Thursday, November 22, 2007

An Abbott And Costello Thanksgiving

Part of a Thanksgiving themed show combined with Abbott and Costello images. Not their best material. One of the last images is that of Bud Abbott just before his death from cancer. He died broke, heavily in debt to the IRS. Lou died at just 51 of a heart attack. He had contracted rheumatic fever while touring non-stop to raise money for war bonds in the early 1940's. Lou also lost an infant son in a tragic drowning accident. I know someone pretty close to me who is unfortunately experiencing some tragic times. He's responsible for a lot of that tragedy, having done some very dumb things. Even a heavy dose of the best of Abbott and Costello is not working.
I also found this about the two. I guess the good life is not it's what it's cracked up to be:
"Perhaps no comedy duo was more popular, beloved or influential than Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. But the FBI saw the act as a threat and investigated them for hoarding pornography and befriending mobsters.
The pair was never charged with a crime, but the FBI maintained files on the two, just in case. Although the two files are small -- just 14 pages between them -- they are packed with scandalous, and dubious, allegations. The documents may say more about the various obsessions and paranoia of the FBI in the 1940s than they do about Abbott and Costello
In October 1944, in the days before every neighborhood had a video rental store with an adult section in the back room, the bureau investigated a "purported ring of obscene motion picture operators in Hollywood." In the course of this investigation they discovered that Costello and actors Red Skelton and George Raft were among the ring's regular customers. According to the file, "The informant remarked that Costello 'had it running out of his ears.'"
"'Large library of obscene films' -- now this one got me laughing," said Chris Costello, the comedian's youngest daughter. "We had one of the largest film collections known within the entertainment community."
But instead of pornography, she said, the library consisted of Abbott and Costello's Hollywood studio films and one of the largest collections of B movie westerns -- a passion of her father's.
"First of all, an Italian-Catholic -- hello? With family? Uh-uh," she said. "I would know if he was planting obscene films in [his library]. There is no way he would be allowing his children in there to rummage through, to select film, or this and that."
"I can tell you right now, when everything was removed from that house, there were no obscene films. I don't know where they got that, but that is bunk, bunk, bunk," she said.

No crime, but feds still suspicious

The FBI was reluctant to let go of the suspicion that at least one of the comedians was stockpiling stag films. In 1958, a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) informant passed on information that Abbott had been squirreling away skin flicks, 1,500 to be precise.

The bureau opened a new file under the suspicion that Abbott was involved in interstate transportation of obscene matter. They concluded that the alleged film collection was for private use but decided to keep the information around, anyway.

"Although ABBOTT is an alleged collector and there is not an allegation of interstate transportation of this matter, a case is being opened in this office as a control file to follow and report to the Bureau information coming to the attention of this office through police liaison with Ad Vice, LAPD," the report states.

Nothing in the report indicates that the porn case developed any further.

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