Lou Costello’s Daughter Speaks On Her Father’s Friendship With Bud Abbott

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The bond between the comedic duo, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, was one that stood the test of time. The two icons became friends after Bud Abbott covered up for Costello’s partner who did not show up for his comedy show which was held at Brooklyn’s Casino Theater. The two stayed true, amidst fights and disagreements to honor their friendship until death.

Recently, Costello’s daughter, Chris Costello, revealed more about the relationship that existed between Bud Abbott and his father in an interview with Closer. “They played this game on the phone called ‘Guess the Blood Pressure,’” she told the outlet. “He and Bud both loved to gamble — although they weren’t good gamblers. They lost a lot of money.”

Lou Costello and Bud Abbott meet each other

THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES, from left: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, 1946

Costello had the dream of becoming a star comedian like Charlie Chaplin. He moved to New York to get some stage-acting experience and got a job at the Mutual Burlesque Wheel during the great depression of the 1930s. During that period, the late comedian worked with the Minskys, where he met actor and producer Bud Abbott.

The duo worked together for the first time in 1935 before officially teaming up in 1936. They started a double act, with Abbott playing the straight man while Costello the comic. Their first stage show together at New York City’s Eltinge Theatre became the start of their long and successful career as a double act.

Jim Mulholland, author of the biography, Abbott and Costello, explained the type of bond the two exhibited on stage. “They had tremendous chemistry, and timing and they could be spontaneous,” he wrote. “In fact, the pair never performed their signature routine “Who’s on First?” the same way twice. “They reasoned that if they memorized the script, it would become stale. It just wouldn’t have that magic.”

RELATED: Comedy Icon Lou Costello Fathered 4 Children: Get To Know All Of Them

Abbott and Costello’s rise to stardom

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET JERRY SEINFELD, from left: Jerry Seinfeld, Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, aired 11/24/1994, 1994. /© NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Costello’s and Abbott’s fame began to increase, and they got invited to The Kate Smith Hour radio show in 1938 and became regulars for the next two years. The duo started their radio show which aired for nine years and was a blend of mixed comedy and music in 1940. It featured invited guests like Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Lucille Ball, and The Andrews Sisters in some of its segments.

Also, they got their movie break after signing a deal with Universal Studios in 1940 for a musical, One Night in the Tropics. Their acting career continued for the next 15 years. Among their most popular movies is the 1941 Buck Privates which grossed $4 million at the box office.

Abbott and Costello’s relationship became strained but they loved each other

Popularity always comes at a price, and although Abbott and Costello worked together for more than two decades, their relationship wasn’t always harmonious. It was reported that when they secured their Hollywood film contract, their earnings were split 50/50. The decision did not go down well with Costello, as he was the comic and he believed that he should get more. He threatened to split if Abbott didn’t agree to a 60/40 sharing formula.

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KEYSTONE KOPS, from left, Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, 1955

However, towards the end of their career, It was rumored that they did not speak with each other until they broke off their partnership in 1957 but Lou Costello’s daughter claim that their differences didn’t cloud their judgment. “They were together 21 years and had their disagreements,” she revealed, “but it never meant that they hated each other.”

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