Roy Hodge

Hodgepodge: June 2, 2012

Roy Hodge

by Roy Hodge

After I read Andy’s column last week, I wanted to find out more about Bud Abbott and Lou Costello’s famous routine, “Who’s on First?” So I Googled and discovered that by the early 1930s a “Baseball Routine” had become a classic burlesque bit, and that Abbott performed it with another actor before he did it a million times with Costello.

Abbott and Costello never claimed to have invented the routine, but they certainly made it very famous.

After Abbott and Costello teamed up, they performed the sketch regularly; in 1937 as part of a vaudeville routine called “Hollywood Bandwagon”; in 1938 for the first time on national radio on the “Kate Smith Hour” program, at least two times in the movies, many times on television, as well as radio, and several times for President Franklin Roosevelt.

A golden record of the skit is in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown where a video of it is played continuously. In 1944, Abbott and Costello had the routine copyrighted.

There’s a “Who’s on First” board game and “Time” magazine named it the “Best Comedy Sketch of the 20th Century.”

The names given in the sketch for each position’s players: Who is on first base, of course. What is on second, I Don’t Know on third, Why is the left fielder.  Tomorrow is the pitcher, the catcher is Today. The shortstop, I Don’t Care or I Don’t Give a Darn, is not identified until the end of the routine, and the right fielder is never identified. In order to make the board game work the right fielder is given a name, Nobody.

I read all the way to the end of the Google article and found this: “During the 2007 season the Los Angeles Dodgers added an infielder named Chin Lung Hu.  After Hu singled in his third at bat against the Arizona Diamondbacks Sept. 23, Dodgers announcer Vince Scully said, “Okay, everybody all together…Hu’s on first.”

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I enjoy this time of year – being able to get out in the yard and getting a good look at what’s growing.

Like everything else, a visit to the garden uncovers good and not so good things. There are plants which seemed to be flourishing after the lighter than usual winter and others which missed the heavy snow cover.

The many squirrels which travel in and out of our yard throughout the year were busier than usual over the winter this year. There are many “mystery” plants that were moved to different places, and there may be others which we “borrowed” from neighbors’ yards courtesy of the squirrels.  There will undoubtedly be the usual “nut trees,” the result of the many acorns the squirrels have buried in the yard.Those busy squirrels don’t spend all their time busy at work in our garden. There is plenty of leisure time, too. They obviously have a busy recreational schedule and do a lot of visiting throughout our neighborhood.

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