Alan, In August we're spotlighting a new section to the newsletter called, The Spotlight Is On You!
If you would like to be our first "Spotlight," we'd run a photo of you, you can write up a short paragraph or two about what you do, anything you want to let our worldwide subscribers know about you (love the potato chip historian!). We'll add in your web site, anything you want to discuss. The deadline for the August issue would be mid-July. Let me know if you'd be interested. I checked out your web site and instantly thought, "This is too perfect!" Thanks, Alan. Chris
Enjoy the opening theme to the Abbott and Costello Show
———————————————— Watch Me In The Fail Chip Doccumentary By Vice Media! ———————————
On Novemeber 19th 2019, I spoke to the New York Capital Region Elfuns Clubat the Hilton Garden Inn in Clifton Park NY, on the History of the Potato Chip. The club consists of mostly retired General Electric employees.
The Toga Chip Guy Is On The Air!
I have been interviewed about the history of the potato chip by a California based radio station, Yesterday USA Radio Networks, at 10:30pm New York time on Saturday, September 14th. Listen here!
Slim (Bud Abbott) and Tubby (Lou Costello), two American police officers studying London police methods, and Bruce Adams (Craig Stevens), a newspaper reporter, become involved in a brawl at Hyde Park instigated by Vicky Edwards (Helen Westcott) and other militant suffragettes. Bruce and Vicky are jailed, and Slim and Tubby are bounced off the force. Vicky's guardian, Dr. Henry Jekyll (Boris Karloff), arranges for her bail. Dr. Jekyll conducts strange experiments in a laboratory in his home. A hypodermic injection changes Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde, a monstrous creature who has panicked London. He jealously notices that Vicky and Bruce are becoming fond of each other. The monster tries to kill Bruce at a musical hall where he watches Vicky perform. Tubby and Slim spot the monster and a chase ensues, joined by Bruce. Tubby traps Mr. Hyde in a cell in a wax museum, but when he returns with the inspector and slim, the creature has become Dr. Jekyll again. Nobody believes that he is the monster.
Dr. Jekyll asks Tubby and Slim to escort him home, where Tubby drinks a potion that temporarily turns him into an oversized mouse. When the serum wares off, the boys rush to Scotland Yard to inform the inspector, who still refuses to believe them. Meanwhile, Vicky announces that she and Bruce are to be married. The jealous Dr. Jekyll once again becomes Mr. Hyde and tries to kill Vicky. Bruce returns in time to save her, but Mr. Hyde escapes. In the confusion, Tubby falls against the syringe and gets enough of the serum to become a monster. A chase follows, with Bruce leading one group after the real Mr. Hyde, and Slim another after Tubby. The chase ends back in Dr. Jekyll's home, where Mr. Hyde falls to his death from an upstairs window.
Meanwhile, Slim brings Tubby into custody, and Tubby doesn't change back to his normal self until he is bitten half a dozen bobbies and the inspector. They tun into monsters and chase Slim and Tubby.
"Abbott and Costello in Hollywood"
Ron Palumbo and Bob Furmanek
A Publicity Still from the film with Boris Karloff
On December 5, 1952, a month before "Jekyll and Hyde" began shooting, the team's classic television series began running in syndication across the country. These episodes had actually been filmed in the spring of 1951, but it took Lou nearly eighteen months to find a distribution deal to his liking. The show became an immediate hit, and coupled with the team's continuing appearances on
The Colgate Comedy Hour
, Abbott and Costello's popularity surged once again. Quick to capitalize, Realart reissued
In Society, Keep ' Em Flying,
while United Artists dusted off
. Add to this three new releases ---
Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd, Abbott and Costello Go to Mars,
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ---
and you will note that seven A&C films were on the market in 1953!
Robert Arthur received an unsolicited treatment titled
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
on December 9, 1949. It bears no resemblance to the finished film except for the title, but did contain an amusing end gag: Costello turns into ... Abbott!
On August 28, 1952, producer Howard Christie purchased a four-page outline by longtime Abbott and Costello pal Sid Fields. Fields was working on the team's television series and
shows as both a writer and performer. His treatment, called
Flowers at Midnight
, also bears little resemblance to the film.
