The Abbott and Costello Show Season 2 Blu-ray Review

4 Stars First-rate presentation of the comedy duo’s final sitcom season
The Abbott and Costello Show Season 2 Review screenshot

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello return in The Abbott and Costello Show Season 2 to the small screen for the final season of their classic television series, The Abbott and Costello Show, revitalized with new 4K-sourced restorations courtesy of The 3-D Film Archive.

The Abbott and Costello Show (1952–1957)
Released: 14 Sep 1957
Rated: TV-G
Runtime: 25 min
Director: N/A
Genre: Comedy, Family, Mystery
Cast: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Sid Fields
Writer(s): N/A
Plot: Bud and Lou are unemployed actors living in Mr. Fields' boarding house. Lou's girlfriend Hillary lives across the hall. Any premise would lead to slapstick, puns, lots of gimmicks from their movies.
IMDB rating: 8.2
MetaScore: N/A

Disc Information
Studio: Other
Distributed By: ClassicFlix
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HDMA
Subtitles: None
Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 11 Hr. 16 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray
Case Type: Two-disc keep case
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: A
Release Date: 01/30/2024
MSRP: $49.99

The Production: 4/5

An early example of a first-run syndicated program, the second season of The Abbott and Costello Show follows where the first left off, with some minor format changes that eschew Bud and Lou’s onstage introductions from the first season in favor of launching right into the action for each episode. Although the shows were not filmed in front of a live studio audience, rather than simply using a canned laugh track, completed episodes were screened in front of a studio audience whose reactions were recorded live, which adds a certain ambience that works well here.

Like many comedy acts with vaudeville roots, by the time Abbott and Costello found themselves working in television, they had honed their material to perfection and were less interested in challenging themselves to create new scenarios each week, instead favoring an approach that saw them repurposing their best and most famous material for the small screen. In an era before home video and regular television screenings of older films, this proved to be the correct approach for the duo. Those old routines still had plenty of life left in them, and reformatting them for television allowed for them to make the most out of each episode’s 25-minute runtime. The purity of their comedic chops are allowed to shine through without needing to be shoehorned into some kind of logical framework. While the gags might already be familiar to even first-time viewers, they have arguably never been as zippy or effective as they appear here.

The 26 episodes contained within this set more or less follow the same basic structure: Abbott and Costello, playing out-of-work entertainers, are inevitably behind on their rent, and are in search of new get-rich-quick schemes to settle their debts. Whether providing ridiculous excuses to their landlord (Sidney Fields) or avoiding the watchful gaze of Mike the Cop (Gordon Jones), they often set forth trying to execute one of Abbott’s seemingly straightforward plans, soon turned into chaos by Costello’s inability to grasp things like common sense, logic, and basic grammatical constructions. Whereas the length of the duo’s feature-length productions would often force screenwriters into devising plausible excuses to build up to the shenanigans, the half-hour sitcom format (with many of scripts this season credited to comedy veteran Clyde Bruckman and Jack Townley) allows Bud and Lou to get right into the action. The result of their formula being boiled down to its essence is nothing less than comedy gold.

Video: 4.5/5

3D Rating: NA

The 3-D Film Archive has done tremendous work here, restoring the show from new 4K scans of the original camera negatives. After decades of seeing the same old standard definition transfers recycled and repurposed to diminishing returns, the results here (much as they were for the first season) are simply breathtaking. The 1.33:1 original aspect presentations are crisp and clean, with good contrast, rock solid stability and very little by way of age-related defects. The presentation quality among the 26 episodes is remarkably consistent. The episodes are spread equally across two discs. This doesn’t just look good for a 70 year old show; it looks great, period.

Audio: 4/5

The show’s original monaural audio tracks are presented via the lossless DTS-HD MA codec in fine fidelity. While the audio quality might be slightly below that of the video, it is still by far the best it has sounded in decades. There are occasional slight instances of hiss, and several brief moments where the dialogue isn’t as intelligible as it might be in a more modern production, but absolutely nothing that detracts from the enjoyment of the episodes. If anything, the choice to retain the characteristics of the original audio rather than over-processing them with an excess of digital manipulation is to be commended.

Special Features: 2.5/5

Audio Commentary by Stu Fink on “Amnesia” (Disc 1)

Audio Commentary by Ron Palumbo on “The Pigeon” (Disc 2)

Assorted Bonus Content (Disc 2, 34:06) – Available only as a single (chaptered) bonus feature, this assembly contains the following:
Non-Audience Track For Episode 4, Reel 1 – the first part of a season one episode plays without audience laughter
Routine originally filmed for Episode 24
Campbell Soup Company sponsor bumper starring Bud and Lou
E-Z Pop Popcorn sponsor commercials starring Bud and Lou
The Lost Episode: “Star Reporters” – not actually a lost episode but a featurette about an un-filmed script)
The Season 2 Theme – the unedited version of the stock track used as the season’s title music
The Mystery Theme – stock music added to 70s-era airings of the show
Second Season Additional Crew and Staff credits

While the bonus material for season two isn’t nearly as substantial as that on the season one set, there are a few tidbits here worth a look, and the commentaries add insight into the production.

