This past weekend I posted the Three Stooges movie ‘Gents Without Cents’ which features a classic Vaudeville routine known (incorrectly) as ‘Niagra Falls’. (It’s correct name is ‘Slowly I Turn’). The Stooges were one of many comedians to do a version of the sketch and above we see Lou Costello do a version of it on the ‘Abbott and Costello’ TV show, which aired from 1952-54.. His partner in the sketch isn’t Abbott, as one might expect. It’s a fine comedian named Sidney Fields who worked frequently with A&C in movies and also played their landlord on the TV show. As you’ll see there is no direct translation–no master script–to the sketch. Rather, it’s interpretive. Different comedians used the basic idea and structure–the set-up and payoffs–in slightly different ways. The Stooges version is tighter, more violent and frankly funner (in my opinion). But Lou is Lou and he makes the sketch very much his own.


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