Abbott and Costello and “What’s the Real Unemployment Rate”?

If you haven’t seen Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First?” routine, then you are missing a comic classic. I wonder how long it took them to write and rehearse it. “They performed the routine hundreds, maybe thousands of times in vaudeville theaters and on the set of the 1945 film ‘The Naughty Nineties.'” Someone has taken the “Who’s On First?” give-and-take and did a little thing with unemployment figures. I’d love to see this in a video. It could become a classic:

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 8%

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.

COSTELLO: You just said 8%.

ABBOTT: 8% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 8% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 16% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 8%.

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 8% or 16%?

ABBOTT: 8% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.

COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, Obama said you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.


ABBOTT: No, you miss his point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.

COSTELLO: To whom?

ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL unemployed!

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking. If you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment rolls, that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Of course!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how it gets to 8%. If you counted them ALL it would be 16%. He doesn’t want anybody reading about 16% unemployment.

COSTELLO: Would that would be tough on his reelection?

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait a minute. Does that mean there are two ways to bring down the unemployment rate?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to have Obama’s supporters stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like the Obama Economy Czar.

COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like Obama!

If you’ve never seen the “Who’s On First?” routine, click on the YouTube video below. It’s about 7 minutes in length.

15 thoughts on “Abbott and Costello and “What’s the Real Unemployment Rate”?

  1. “”Who’s On First?” is truly a classic and I loved seeing it again. Thx.

    This parody beautifully illustrates Obama’s habitual practice of manipulating numbers and absurdly redefining issues in the hopes that Americans won’t realize what’s really going on.

    Obama lies with such ease that it must have taken most of his 51 years to finely hone that skill. One can only imagine what he was like as a kid.

  2. Excellent Godfather. A&C were the best ever – and their comedy still holds up today AND without any sex or cursing.

    Here’s a similar parody off an old classic about Obamacare:
    Health Care & Perry Mason

  3. Perfect example of the Obama unemployment reporting machine. Who’s on first, however, makes more sense because the object is to be humorous and the unemployment report is meant to be taken seriously. If unemployment weren’t such a serious issue, Obama’s reports would be humorous.

    1. Will Rogers said, “If I studied all my life, I couldn’t wirte the stuff Congress gives me for free.”

      Mr. O’bama, where are the full-time Jobs? (And, while we’re at ti, where are the war-zone absentee ballots, Mr. Commander-in-Chief?)

  4. My son is one of the 16% who no longer receives unemployment. It is easy to say they’re no longer working for work, but I don’t think that is the case. He IS still looking for work and may get a job for the holidays, but can’t find anything else. No one wants to hire until they’re sure who will be president and where they think the country is heading. If Obama gets in again, we are screwed.

  5. Very godfather in using A&C classic routine but change from baseball to unemployment numbers and creative. enjoyed it. .

  6. For all you who may have missed it, the Obama Administration has set the new threshold for ‘FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT” at 30 Hrs. per week. While this recent change is Excused as a Qualification for Obama-care to try and keep Employers from reducing workers hours to avoid Penalties and Insurance increases, it also Has the effect of reducing Underemployment numbers Artificially.
    Typical Politics, Don’t fix the problem, Redefine it !

    1. And to Add the Too Many Lazy People Who Love This Idea!!! 30 Hours, What a disgrace!!!
      Wow, They can work less and have More Sex!!!
      Obama sure knows how to get those lower class votes!!!
      And Not Repoduce!!!

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