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A Classic reimagined for a New Generation
on February 7, 2013
This delightful new picture book is based on the classic comedy routine popularized by comedians Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in the 1930's. According to Wikipedia "In Abbott and Costello's version, the premise of the routine is that Abbott is identifying the players on a baseball team to Costello, but their names and nicknames can be interpreted as non-responsive answers to Costello's questions. In this context, the first baseman is named "Who"; thus, the utterance "Who's on first" is ambiguous between the question ("which person is the first baseman?") and the answer ("The name of the first baseman is 'Who'")."
In this picture book, the coach, a bear, tries to explain the baseball team's lineup to the new player, a rabbit. The characters go through the routine. The pictures are simple and comic, a perfect match to the quick, spare dialogue. At the end of the book are some brief notes about the book and links to videos of the routine online.
The "Who's on First" routine is truly timeless. There is nothing about it that feels dated or old fashioned. How wonderful that this classic piece of American humor is being given new life for a new generation to enjoy.