Christie liked the idea of
Jekyll and Hyde
better than another script that had been kicking around since mid-1952,
Abbott and Costello in the South Seas
, and screenwriter Grant
Garett was put to work developing Fields' treatment. Gradually, the story evolved into the film as we know it. Lee Loeb wrote the final screenplay, with additions from John Grant. Production on
Abbott and Costello in the South Seas
was pushed back six months, while another script,
Fireman Save My Child
(also in development since 1952), was prepared for production. The Breen Office cautioned,
"It is required that the actual injection of the hypodermic syringe be masked from the audience. We presume there will be nothing offensive in Tubby's reaction to the fact that he has sat on the hypodermic syringe."
Although the film was approved for release in the United States, it received an "X" rating in England because of the scenes with Mr. Hyde; no one under sixteen was permitted to attend without an accompanying adult.
"Abbott and Costello in Hollywood"
Ron Palumbo and Bob Furmanek
Lou with director Charles Lamont between scenes
Generally, the studio preferred not to exceed $650,000 on the budgets for the Abbott and Costello films during this period.
Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
was budgeted more generously at $734,805, including an allotment for stereophonic sound. Lamont was given twenty-three days to shoot the picture and still managed to bring it in $10,000 under budget.
It might be instructive to reiterate director Charles Lamont's working methods here.
"Things were left entirely to John Grant and myself. John was always on the set with me, and together we came up with a finished script. Neither Bud or Lou ever bothered about okaying a script. Once in a while they would suggest a gag or an ad-lib. I'd let them do it, because it was easier than arguing with them. I'd say, 'Yeah, that's great, we'll leave it in.' Then when I was cutting the picture, anything I didn't want, I cut out. If they asked, 'Where's that scene of so-and-so?' I'd say, 'I had to cut it for time.' [laughs] The alibi is easy, you see?"
The rooftop chases certainly took their toll on the stuntmen. Lou's double, Vic Parks, pulled a leg muscle, and Karloff's double, Eddie Parker, broke his ankle. Parks not only doubled for Lou in the chase sequences, but even did the bulk of the transformation scenes.
"Lou would do the first part of the transformation, in close-up, then I did the rest. It took about two and a half hours to get that make-up on. I turned into a mouse, too. They had stills of me in the make-up and they asked me if I wanted them. I said, 'What for?Nobody would believe it was me.' "
Bud Abbott between takes with stunt doubles Vic Parks (left) and Eddie Parker (right)
In the Owensboro Messenger, dated August 23, 1953, the writer states:
Chief sufferer from this penchant of Bud and Lou's off-the-cuff lines is veteran scripter John Grant, who has been writing scripts for the comics since they became a laugh team more than twenty years ago. "I'd be very rich if I had a nickel for every scene I've written for the boys, only to have them throw it out of a dressing room window and whip up a substitute for it. The boys worked that way in radio and in burlesque, long before they came to Hollywood. I guess they'll always be that way."
Another martyr to the cause of keeping Bud and Lou on a sane course throughout the film is Charles Lamont, who has directed the pair in 10 of their movies. He was rehearsing Bud and Lou through a scene with Karloff for the new comedy when an excellent example of the boys' proneness for ad-libs occurred.
The script called for Bud to remark to Lou: "Drink this stuff and you'll change into a mouse." Before that "take" was completed here's what was said:
Lou: "I'll change into Jekyll and you Hyde."
Bud: "Hurry up and change into a mouse."
Lou: "What if I remain a mouse?"
Bud: "Don't worry, I'll bring you cheese every day."
Lamont added, "Sure, I'm getting gray around the temples, but I have to admit it's fun and it makes people laugh. Besides, the pay is good."
BUD AND LOU'S SCENES
"Abbott and Costello in Hollywood"
Ron Palumbo and Bob Furmanek
Bud and Lou in a scene with Reginald Denny as the inspector
There's very little of the classic Abbott and Costello wordplay in this or in the team's next picture,
Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops.
It was an interesting period for Bud and Lou. After completing
Meet Jekyll and Hyde
, the boys went on to film episodes for their second season of their television series. These episodes introduced a new format that was also devoid of the team's signature routines. Bud and Lou felt they needed to give the routines a rest, since they'd been on prominent if not simultaneous display in both the first season of the television series and on various episodes of
The Colgate Comedy Hour
. Unfortunately, however, this meant more of a reliance on pure slapstick than ever before. Bud and Lou whack each other over the head, and Bud probably takes more pratfalls in these two films than in all of the team's previous pictures combined.
Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
includes the kind of sight gags and scare takes that made
Meet the Invisible Man
successful, there are none of the satiric wisecracks to balance them. Although John Grant is credited with the screenplay, none of his writing style is evident. One scene that had great potential for inside jokes is squandered: Lou's encounter with the Frankenstein
a curious homage to a film he supposedly despised -- is little more than obvious and obligatory double-takes
Lou's encounter with the Frankenstein monster
(The film also borrows liberally from Frank Skinner's marvelous score for
, and the music does far more to convey terror than the silly make-up). Even though Lou is turned into a mouse and into a monster, it is pointless to discuss his characterizations since he didn't perform in the make-up --- Vic Parks did.
Was Not Universal's First Choice For "Jekyll and Hyde"
"The demand for monstrous characterizations keeps recurring,
So I guess there's nothing to do but satisfy it"
(Park Record, October 8, 1953)
Bud and Lou in a scene with Boris Karloff
In the Ron Palumbo and Bob Furmanek book, "Abbott and Costello in Hollywood, " they note:
Boris Karloff (1887-1969) was not the studio's first choice for Dr. Jekyll; Basil Rathbone was. [Director] Charles Lamont suggested Karloff after Rathbone turned the role down. Karloff had appeared in "Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff" in 1949.
In the Park Record, dated Thursday, October 8, 1953, just two days before the film's initial release date, the article titled
Karloff Stars With Comics in New Film,
Karloff Stars With Comics In New Film
Just twenty-one years after he created the world-famous Frankenstein Monster for Universal Studio, Boris Karloff was back on the same lot for the dual role of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Universal-International's hilarious "Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
The star who lumbered through the early Frankenstein films in an iron clad costume to terrify audiences, donned a wolfish mask which covered his entire head for his role with the two comedians.
"I have tried for some years to satisfy audiences, and stage, screen and television producers by appearing without any sort of disguise." Karloff recalls. "I felt I could handle just about any type of role and people were content to see me as I am.
But there is no living down this reputation of horror that I seem to have built up at the outset of my screen career. The demand for monstrous characterizations keeps recurring, so I guess there's nothing to do but satisfy it."
It was on the same studio sound stage that Karloff created the never-to-be-forgotten Frankenstein creature, that he changed from a suave English doctor to a monster with a wolf's head for highlight scenes in
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
UNIVERSAL'S MONSTER MASTERS
"One of our toughest assignments was
"Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
(Head of Universal Make-Up Department)
Lou Costello's transformation into Dr. Jekyll
Called the "monster factory," it was located on the second floor of an old building on the Universal-International lot, and the monster masters who ran it was Bud Westmore and his assistant Jack Kevan.
In a February 23, 1953 Los Angeles Times piece, the writer reports:
These fellows can whip up a monster at the drop of a script, and that's what they've been doing lately.
Universal's penchant for horror goes back to the old days of Lon Chaney and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." The early talkies brought such hits on the shiver screen as "Dracula" and "Frankenstein." From then on, it was a make-up man's paradise. They had the Frankenstein Monster meeting the ape man, Dracula meeting the mummy, and all of them meeting up with Abbott and Costello. Art gum and sponge rubber all over the place. Mr. Westmore recalled,
"One of the toughest assignments was "Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."We had to make up nine Dr. Jekyll masks. The idea was that as one actor bit another, he turned into Dr. Jekyll. Then at the end we had to turn Lou Costello into a mouse!"
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
started production, Karloff was in his 60's, so Westmore and his team tried to cut down on the process in the make-up chair. With assistant Jack Kevan's make-up style beginning to emerge, he had created a step-by-step transformation of Mr. Hyde with dissolves. In most of the Hyde scenes, Karloff is wearing mask-like pieces, but was not put through the long time-intensive sittings in the make-up chair.
(July 8, 1918 - May 10, 2000)
Born: Gail Shikles, Jr.
