Current Weather
The Spy FM

‘Who’s On First?’ The Sign Language Version

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
July 22, 2012

Abbott and Costello’s famous “Who’s on First?” routine still stands as one of the greatest comedy sketches of all time. It was a feat of rapid-fire dialogue, flawless comedic timing and devastating wit.

But could you do it without saying a word?

The answer appears to be yes. After Jerry Seinfeld broke down the classic skit on the MLB Network recently, NPR’s Mike Pesca wound up with a peculiar email in his inbox.

It was a link to an American Sign Language (ASL) version of the skit, sent by a friend. It was amazing, Pesca says.

“There are parts where you don’t really understand what’s going on, but if you know the routine, you can pretty much tell what they’re talking about,” Pesca tells Weekend Edition Sunday guest host Linda Wertheimer.

“Then there are certain instances where you know exactly what they’re saying [and] it gets huge laughs from the audience,” he says.

The fact that the routine survives without spoken words is a testament to its brilliance, Pesca says. “It’s math. It really is musical, and it works really well.”

Chris Benderev is a producer for Weekend Edition Sunday. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

Listen Live Now!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

11AM to 12PM The Story

The Story

The Story with Dick Gordon brings the news home through first-person accounts. The live weekday program is passionate, personal, immediate and relevant to listeners, focusing on the news where it changes our lives, causes us to stop and rethink, inspires us.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center