Overall: 4/5

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello return to the small screen for the second and final season of their classic television series, The Abbott and Costello Show, revitalized with new 4K-sourced restorations courtesy of The 3-D Film Archive. While the show didn’t break new ground so much as it gave the duo an opportunity to present many of their classic vaudeville and film routines for a new television audience, these episodes have them firing on all cylinders and remain a delight for fans of classic comedy. The combination of restored episodes and new bonus features make this release from ClassicFlix the definitive version of the series on home video.

 

 

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LouA

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Great set . Any fan of A &C , or classic comedy should own this set, and season one as well .
 

Tony Bensley

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Getting "The Abbott and Costello Show Season 2" Blu-ray set as a 60th Birthday present! I'm greatly looking forward to finally having all the episodes of this iconic TV series (Derived mostly from the original 35mm camera negatives, and the audio from the original audio stems, at least from Season 1!) on Blu-ray! Huge thanks to Bob Furmanek and the 3D Film Archive team for your amazing and exceptional efforts! Also, thank you Josh for your well written review!

Now, what to do with my "The Abbott and Costello Show: The Complete Series" 2010 E1 DVD set that includes a Bonus DVD with 3 hours worth of extras, and that gorgeous 44 page Commemorative booklet that includes the synopsis of every episode, not to mention the 4 Collectible postcards? Those will be tough to part with, but I do need to pare down! CHEERS! :)
 

Robbie^Blackmon

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Getting "The Abbott and Costello Show Season 2" Blu-ray set as a 60th Birthday present! I'm greatly looking forward to finally having all the episodes of this iconic TV series (Derived mostly from the original 35mm camera negatives, and the audio from the original audio stems, at least from Season 1!) on Blu-ray! Huge thanks to Bob Furmanek and the 3D Film Archive team for your amazing and exceptional efforts! Also, thank you Josh for your well written review!

Now, what to do with my "The Abbott and Costello Show: The Complete Series" 2010 E1 DVD set that includes a Bonus DVD with 3 hours worth of extras, and that gorgeous 44 page Commemorative booklet that includes the synopsis of every episode, not to mention the 4 Collectible postcards? Those will be tough to part with, but I do need to pare down! CHEERS! :)
Abso-toot-ly awesome! I'm keeping my old dvd set for the doofy, extra laugh track added on to the episodes. Bit of nostalgia in those now-severely-inferior transfers!

Plus, I want to track down that one extended, repeated laugh that sounds like The Joker's laugh box: "HA-hahaha-ha-ha-ha-ha! HA-hahaha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" and make a ring-tone out of it. Jus' ba-cuz I can!
 

Tony Bensley

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Abso-toot-ly awesome! I'm keeping my old dvd set for the doofy, extra laugh track added on to the episodes. Bit of nostalgia in those now-severely-inferior transfers!

Plus, I want to track down that one extended, repeated laugh that sounds like The Joker's laugh box: "HA-hahaha-ha-ha-ha-ha! HA-hahaha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" and make a ring-tone out of it. Jus' ba-cuz I can!
I forgot all about that extra laugh track! Along with the Bonus DVD that includes the Milton Berle narrated 1978 "Hey! Abbott!" documentary and the Lou Costello Home Movies, this might be a good excuse to hang onto the 2010 E1 set! I also wonder if the website with the A&C ringtones is still accessible?

The Abbott & Costello Show - Over 3 Hours Of Extensive Bonus Features!.jpg


The Abbott & Costello Show Ringtones.jpg


CHEERS! :)
 
Last edited:

The 1960's

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I forgot all about that extra laugh track! Along with the Bonus DVD that includes the Milton Berle narrated 1978 "Hey! Abbott!" documentary and the Lou Costello Home Movies, this might be a good excuse to hang onto the 2010 E1 set! I also wonder if the website with the A&C ringtones is still accessible?

View attachment 217506

View attachment 217508

CHEERS! :)
Mine landed very nicely right into the dumpster soon after I pulled the booklet and ripped that stuff.
icon_e_partydrop.gif
 

Tony Bensley

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The website is still there with lots of public domain-type knick-knacks, but no ringtones. Looks like more Stooges stuff than A&C?
Yeah, I see a lot of Three Stooges stuff, especially on the Abbott and Costello collectibles homepage. Weird! 🤷‍♂️

Meanwhile, back to The Abbott and Costello Show Season 2 Blu-ray set!