Craig Stevens as Bruce Adams (second from left)
Craig Stevens is best known for his starring role as private detective Peter Gunn in the 1958 to 1961 television series,
Stevens first studied dentistry at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and earned a bachelor's degree in 1936. It was acting with the university's drama club, however, which prompted him to halt his studies and pursue a career in Hollywood.
Under the name, Michael Gail, Stevens first screen role was playing a sailor in the 1939 film,
starring Randolph Scott. It was following his debut film where he adopted the name, Craig Stevens. He can be glimpsed in the (1939) film,
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,
starring James Stewart and directed by Frank Capra.
In 1941, Stevens signed with Warner Bros. They immediately cast him in
, starring Merle Oberon, followed by
, also in 1941 and which starred his future wife, Alexis Smith. His first lead was in a B movie (1942),
, followed by two more that same year,
The Hidden Hand
During World War II, Stevens served in the United States Army Air Corps' First Motion Picture Unit based in Culver City, California, acting in propaganda and training films. The unit came to be known as "The Culver City Commandos." From 1943 to 1949, he continued to appear in small supporting roles, and left the studio when his contract ended.
By the 1950's, Stevens was finding his way into television, appearing in an episode of
The Lone Ranger, Stars Over Hollywood, Fireside Theater
In 1953, he was cast in the lead role in the low budget film,
Murder Without Tears
, and as the romantic lead, Bruce Adams, in
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Stevens and his wife, Alexis Smith, were neighbors of Lou Costello. In an interview with Stevens (July 13, 1979) when Chris Costello interviewed him for her book, "Lou's On First," Stevens had this to say:
"Your Dad and Mom were our neighbors on Longridge. We lived up one block from your home. One of my most memorable recalls was when you, as a baby, came to visit with your mom. Alexis and I didn't have children, and kids was a whole new experience for us. I remember your mom putting you on my lap. [Laughing] All of a sudden I felt something wet on my pant legs. You had wet your diaper, and my pants were soaked! I believe I quickly handed you back to Mom!
Lou and Anne were dear people. They hosted some pretty gala parties at their home, of which Alexis and I attended when in town. Lou was a character. Just an overall fun guy to be around. He was also a very generous man. He came over one day and we were just sitting and talking. I mentioned that my mother used to make this type of bread that had a cheese baked into it. A week later, here comes Lou up the walkway carrying a box. [chuckling] he had a baker who owned a small bakery on Ventura Blvd. try and duplicate the bread recipe. If I recall, that baker did a fine job! But that was Lou. Always doing something nice for others.
When I signed on to play the romantic lead in 'Jekyll and Hyde,' I was cautioned by Lou that he and Bud never rehearsed lines. [Laughing] I had no idea where the cues began or ended. Both he and Bud were masters of the ad-lib. Following one scene with Helen Westcott, Lou turned to me and said, 'You did great!' I believe I responded with, 'Lou, I never said anything!' It was an enjoyable film to work on, and both your Dad and Bud were very professional ... despite the ad-libbing!"
Jekyll and Hyde
"One of the best films Abbott and I ever made. The 'Meet' films
have always proved to be bonanzas!"
(Star Gazette - August 13, 1953)
Lou Costello in a scene from the film
In a short column piece that appeared in the Star Gazette three days following the film's release, Lou Costello had this to say regarding
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde:
"This is the best picture Abbott and I ever made! Those 'Meet' pictures have always proven to be bonanzas, and now we're looking for another idea."
Enter their publicist Joe Glaston, who joins the conversation with Lou and comes up with his own suggestion:
"Why not Abbott and Costello Meet Francis? That would get both your audience and 'Francis the Talking Mule' as well.' "
Lou pondered the notion replying,
"That's got great possibilities, Joe. Why not take a crack at the story yourself?"
Lou finishes his interview praising Glaston.
"He's already working on an original story which Bud and I think will be a worthwhile project."
The Toga Chip Guy
Potato Chip Historian
Slingerlands, New York
(Subscriber since 2019)
Photo courtesy of: Cathleen Duffy, Saratoga Living Magazine
Alan Richer at the Saratoga Auto Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York
At first, everyone thought I was joking when I proclaimed that I was a potato chip historian. However, as time went on and persistently contacting other people, I started to be taken seriously.
