playin' first.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy playin' first.

Abbott: That's his name.

Costello: Wait. What's the guy's name on first base?

Abbott: What is the guy's name on second base!

Costello: Who's playin' second?

Abbott: Who's playin' first.

Costello: I don't know.

Abbott: He's on third base.

Costello: Look, when you pay off the first baseman every month, who do you pay the money to?

Abbott: Every dollar of it.

Costello: Yeah. Look, you gotta pay the money to somebody on first base, don't you?

Abbott: Yeah.

Costello: Does he give you a receipt?

Abbott: Sure.

Costello: How does he sign the receipt?

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy that you give the money to.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy you give the money to.

Abbott: That's how he signs it.

Costello: That's how who signs it?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: Well go ahead and tell me!?

Abbott: That's it.

Costello: That's who?

Abbott: Yeah.

Costello: When you give the guy the money, doesn't he have to sign the receipt?

Abbott: He does!

Costello: Well how does he sign his name?

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy you give the money to.

Abbott: That's how he signs it! He signs it who.

Costello: You! You just don't give money to someone without having 'em sign the receipt!

Abbott: So! Who signs it.

Costello: What are you askin' me for?

Abbott: Now calm down. I'm not asking you, I am telling you.

Costello: Well go ahead and tell me. What's the guy's name that signs the receipt on first base?

Abbott: Well now wait a minute. What signs his own receipt.

Costello: Who signs his own receipt?

Abbott: No, Who signs his.

Costello: I'm askin' you, when the guy on first base gives you a piece of paper

Abbott: Yes, now wait

Costello: he puts his name on it.

Abbott: So, Who puts his name on it

Costello: How

Abbott: and what puts his name on his

Costello: How does the fella's name on first base look to you when he signs his name?

Abbott: Who.

Costello: To you.

Abbott: That's how it looks.

Costello: How does it look to you?

Abbott: Who!

Costello: To you.

Abbott: Who!

Costello: To you.

Abbott: Who! Look

Costello: When the guy signs his name, how does it look to you?

Abbott: Now that's how it looks. Who.

Costello: Who?

Abbott: Who.

Costello: I'm askin' you. What's the guy's name on first base you give the money to?

Abbott: Who! After all, the man's entitled to it.

Costello: Who is?

Abbott: Yes. Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.

Costello: Whose wife?

Abbott: Yeah, sure.

Costello: All I'm tryin' to find out is what's the guy's name on first base?

Abbott: What is on second base.

Costello: I'm not askin' you who's on second.

Abbott: Who's on first.

Costello: I don't know.

Costello: Third base, I know.

Abbott: Yeah.

Costello: You got a outfield?

Abbott: Sure.

Costello: The left fielder's name?

Abbott: Why.

Costello: I just thought I'd ask you.

Abbott: Well I just thought I'd tell you.

Costello: The left fielder's name?

Abbott: Why!?

Costello: Because!

Abbott: Oh, he's centerfield.

Costello: Oh!

Abbott: You know these players as well as I do.

Costello: All I'm tryin' to figure out is what's the guy's name in left field.

Abbott: Now, What's on second.

Costello: I'm not askin' you who's on second.

Abbott: Who's on first.

Costello: I don't know

Both: Third base.

PAUSE

Costello: You got a pitcher on this team?

Abbott: Wouldn't be a fine team without a pitcher.

Costello: What's his name?

Abbott: Tomorrow.

Costello: You don't want to tell me today?

Abbott: I'm telling you.

Costello: Then go ahead.

Abbott: Tomorrow!?

Costello: What time?

Abbott: What time what?

Costello: What time tomorrow are you gonna tell me who's pitching?

Abbott: Now listen. Who is not...

Costello: I'll break your arm, you say who's on first! I want to know what's the pitcher's name?

Abbott: What's on second.

Costello: I don't know.

Both: Third base!

PAUSE

Costello: You got a catcher?

Abbott: Sure.

Costello: The catcher's name?

Abbott: Today.

Costello: Today. You don't wanna tell me, today, Štomorrow, do you?

Abbott: I'm telling you.

Costello: So the catcher's name?

Abbott: Today.

Costello: Today. And Tomorrow's pitching.

Abbott: Now you've got it!

Costello: Now I've got it?

Abbott: Hey!

Costello: All we got is a couple of days on the team!

Abbott: Well I can't help that.

Costello: All right. You know now, I'm a good catcher. Now, I get behind the plate and Tomorrow's pitching on my team and a heavy hitter gets up.

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: Now when he gets up, me being a good catcher, I'm gonna throw the guy out at first base. So the guy bunts the ball. I pick up the ball; I'm gonna throw the guy out at first base. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?

Abbott: Now that's the first thing you've said right.

Costello: I don't even know what I'm talkin' about!

Abbott: Well that's all you have

Costello: That's all I have to do is to throw the ball to first base. Now who's got it?

Abbott: Naturally. Now you've got it.

Costello: If I throw the ball to first base, somebody's gotta get the ball! Now who's got it?

Abbott: Naturally.

Costello: Who?

Abbott: Naturally.

Costello: Naturally?

Abbott: Naturally.

Costello: So I pick up the ball and I throw it to Naturally.

Abbott: No, no, no, no

Costello: He gets the ball. Naturally gets the ball and...

Abbott: You throw the ball to first base.

Costello: Then who gets it?

Abbott: Naturally.

Costello: So I pick up the ball and I throw it to Naturally.

Abbott: No!

Costello: Naturally gets the ball and

Abbott: You throw the ball to Who.

Costello: Naturally.

Abbott: Naturally.

Costello: That's what I'm saying!?

Abbott: You're not saying it that way

Costello: I said, I throw the ball to Naturally.

Abbott: No you don't!

Costello: I throw it to who?

Abbott: Naturally.

Costello: That's what I'm saying!

Abbott: No it isn't.

Costello: I throw the ball to first base, somebody's gotta get it.

Abbott: So Who gets it.

Costello: Naturally.

Abbott: That's it.

Costello: Okay. Now I ask you, who gets it?

Abbott: Naturally.

Costello: Same as you!

Abbott: Now listen

Costello: I throw the ball to Naturally.

Abbott: You throw the ball to Who!?

Costello: Then who gets it?

Abbott: Naturally.

Costello: He better get it! So I throw the ball to first base.

Abbott: All right.

Costello: Whoever gets it drops the ball and the guy runs to second. Now, Who picks up the ball and throws it to What. What throws it to I Don't Know. I Don't Know throws it back to Tomorrow, triple play.

Abbott: Could be.

Costello: Another guy gets up and hits a long fly ball to Because.

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: Why? I don't know! He's on third and I don't give a darn!

Abbott: What'd you say?

Costello: I said, I don't give a darn!

Abbott: Oh, that's our shortstop!

A script for an earlier version of the same routine is available at The Baseball Almanac

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