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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > TV > Abbott & Costello: 100th Anniversary Edition – Season One

Abbott & Costello: 100th Anniversary Edition – Season One


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: B-     Episodes: B-



One of the earliest and most successful TV on DVD releases was of Passport several volumes of the 1950s Abbott & Costello TV series.  This was before anyone in Hollywood or elsewhere believed TV titles would sell, let alone be the boom the have become.  The early review for those volumes on this site can be found at:





For the 100th anniversary of Lou Costello, Passport (sporting a new opening) is reissuing the episodes, but like the few previous series that made it to DVD, they will be in entire seasons.  This show ran for two, with this first set offering the 1952 – 1953 seasons’ 26 shows.  They are still not bad, though the 1.33 X 1 black and white image seems a tad paler than the old editions, though picture quality varies.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono also seems a bit more aged, though in that case, it just may be age since the original DVDs were first issued beginning in 1997!


Besides quantity and convenient slender cases, the real reason to get this set is for the extras.  The two surviving daughters of Costello give a long interview, rich with facts and amazing (and often full color) home movies by Costello himself, who’s love of cinema apparently went beyond his screen work.  Bud & Lou also turn up in a 1948 live action short 10,000 Kids & A Cop, recently restored, with co-star William Bendix and narrated by no less than Jimmy Stewart!


It turns out Costello produced the series himself, while Abbott took a salary thinking it would not work out.  Though the show was not a big hit at the time, late 1970s syndication to go with Universal Picture’s TV syndication and theatrical revivals of their feature film classics caused it to be a latter-day hit.  Though some of the laugh tracks are obviously dubbed, some of this is still funny, even in the cases it is for all the wrong reasons.  Still, the duo had the talent, energy and chemistry and it still shows, even when the material falls flat.


So here it is years later and they are as beloved as ever.  Now, to repeat what I wrote those years ago, The Abbott and Costello Show is still worth a look, in all episodes offered here.  If only the animated show would come out to DVD!


Years later, we still do not have the animated show.  Where is it?  Good question.  In the meantime, the second and final volume in this series is up next and we look forward to any surprises on that set Passport can come up with.  So do fans.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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