Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If Costello Wanted to Buy a Computer from Abbott

A friend of mine recently emailed me a part of this interchange. I googled the Internet and found that the author is Tom King of Flint, Texas. He granted me permission to post it here and noted that "Drama teachers are using it as a humor exercise - teaching actors how to use comic cadences to generate laughs. The skit, because of its resemblance to the Abbot and Costello style allows the actor to learn what it was that made Abbott and Costello funny... As writers, capturing a living person's delivery style in your writing is an art." 


I thought that upper elementary and middle school students would enjoy acting this out--probably fighting over who would have the chance to be Abbott and Costello! Class discussion could focus on how word contexts are critical in reading and writing.


ABBOTT: Super Duper Computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
ABBOTT: Mac?
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
ABBOTT: Mac?
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look in the windows?
ABBOTT: Wallpaper.
COSTELLO: What if I don't like wallpaper?
ABBOTT: Just change it.
COSTELLO: Isn't that expensive?
ABBOTT: No, it's free with Windows.
COSTELLO: I have to buy the Windows to get the wallpaper.
ABBOTT: It's free if you buy the computer.
COSTELLO: They give you windows for your office if you buy a computer.
ABBOTT: Certainly!
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What have you got?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
ABBOTT: Yes.
COSTELLO: For my office?
ABBOTT: Yes.
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, lets just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
ABBOTT: Word.
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. OK, forget that. Can I watch movies on the Internet?
ABBOTT: Yes, you want Real.
COSTELLO: Sure I may want to watch a real one, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your business. Just tell me what I need!
ABBOTT: Real.
COSTELLO: Well, I don’t want a fake one!
ABBOTT: Of course.
COSTELLO: So what do I get?
ABBOTT: Real Player.
COSTELLO: Yes, I want a Real Player.
ABBOTT: And you’ll have one
COSTELLO: A Real Player?
ABBOTT: Certainly.
COSTELLO: OK, I'm at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What do I do?
ABBOTT: You click the blue "r".
COSTELLO: I click the blue what?
ABBOTT: The blue "r".
COSTELLO: The blue “r” what?
ABBOTT: Just the blue “r”
COSTELLO: The blue “r” what?
ABBOTT: The blue “r” nothing.
COSTELLO: If the blue “r” nothing, how do I watch the movie?
ABBOTT: You click the blue “r”
COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue w?
ABBOTT: The blue "r" is the Real Player and the blue "W" is Word.
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there's three words in "office for windows"!
ABBOTT: No, just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world.
COSTELLO: What is?
ABBOTT: Word.
COSTELLO: Word?
ABBOTT: Yes, but to be fair, there aren't many other Words left. Word pretty much wiped out all the other Words out there.
COSTELLO: Word?
ABBOTT: Woooord, dude!
COSTELLO: I don’t know what you’re talking about! What about bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!

A FEW DAYS LATER . . .

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on "START"..
COSTELLO: Now don't you start that again....
ABBOTT: But I thought you wanted to "STOP"
COSTELLO: That's right. This thing has been on for 3 days and I can't find the "STOP" button.
ABBOTT: Click on "START"
COSTELLO: I don't wanna start!
ABBOTT: But you have to click on "START".
COSTELLO: Why do I have to click on "START"?
ABBOTT: So you can stop.....
COSTELLO: So I have to click on "START" to "STOP"
ABBOTT: That's so you can log off.
COSTELLO: I click "START" and then I log off.
ABBOTT: That's right, you log off.
COSTELLO: I log off
ABBOTT: That's right, now go ahead and log off.
COSTELLO; What if I don't have a log. I DON'T EVEN HAVE A FIREPLACE!!!!!
ABBOTT: No, you don't need a log. You just want to get the computer out of Windows
COSTELLO: Which ones?
ABBOTT: Which what?
COSTELLO: Which Windows?
ABBOTT: The only Windows you've got.
COSTELLO: So it doesn't matter which Windows?
ABBOTT: You just want to get out of Windows.

(sound of wood and metal scraping followed by breaking glass)

ABBOTT: Lou, what was that?
COSTELLO: Oh, I threw the computer out the front windows! You said it didn't matter and the front windows were closer than the back ones....


Copyright 2011 by Tom King. Used by permission. http://twayneking.blogspot.com



Click here to read the original "Who's on First" script or watch it on You Tube:


4 comments:

Janie said...

That is so funny, Carol! Thanks for the giggle this evening.

Carol Baldwin said...

Janie, everyone needs a good laugh every once in awhile! Not a typical entry for my blog...but as you can tell, I'm always thinking about how to connect things to teaching writing.

Gretchen said...

What a hoot!

Carol Baldwin said...

Glad you enjoyed it Gretchen-- particularly with your love for baseball!