My big break came when the snack food trade association suggested that I contact Donald Noss. At that point, Don was in his eighties. His late dad, Harvey, had founded the Snack Food Association in 1937. After becoming phone pals, Don invited me to his home in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio and we spent a week traveling to meet old-time chippers. In many cases, their offspring did not fully appreciate their history. I decided to begin documenting the history of the potato chip, and in the process profiled many chip companies, many of which are now defunct. In exchange, the old-time chippers gave me chip memorabilia that never appeared in the open market. Right before he passed away in 2018, Don gave me his extensive collection of chip memorabilia, including paintings, bags, trade magazines, and his dad's desk set and Snack Food Association Hall of Fame Award.
I began offering entertaining, interactive, educational lectures on the history of the chip. I've addressed universities, museums, historical associations, private parties, and senior groups. A local newspaper featured me in an article and coined me as "The Toga Chip Guy." I liked the moniker and decided to keep it. It's an abbreviation for Saratoga. Legend has it that the potato chip was invented in Saratoga Springs.
In my lectures, I cover the alternative origins of the chip, including the players, facts, myths, and mystery. My talks cover the timeline, geographic expansion, company slogans, anthropological changes in clothing, companies that began by selling Saratoga Chips, and non-potato "Saratoga Chip" products. My almost 400 slides include photos of my collection of tins, bags, displays, machinery, delivery transportation, plants, and buildings. I also discuss my travels and the people I have met. As my collection grew, so did my space shrink in size. Today, my collection fills two large storage units!
In order to get my name out, I started a web site,
When I began, I was cold calling companies, only to often have them laugh and hang up on me. Now, I get invited to various trade shows such as SNAXPO and the Sweets and Snacks Expo. I've been featured on NBC, various radio shows, newspapers, including the Boston Globe, and by Vice Media. One of the biggest highlights of my career was being called as an expert by the Smithsonian Institute. I visit potato chip plants all over the world and have had the opportunity to discuss my unusual profession with such luminaries as journalist Bob Woodward and comedians Martin Short and Steve Martin.
Logo design by Pompeii of Bokland Custom Visuals
My business has expanded into consulting. Although I have never actually worked at a potato chip company, my experience in documenting the history of many companies has provided me with a rich background in which I draw to help others identify issues and create solutions. I receive calls and emails from all over the world. In fact, an attorney in London contacted me to help defend a patent infringement suit by establishing that a package design was utilized prior to 1972. I provided four examples from the 1940's to help win her case.
My presentations are great for meetings, conventions, educational programs, museums, historical societies, and private parties. If interested in the testimonials you can find them on my
It would be fun to solicit your thoughts on how Abbott and Costello would incorporate my passion into one of their routines. Perhaps the chips would be named Susquehanna Chips. Mr. Bacciagalupe could have a potato chip stand and shout out, "Get your dippy chippies!" One thing is for sure: the bags would each sell for seven cents, and you could buy a baker's dozen for twenty-eight cents, because, as we all know, seven times thirteen equals twenty-eight.
(Add your suggestions to an Abbott and Costello routine on TogaChips so that we can share it in a later edition of the newsletter and/or my blog.)
To arrange a presentation or for consulting services, email Alan Richer at:
Did Bud and Lou take their families with them when they traveled to perform?
They would if school was out for us kids.
In 1950 and 1953, dad took the entire family, including his mother and aunt, when he and Bud performed at the London Palladium. I also recall visiting him in Vegas when he and Bud were at the Sahara, and again in 1958 when he performed (solo) at the Dunes Hotel.
[Photo: Arriving in Southampton on the Queen Mary in July, 1950]
Lou's Youngest Daughter
Could Bud and Lou cook and if so, what did they make?
[In a recent discussion at lunch with Bud's niece, Betty Abbott Griffin, who was script supervisor of some of the Abbott and Costello films], she commented saying:
"Uncle loved making spaghetti with meatballs. I remember as a child when he and Lou were performing in Atlantic City, I could hear the pots and pans clanking in the kitchen when he'd come home. That meant he was in the kitchen and would be making his spaghetti that night."
Chris Costello recalls her dad not really being a cook, per say, but loving to eat the Italian meals her mother would cook.
