Monday, April 27, 2009

P. J. O'Rourke and why Abbott and Costello are funnier

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A reader was surprised by my outrageous claim that Abbott and Costello were funnier than P. J. O'Rourke, but then the sweet young thing thought I was talking about two conservative Australian politicians who have never deliberately and knowingly raised a laugh in years (which is not quite the same as unwittingly generating a storm of laughs).

Anyhoo, here's Abbott and Costello doing a vaudeville mathematics routine that was hoary and growing whiskers when they gave it a run - but it's still cleaner and sharper comedy than O'Rourke trying to do the same for taxes sixty or so years later.

And if you can't believe people once laughed at vaudeville, you probably don't remember Abbott and Costello's riff on a venerable baseball routine, done way back in 1945. Who's on first? Well it ain't Janet Albrechtsen.

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