Lou's on First: A Biography on Lou Costello

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9780815410836: Lou's on First: A Biography on Lou Costello
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Lou Costello (1906-1959) made comedy history on stage, on screen, and on the air, performing with straight man Bud Abbott and keeping the nation in stitches with "Who's On First?" and other hilarious skits. The duo made over thirty films together (including One Night in the Tropics, Buck Privates, and In the Navy), and have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Lou's On First: A Biography of Lou Costello is an affectionate biography by Lou's daughter Chris, in which she recounts the comedian's generosity, his bumpy road to success, and the numerous hardships he endured (including the devastating death of his son) while still managing to keep a nation laughing. Despite the difficult periods of his life, Lou remained a steadfast performer, carrying on with the show whenever he could.
Chris reveals her father's humble beginnings in New Jersey, where his comical and prankish side first appeared. The book tells how Lou's initial attempt to make it in the movie business failed, and how he subsequently met up with Bud Abbott, then the most famous straight man touring the burlesque houses. Their winning partnership withstood years on the burlesque circuit and money squabbles with Hollywood studios. Chris points out that when Abbott & Costello finally split in 1957, after over 21 years of making people laugh, it was not a hostile breakup but one whose time, both partners agreed, had come.
Chris also puts to rest several other rumors that sprang up after Lou's death, such as the myth that both Abbott and Costello lost their fortunes, and she describes their lasting contributions to entertainment. This is a portrait of the comedian by those who knew him best. The story Chris shares in Lou's On First is a funny, touching, and heartfelt account of one of America's great entertainers.

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About the Author:

Chris Costello, Lou's youngest child, runs her own public relations firm, Costello and Company. She lives in Burbank, California. Raymond Strait is co-author of Queen of Ice, Queen of Shadows: The Unsuspected Life of Sonja Henie.

Review:

The tale is moving, funny, and almost unbelievable.... Lou's On First is more than suds and the underside of Hollywood. It is a warm tale with its share of laughter. (Los Angeles Times)

A loving, deeply felt, engrossing chronicle of the rotund little comedian who enjoyed a phenomenally successful career, but suffered a tragic personal life. (Films In Review)

Costello's daughter is not without objectivity as she relates her father's life, cramming the story with amusing and poignant anecdotes. (Booklist)

Costello comes to life in these pages. (Baltimore Record)

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Costello, Chris
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