"Dad's father taught our mom how to cook Italian. Being from Italy (she was Scottish) he showed her how to whip up everything from pasta fazool to eggplant parmesan, and how to cut down the bitterness in a tomato-based sauce with a few squeezes of lemon juice. He loved her cooking, and so did we!
He did make some really good root beer floats, if that counts."
VISIT STATUE FOR FIRST TIME
Lou Costello's Great-Granddaughter
(left to right) Tariq, Izra, Tamir and Inara
This was the first time my children visited the Paterson park where their great-great-grandfather's statue is located.
My son Tariq's proclamation, "This is my great-great-grandfather! He's MY great-great-grandfather!" was quite astonishing. He was so proud and happy to see the statue of a man he has heard so much about.
Inara, my oldest, was cool and collected, but had a twinkle of happiness that was reflected in her eyes. Little Izra and Tamir were mesmerized by the name they recognized on the plaque.
Their first visit to the Lou Costello Memorial Park was filled with happiness and reverence for a man who brought laughter to so many, and whose memory brought so much joy to his great-great-grandchildren. I could not help but think of how great my great-grandfather's legacy of joy and laughter continues to make people's lives just a bit brighter.
Author Og Mandino who wrote "The Greatest Salesman in the World," said it best -- "The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories."
MEMORIES & MILESTONES
By: Jeff Solimando
What do Rocky Graziano, Jake LaMotta, Betty Crocker, a nurse named Bernadine Taggert, three-hundred eighty-two students, one stork, and Selma Diamond of NBC's "Night Court" fame all have in common? They somehow managed to touch the lives of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello at one point during the month of August 1947. Oh baby, what a month it was, and when I say "baby," I mean that literally!
The boys start August with some fantastic news! Three hundred and eighty-two students between the ages of 9 and 19 receive Red Cross certificates for passing swimming tests at the recently opened Lou Costello, Jr. Youth Center in Los Angeles. The center, which is a labor of love for both Bud and Lou, is already providing a haven for inner-city children, as well as offering potentially life-saving courses such as swimming safety.
Professionally, the boys begin their month with a three-week appearance at the Roxy Theater in New York City. Although their schedule is hectic, Lou makes it to Paterson where family and friends hold a city-wide celebration and formal dinner in his honor.
"Lou Costello Day," is held Friday, August 1 and almost all of Paterson comes out to honor their "hometown boy who made good." More than five thousand seven hundred people gather and cheer outside the Alexander Hamilton Hotel hoping to catch a glimpse of Lou as he arrives for dinner.
The impressive guest list includes movie stars Bud Abbott and Milton Berle, local business and political leaders such as Paterson's Mayor William P. Furrey and Secretary of State Lloyd B. Marsh. Family, friends, and Lou's former grade school teacher, Mrs. Bessie Whitehead are also present. Mrs. Whitehead comes explicitly to honor her prior "incorrigible protege." Lou arrives home after 2:00 am., in a brand new Cadillac gifted to him by those who acknowledged his accomplishments. Personalized "LC" plates, too!
Weeks later, Lou sends Mayor Furrey a telegram of thanks and eloquently expresses his deep feelings of appreciation. "My heart is overflowing to you and all the good people of Paterson," writes Lou. "I had many honors since I left my hometown to try the rugged road to a place in the spotlight. People the country over have been so nice to a little hometown boy who was trying with all his heart to bring a little cheer to kids and grownups, but I want to confess to you Mayor, and through you, to all my neighbors and friends in Paterson, that no king could ever ask, nor any man ever hope to have more gracious, more wholesome, more heartwarming evidence of friendship than all of you showed me on the occasion of the community dinner in my honor." Lou continues, "In the years to come, no matter where I shall be, I shall always cherish with profound gratitude your personal participation in this tribute to a humble hometown boy and to you I send my deepest gratitude to all those who made possible this night of extreme happiness. If I have been a baad boy, rest assured I will be good from now on."
Rest assured, the happiness continues throughout the remainder of the month.
As the boys work and play on the east coast, Lou's wife Anne Costello is home in Sherman Oaks, California, taking care of their two daughters and preparing for the arrival of the couples fourth child. This is the part where Mr. Stork and Bernadine Taggert come into the story.