CHEERS! :)
 

Tony Bensley

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I forgot all about that extra laugh track! Along with the Bonus DVD that includes the Milton Berle narrated 1978 "Hey! Abbott!" documentary and the Lou Costello Home Movies, this might be a good excuse to hang onto the 2010 E1 set! I also wonder if the website with the A&C ringtones is still accessible?

View attachment 217506

View attachment 217508

CHEERS! :)

Mine landed very nicely right into the dumpster soon after I pulled the booklet and ripped that stuff. View attachment 217541
I really hate throwing things out, and I just recently discovered a very long time established used book shop that is actually willing to accept old TV series DVD sets and does at least pay something more than 25 cents a disc! At some pawn shops, you can't even give away DVDs these days! :(

Perhaps I'll compromise and pawn off the A&C Season 1 and 2 Episodes (I'm thinking I can live without the extra added laugh tracks!) in their separate cases and keep the Bonus DVD and all of the other extras! Maybe The Abbott and Costello Show Season 1 & 2 Blu-ray sets by ClassicFlix will fit nicely within the extra space? 🤷‍♂️
The Abbott & Costello Show - S1 & S2 + Bonus Features DVD!.png


CHEERS! :)
 
Last edited:

timk1041

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I really hate throwing things out, and I just recently discovered a very long time established used book shop that is actually willing to accept old TV series DVD sets and does at least pay something more than 25 cents a disc! At some pawn shops, you can't even give away DVDs these days! :(

Perhaps I'll compromise and pawn off the A&C Season 1 and 2 Episodes (I'm thinking I can live without the extra added laugh tracks!) in their separate cases and keep the Bonus DVD and all of the other extras! Maybe The Abbott and Costello Show Season 1 & 2 Blu-ray sets by ClassicFlix will fit nicely within the extra space? 🤷‍♂️
View attachment 217544

CHEERS! :)
That is what I am doing. Keeping the bonus disc and extras from the old set and just trying to sell the rest.
 

The 1960's

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I really hate throwing things out, and I just recently discovered a very long time established used book shop that is actually willing to accept old TV series DVD sets and at does at least pay something more than 25 cents a disc! At some pawn shops, you can't even give away DVDs these days! :(

Perhaps I'll compromise and pawn off the A&C Season 1 and 2 Episodes (I'm thinking I can live without the extra added laugh tracks!) in their separate cases and keep the Bonus DVD and all of the other extras! Maybe The Abbott and Costello Show Season 1 & 2 Blu-ray sets by ClassicFlix will fit nicely within the extra space? 🤷‍♂️
View attachment 217544

CHEERS! :)
As a longtime collector of most anything except used toilet paper, I too find it difficult to throw anything away. I actually gave it away to my pets. :rolleyes: But seriously I've completely run out of space and have gone mostly digital.

icon_e_cheers.gif

That is what I am doing. Keeping the bonus disc and extras from the old set and just trying to sell the rest.
I have a bridge for sale too Tim.
 

Tony Bensley

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I really hate throwing things out, and I just recently discovered a very long time established used book shop that is actually willing to accept old TV series DVD sets and does at least pay something more than 25 cents a disc! At some pawn shops, you can't even give away DVDs these days! :(

Perhaps I'll compromise and pawn off the A&C Season 1 and 2 Episodes (I'm thinking I can live without the extra added laugh tracks!) in their separate cases and keep the Bonus DVD and all of the other extras! Maybe The Abbott and Costello Show Season 1 & 2 Blu-ray sets by ClassicFlix will fit nicely within the extra space? 🤷‍♂️
View attachment 217544

CHEERS! :)
That is what I am doing. Keeping the bonus disc and extras from the old set and just trying to sell the rest.
The only thing that complicates it a bit are the bonus features included on the last disc of each season. I might just rip Lou's Home Movies from the last Season 2 DVD and skip the Season 1 Bonus Classic Routine Reel, as they're already included within the episodes, anyway!

432700603_934132498195769_7277048784228462930_n.jpg



432685909_375073132162850_118057774551059208_n.jpg


The Abbott and Costello Show set replacement has already begun! I'm just waiting for the Season 2 Blu-ray set, now!! :)
432706596_327667219890764_8967632942181689527_n.jpg


CHEERS! :)
 
Last edited:

Josh Steinberg

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I did!

I had seen a lot of episodes from both seasons before, mostly out of order and in the background as a kid, so it’s more of a fuzzy fondness I had than a sharp memory, and revisiting both seasons as an adult definitely had me enjoying this latter release even more than the first season’s.

I think the adjustment to the format helped, launching right into the action rather than having Bud and Lou monologue onstage and/or explain what was about to happen in the next scene. For me it worked better just getting right into things.
 
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