I used to consider Abbott & Costello meet Frankenstein (1948) as the best comedy-horror, but upon multiple views I found myself laughing and memorizing so many routines and gags from this earlier film significantly more. This film is hands down hilarious.
Bud & Lou play aspiring radio show writers of detective tales, moon lighting as soda jerks (incompetent ones at that). They meet a writer that turned down a position because he ain’t fond of working under a woman. The CEO of the Radio Network is most likely also working for the C.I.A.and placing codes within the scripts, the CEO is then murdered by a German spy. Bud and Lou then masquerade as their detective characters to solve the murder, then find themselves being suspects and trailed by real police detective’s. But before they can be falsely accused, the writer and the producer write a radio drama with events leading up to the death of the CEO, and the real murderer is found out, and caught in the end.
And now I’m sure your saying to yourself nothing about that plot is funny.
Well again it’s classic slapstick comedy duo Abbott and Costello and to me these are the funniest moments in the film:
Costello having a hell of a time with Limburger Cheese.
The Radio Page (Walter Tetley, who was the voice of Sherman in Mr. Peabody cartoons) bets Costello a nickle he can drink 15 cent orange juices faster than Costello can make em.
Abbott & Costello perform for the writer as Detective’s Muck and Meyer. Costello starts saying “Bang Ouch, Bang Ouch” When asked by the writer what’s going on, Costello says I’m holding the gun backwards.
The CEO’S Secretary played by the great Mary Wickes does a hilarious double take when Costello Says “Here’s your malted, beautiful.”
The Radio Page pulls another fast one on Costello, he asks if he has any change ? Costello says sure, what do you want ? The page says “Got two dimes for a Nickle ?” Costello foolishly hands over the twenty cents.
Costello tries to pull the same gag on Abbott but does it to himself. By saying “Hey Abbott here’s two dimes, give me a nickle.”
The City Coroner and two orderlies are looking for the corpse, they come across Costello sitting in the hall with a blank stare. The coroner inspects Costello and says “It looks like he’s been dead for weeks, dump him in the casket”
Costello freaks out over what the coroner says declaring “I’m not dead, I’m still full of life, you got the wrong guy, I’m not dead!”
Costello has a run in with various sound effects records but the funniest one is the last. The records are all pre-recorded but the last one almost seems haunted. Costello tells Abbott “I can handle being stabbed, being shot in the back but this insulted me”..Costello turns on the record and says..”What was that crack about halitosis ?” And the record responds “What are you going to do about it ?”
Costello is winner of a local million dollar raffle and can’t get through to the operator that he needs number Alexander 2222. Multiple people get thru to long distance, eventually the operator tells Costello he is all wet (slang for confused) Costello takes a bottle of Seltzer and sprays it into the phone literally making the operator all wet.