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Who’s On First Transcript

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The Who’s on First skit by Abbott and Costello is one of the most well known comedy sketches of all time. Today I want to share with you the transcript of Who’s On First!

who's on first transcript

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were a legendary duo of comedians and entertainers in the 1940’s and 1950’s.  In fact they were the highest paid performers during the Second World War.

Who’s on First was first performed on radio in 1938 by Abbott & Costello. It was also in their 1945 film The Naughty Nineties. Their voices, their names, and this skit are so iconic now that most people can quote parts of it easily. This skit is one of the most beloved pieces of American pop culture and is even in the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum! Time magazine named it the best comedy sketch of the 20th century.

Who’s on First Transcript is in Public Domain

Did you know that The Who’s On First skit became part of the public domain in 2017?  So now we can print it and use it as desired.

My kids have done a lot of acting over the years and I wanted to give them an education on some of the classics. They are taking an actor’s training class this year at our homeschool-co-op and this goes perfectly with that class!  I thought this Who’s on First skit would be a fun way to practice some acting skills and have a lot of fun in the process.  I couldn’t find a version of the transcript that was easy to print or download, so I put one together. And of course, I love to share with all of you!

There are several versions of this skit because they performed it quite a few times and rarely did it the same way twice. So the transcript may not exactly match up to the different videos you find of Abbott & Costello performing it.

What is The Who’s On First Skit?

This skit is about baseball.  It is the most famous baseball comedy skit ever!

The main idea is that Abbott (named Dexter Broadhurt in the skit) is telling Costello (named Sebastion Dinwiddle in the skit) the names of the players on the St. Louis Wolves baseball team.  Abbott is the coach of this fine team, yet Costello seems to think he doesn’t know any of the player’s names. He tells them there are some peculiar names these days and begins by saying “Who’s on first.”

Who is the name of the person on first base, but this statement can also be taken as a question “Who’s on first?”  And there the confusion begins. Costello just wants to know the guys name and Abbott keeps telling him, Who. He tries to learn the names of the players on second base and third base as well as the pitcher’s name and gets answers that are just as perplexing.

They have a long and hilarious conversation about the different names of the players. Abbott keeps telling Costello the different names, but Costello just doesn’t get it.

Here are the names of the ball players on this team.

They definitely are funny names!  You can see why it would be confusing!

  • Who is the first baseman.
  • What is the name of the player on second base.
  • The third baseman’s name is I Don’t Know.
  • Why is playing left field.
  • In center field is Because.
  • The pitcher is named Tomorrow.
  • The catcher’s name is Today.
  • I Don’t Give a Darn or I Don’t Care is the shortstop. (depending on the version)


Here is a Little Snippet of The Who’s on First Transcript:

Download the Full Transcript of Who’s on First Here.

Abbott: Well, let’s see, we have on the St Louis team, Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third…

Costello: That’s what I want to find out.

Abbott: I say Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know’s on third.

Costello: Are you the manager?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: You gonna be the coach too?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: And you don’t know the fellows’ names?

Abbott: Well I should.

Costello: Well then who’s on first?

Abbott: Yes.

Costello: I mean the fellow’s name.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy on first.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The first baseman.

Abbott: Who.

Costello: The guy playing…

Abbott: Who is on first!

Costello: I’m asking YOU who’s on first.

Abbott: That’s the man’s name.

Costello: That’s who’s name?

Abbott: Yes.


I love the part where Costello accidentally gets it right!

Costello: I get behind the plate to do some fancy catching, Tomorrow’s pitching on my team and a heavy hitter gets up. Now the heavy hitter bunts the ball. When he bunts the ball, me, being a good catcher, I’m gonna throw the guy out at first base. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?

Abbott: Now that’s the first thing you’ve said right.


Watch a version of this skit on YouTube!

This transcript was obtained from the Baseball Almanac website.


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