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Costello

Costello

[kos-tl-oh, ko-stel-oh]
Costello, Lou: see Abbott and Costello.

U.S. comedic duo that was regarded as the archetypal team of burlesque comedy. Bud Abbott (orig. William Alexander Abbott; b. Oct. 2, 1895, Asbury Park, N.J., U.S.—d. April 24, 1974, Woodland Hills, Calif.) and Lou Costello (orig. Louis Francis Cristillo; b. March 6, 1906, Paterson, N.J., U.S.—d. March 3, 1959, East Los Angeles, Calif.) began performing together in vaudeville in the early 1930s, and in 1938 the pair made their radio debut. Their first successful film, Buck Privates (1941), was followed by more than 30 other slapstick comedies, with Abbott playing a bullying straight man to Costello's childlike buffoon. Their famous routine “Who's on First?” was first performed in the film The Naughty Nineties (1945). Their collaboration ended in 1957.

Learn more about Abbott and Costello with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Costello (Mac Coisdealbha) is a common Irish surname originating in County Mayo. The surname derives from Jocelyn de Angulo (fl.1172), an Anglo-Norman knight. It is not of Italian origin, despite it being adopted occasionally as a stage name by people of Italian descent. Some well known people with this name include:

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