The Joke's On Me

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Joe Migliore
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The Joke's On Me

Postby Joe Migliore » Sun May 12, 2013 3:07 am

This 1961 episode of General Electric Theatre is, as far as I know, the only solo stint Bud Abbott did for the camera. Does it survive?

Paul E. Gierucki
Godfather
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Re: The Joke's On Me

Postby Paul E. Gierucki » Sun May 12, 2013 3:26 am

It sure does, Joe. Part of it is posted on YouTube:



Personally, I think Bud puts in a great performance. Wish
that he had taken on additional dramatic roles!

-- PG

Joe Migliore
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Re: The Joke's On Me

Postby Joe Migliore » Sun May 12, 2013 5:41 am

Wow! Thanks for posting that, Paul. After watching it, I'm surprised he wasn't all over TV in the early Sixties. (Except of course for the Abbott & Costello Show re-runs, and cartoon, and movie packages.) It's clear that he could have had another phase of his career as a character actor.

Chris Snowden
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Re: The Joke's On Me

Postby Chris Snowden » Sun May 12, 2013 4:53 pm

Bud Abbott must have had the same lousy agent as Bela Lugosi. He was a natural to play fast-talking wise guys, detectives, Damon Runyon-type characters... you name it. He should have gotten all the work he wanted, and he was sure in need of some career security, once his relationship with Lou Costello deteriorated to the permafrost level just as television became popular. I don't know why he didn't move on to character parts.

There are dozens of episodes of General Electric Theater circulating in the grey market, and a few stray episodes can be found in cheapjack public-domain compilation DVDs. But the entire run seems to be sitting in the vaults. I've heard that Nancy Reagan was presented with a complete set in the last ten or twenty years, in recognition of husband Ronald's hosting services on the show.

Richard M Roberts
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Re: The Joke's On Me

Postby Richard M Roberts » Sun May 12, 2013 5:36 pm

Chris Snowden wrote:Bud Abbott must have had the same lousy agent as Bela Lugosi. He was a natural to play fast-talking wise guys, detectives, Damon Runyon-type characters... you name it. He should have gotten all the work he wanted, and he was sure in need of some career security, once his relationship with Lou Costello deteriorated to the permafrost level just as television became popular. I don't know why he didn't move on to character parts.

There are dozens of episodes of General Electric Theater circulating in the grey market, and a few stray episodes can be found in cheapjack public-domain compilation DVDs. But the entire run seems to be sitting in the vaults. I've heard that Nancy Reagan was presented with a complete set in the last ten or twenty years, in recognition of husband Ronald's hosting services on the show.



I've always wondered with Bud Abbott, considering his precarious tax situation and debt to Uncle Sam, if it wasn't a case of not being able to AFFORD to work after Lou died. I know he did some night club gigs with Candy Candido and voiced those cartoons, but absolutely, he could have gotten certainly a lot of TV work if he had wanted to. But I'm sure anything he did was also going to go right to the IRS and then be taxed as more income as well.

I always liked Abbott when he played anything straight. I like his work in THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES, and the occasional scenes he has alone with other actors where he isn;t having to be just as concerned with keeping Costello within the framework of the scene and give a performance too. Bud would have been great on some 60's TV sitcom playing the neighbor or a Grandpa.

It must have been like old home week for Lee Marvin doing that episode of GE Theater. He’s back at Revue with pretty much the whole crew who worked on M SQUAD.

RICHARD M ROBERTS


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