|In the 60’s, a wave of nostalgia helped the legendary comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello make a return to television—this time in animated form. The syndicated Abbott & Costello consisted of a 156 five minute cartoons, nearly all of which featured Lou running for his life from a variety of pursuers while screaming his trademark line, “Hey Abbott!” Unfortunately, the series featured none of the comedy routines that made the pair famous, and it featured very little of the rapport that made them legends.
The most remarkable feature of the series was the fact that Bud Abbott provided his own voice. At the time, Abbott was very ill and owed a pretty sum of money to the IRS, so the job was something of a godsend for him. Sadly, years of smoking and a 1964 stroke had ravaged Abbott’s voice so badly that he retained little of his original slick, smooth-talking tone. Stan Irwin provided the voice of Lou Costello, who had passed away several years earlier.
Though the show has taken some flack from Abbot & Costello purists, the animated Abbott & Costello does hold the distinction of being one of the first cartoons based on real people, an honor shared with 1965's The New 3 Stooges and 1966's Laurel and Hardy.