Abbott and Costello skit – Loan me 50 dollars
One of the classic Abbott and Costello routines, where Bud Abbott takes advantage of a common math mistake that we all make to fleece his pal, Lou Costello, out of all of his money. The skit ends with a simple ‘read my mind’ routine that could be used as a clown bit all by itself. This routine was done many times, both in the movies and their radio show.
Bud Abbott: Do me a favor, loan me $50.
Lou Costello: Bud, I can’t. I can’t loan you $50.
Bud Abbott: Oh, yes, ya can.
Lou Costello: No, I can’t. All I got is $40.
Bud Abbott: All right, give me the $40 and you’ll owe me 10
Lou Costello: Ok, I’ll owe you 10.
Bud Abbott: That’s right.
Lou Costello: How come I owe you 10?
Bud Abbott: How much did I ask for?
Lou Costello: 50
Bud Abbott: How much did you give me?
Lou Costello: 40.
Bud Abbott: So you owe me $10.
Lou Costello: That’s right. [Pause] But you owe me 40.
Bud Abbott: Don’t change the subject.
Lou Costello: I’m not changing the subject; you’re trying to change my finances. Come on, Abbott give me my $40.
Bud Abbott: All right, there’s your $40, now give me the 10 you owe me.
Lou Costello: I’m paying you on account.
Bud Abbott: On account?
Lou Costello: On account I don’t know how I owe it to ya.
Bud Abbott: That’s the way you feel about it, that’s the last time I ask you for a loan of $50.
Lou Costello: But how can I loan ya $50, now. All I got is 30.
Bud Abbott: Well, give me the 30 and you’ll owe me 20.
Lou Costello: Ok. This is getting worse all the time. (Look at audience) First I owe him 10, now I owe him 20.
Bud Abbott: Well, why do you run yourself into debt?
Lou Costello: I’m not running in, you’re pushing me!1
Bud Abbott: I can’t help it if you can’t handle your finances. I do all right with my money.
Lou Costello: And you do all right with my money too.
Bud Abbott: Now I asked you for a loan of $50. You gave me 30, so you owe me 20. 20 and 30 is 50.
Lou Costello: No. No. No. 25 and 25 is 50.
Bud Abbott: All right, here’s your $30, now give me the 20 you owe me. Fine guy, won’t loan a pal $50.
Lou Costello: How can I loan you 50, all I got now is 10?
Bud Abbott: Wait a minute, to show you that I’m your pal, want to double that?
Lou Costello: Go ahead [Give Abbott 10 bill] See ya later.
Bud Abbott: Wait a minute. I don’t want that kind of money. On the up and up. Pick a number between 1 and 10.
Lou Costello: ok
Bud Abbott: Is it even or odd?
Lou Costello: Even
Bud Abbott: Is the number between 1 and 3?
Lou Costello: No
Bud Abbott: Between 3 and 5?
Lou Costello: No. I think I got him.
Bud Abbott: Between 5 and 7!
Lou Costello: Yes
Bud Abbott: Number 6
Lou Costello: Right!…How’d he do that? [Pause] Hey…