The boys leave comedians Smith & Dale to take their place as they cut their appearance at the Roxy short. Bud and Lou fly home on August 12, so Lou and Anne can be together.
On August 15, Anne brings her fourth child and third daughter into the world via Cesarean section. Christine Helena Cristillo arrives happy and healthy at 5 pounds, 6 ounces to an overjoyed mother and father. Newspapers nationwide run a heartwarming picture of Papa Lou's first meeting with his daughter in the Good Samaritan Hospital's nursery. Nurse Bernadine Taggert carefully presents baby Christine to her father, who seems to stare at her in awe.
However, shortly after Lou pulls his head from the heaens, it's back to business as usual:
* Bud Abbott and Lou Costello appear on ABC's "Betty Crocker Magazine of the Air" as guest editors.
* Selma Diamond a scripter for Phil Silvers sells a story she's written to Universal. "Three For the Money" is purchased explicitly by the studio as a potential vehicle for Abbott and Costello although the project seems to stall as time progresses. The gruff-voiced, chain-smoking Diamond goes on to gain fame decades later portraying Bailiff Selma Hacker on the NBC sitcom, "Night Court."
* Abbott and Costello sign a five-year contract with ABC. The agreement makes their broadcasts available for co-operative local sponsorships county-wide. "It's the first major comedy program sponsored in such a manner," says ABC.
Lou is also dabbling in sports again. This time he's covering two bases as he attempts to arrange a middleweight title fight between Rocky Graziano and Jake LaMotta. Lou approaches both of their managers with an offer of $200,000 and $100,000 respectively. Lou's "second base" is setting up the Graziano / LaMotta title bout to benefit the Lou Costello, Jr. Youth Foundation.
So how much more can one squeeze into a summer month? Not much more, I'm Sure.
But, sadly, summer always comes to an end. It's back to work for the boys as they start to promote their next movie "The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap," scheduled for an October release.
See ya next month, neighbor!
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO
By: Joe Savoia
Test Your Knowledge of Abbott and Costello
(Answers at end of newsletter)
Which member of the TV Show cast plays "Colonel Cyrus" in the second season episode called "South of Dixie?"
How much does Lou pay for tooth ache drops in the first season episode of the TV Show called "The Dentist?"
Which baseball team is mentioned in the first season episode called "The Western Story?"
In the MGM Abbott and Costello movie
, what part does Joe Kirk play?
In what Abbott and Costello movie does Lou mention the name of Donald O'Connor?
And for our very astute Abbott and Costello fans:
In a second season episode of the TV show, Lou mentions a gift he received for Christmas. What was the gift?
September 28, 2019
Clark, New Jersey
October 26, 2019
"Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein"
(Courtesy of the Barrymore Film Center, Fort Lee, N.J.)
2430 Main Street
Lake Placid, New York
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Hollywood Collectible Postcards
Popular in the 30's, 40's and 50's, they were sold in various outlets, such as drug stores, 5 and Dimes, and at newsstands. Wherever there was a postcard rack in Hollywood, you'd find these collectibles for people to send home to family and friends. Judging from both images before their rebuilds into two-story homes, we're guessing the year to be 1941 or 1942.
Ron is the leading Abbott and Costello historian and our go-to person when we need to verify dates, events, routines, and more, on Abbott and Costello.
Along with Bob Furmanek, who was the Abbott and Costello estates archivist, they compiled the best-selling book on the boys film career, "Abbott and Costello in Hollywood."
Ron's an invaluable member of our newsletter team and always appreciate his attention to facts and detail.
Joe is an avid Abbott and Costello fan, avid reader and collector of books on Hollywood, especially old Hollywood.
Joe has become a well-received member of our newsletter team with his monthly "Trivia" contributions.
We feel honored to have him with us, and we know you do, too. Subscribers response has been overwhelmingly positive with this new addition to our monthly issues.
Not only does Jeff put his heart and soul into each
Memories and Milestones
section featured each month, but he's an accomplished researcher of newspaper and magazines articles, of which we add into each newsletter issue.
If there's a Bud and Lou story, Jeff will spend hours, if not days, scouring newspaper and magazine archives so that we can bring you closer into the world, both on and off stage, of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.
He's also our go-to person when we need to uncover stories and quotes for our monthly topics in the newsletter.