Comedians Bud Abbott and Lou Costello teamed up in 1936. During the next few years, they performed on the burlesque circuit, perfecting their routines such as their famous baseball sketch “Who’s on First?
In many ways, Abbott & Costello’s straight man and funny man stand-up routine was similar to traditional Japanese Manzai.
After the “First Lady of Radio” singer Kate Smith booked them on her show in 1938, they became nationally famous. In 1939, they appeared in the Broadway revue Streets of Paris with the Vaudevillian comic Bobby Clark.
In 1940 Abbott and Costello appeared in supporting roles in their first movie for Universal Studios, One Night in the Tropics, and in 1941 they starred in the first feature film Buck Privates.