Early television comedies, especially ones like The Abbott and Costello Show, are often interesting, because they provided the performers a different venue to reuse a lot of material that they were basically recycling from their vaudeville days. In some ways this was a good thing, because it gave the performers a chance to bring this material to a new audience that might not have seen it before, while at the same time giving that audience a chance to see these performers and acts that they might not otherwise have a chance to. Of course, on the flip side, it also could lead to a sense of deja vu for those who were familiar with the performers, especially those who had already made a successful transition to the movies where much of this material had already been recycled.
Fortunately, truly skilled performers such as Bud and Lou were able to take even well-worn material and give it a surprising freshness thanks to the new medium. Combine that skill with good support from other performers and writers and you come up with a show that doesn’t simply feel like an old joke retread, but still has a comforting familiarity to it. Call it video comfort food.
Anyway, I thought sine the past couple of weeks have spotlighted a couple of heavier, more dramatic shows, it was time for a few laughs, and for me, when it comes to that aforementioned “video comfort food”, there is definitely no better place to turn than my all-time favorite comedy duo, so here, just for fun, is a first season episode of The Abbott and Costello Show, entitled “The Haunted House”