We live in an increasingly unfunny world, which could be why comedy is booming in our culture like never before. Today, every advertisement tries to be funny, every politician tries to it is in funny. Many of us acquire our news native comedy mirrors , if us haven"t already been fill in by the day"s famous tweets and also Facebook memes. Jeopardy!"s Ken Jennings has a brand-new book out around our comedy-first culture, called Planet Funny, i beg your pardon is on revenue now, so we"ve asked the to invest June debunking some well-known misconceptions about humor and also comedy. He"ll be below all month! tip your waitress.

The Debunker: room Abbott and also Costello in the Baseball hall of Fame?

It"s been a trivia chestnut for decades, as anyone who"s read sufficient mimeographed office newsletters or listened to enough drive-time radio DJs more than likely knows. "Who are the only two world in the Baseball hall of fame who had actually nothing to carry out with baseball?" The question occasionally clarifies: these two are not players, managers, team owners, or umpires. The answer has a pleasingly "aha!" ring to it: it"s supposedly Bud Abbott and also Lou Costello, the comedy duo most famous for your baseball routine, "Who"s top top First?"


"Who"s on First?", about a team of ballplayers with improbable names like "Who" and also "What" and also "I Don"t Know," was not wholly initial to Abbott and also Costello, though it was your signature bit. The was based upon a classic burlesque routine dubbed "The Baker Scene," around a bakery wherein the boss has the unusual and confusing surname of Who. ("Who"s the boss?" "Yes.") To make matters even much more confusing, the bakery is ~ above Watt Street! Hilarity ensues. However the Abbott and also Costello variation of the sketch is faster and an ext streamlined, and also therefore funnier. (It also makes the wise selection of setting the program at a baseball game, a point Americans love, and also not in the bowels that a bakery.)

The folks at the Baseball hall of call must acquire asked this inquiry a lot, since they answer it in the FAQ on their website. "Abbott and Costello room not members the the national Baseball hall of Fame and also Museum, though the comedy duo is featured in ours museum." A gold document of "Who"s ~ above First?" was inserted on permanent screen in Cooperstown in 1956. "This is plenty of times far better than gaining an Oscar!" Lou Costello enthused. But having memorabilia shown in the museum is not the same as being voted right into the hall of Fame. The "Plaque Gallery" of main Cooperstown inductees is just one attraction the the three-story museum. Abbott and also Costello may have performed the best baseball comedy of every time that isn"t major League 2, but they are not main Hall of Famers.

Quick Quiz: Who was the only member that the Baseball hall of reputation every to offer in Congress?

Ken Jennings is the author of eleven books, most recently his small Genius Guides, due to the fact that I said So!, and Maphead.

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He"s likewise the proud owner of one underwhelming Bag o" Crap. Follow him at ken-jennings.com or ~ above Twitter together