Abbott and Costello – the first “Army life” comedy

Abbott and Costello – trailblazers and Oscar nominees? tab through the art clip above to read more!

Abbot and Costello’s first blockbuster film Buck Privates, filmed in thirty days, made them box office stars and saved Universal Studios from imminent bankruptcy.  The movie was considered the first “service” comedy, with a plot based on “accidental” enlistment during a volunteer peacetime draft.

Buck Privates earned two Academy Award nominations…Best Song and Best Musical Score for a Movie.   While neither won the golden statue, Best Song nominee “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” sung by the beloved Andrews Sisters, became an iconic WWII tune.   “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” was recorded on January 2, 1941, a full year before the United States entered WWII.   It ranks an astounding #6 on Songs of the Century chart, perhaps in part to its resurgence in popularity after Bette Midler released it in 1973.   A second tune from Buck Privates, “I’ll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time,” with its war-time promise of a lovely May wedding, would soon be heard crackling over command post loudspeakers and radios in Western Europe and the South Pacific.

From 1940 – 1945, Abbot and Costello made fourteen films, and were among the highest paid entertainers in the world during WWII.   As a comedic duo, they owned the stage, vaudeville, radio, television and film during the 1940’s and early 50’s.  Among the best skits was their hilarious dialogue “Who’s on First?” which is still regarded as one of the greatest comedy routines of all time.  Bud Abbott and Lou Costello placed their hand prints in the cement of what was then “Grauman’s Chinese Theater” on December 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Abbott and Costello – one of the great comedy partnerships that helped the nation through the dark years of WWII.