Miskatonic University Press

Mamet and Costello



  • David Mamet
  • Lou Costello (wearing a suit and short wide tie)

SCENE: A booth in a Chinese restaurant.

DAVID MAMET is sitting quietly, drinking a scotch.

LOU COSTELLO enters, sees MAMET, and reacts with his catchphrase: Heyyyyyyyyy, Mam-met!

MAMET: I'm here. I'm here. Don't, the shouting. Don't.

LOU sits down in the booth.

LOU: You're running a baseball team now, right?

MAMET: I won the, in a poker game. I won the team in a poker game.

LOU: In a poker game? A baseball team?

MAMET: I had three kings. He had two aces. [Beat.] He lost the thing that matters most to him in the world. Now he has nothing. Now he goes back to work. That's what a man does. He works.

LOU: Well, I never met the guys on the team, so you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team.

MAMET: The names? The names, I'll tell you, I'll tell you, but--funny names. Peculiar names.

LOU: Peculiar?

MAMET: Who's on first, What's on second, and I Don't Know is on third.

LOU: You're the owner?

MAMET: Yeah.

LOU: And you're--

MAMET: And the manager.

LOU: The manager.

MAMET: And the ...

LOU: The ...

MAMET: The coach. I'm the coach. The coach too.

LOU: And you don't know the fellows' names?

MAMET (angrily): You're saying I don't know their names? I own the team and I don't know their names? I manage the team and I don't know their names? I coach the team and I don't know their names? What am I? What am I?

LOU: Hey, hey, all I'm saying is--

MAMET: I know their names. I'm telling you their names. Are you listening? I'm talking. I'm telling your their names.

LOU: I'm saying, who's on first?


LOU: The guy on first.


LOU: I mean the fellow's name.


LOUL: The first baseman.

MAMET: Yes. Are you listening? Are you hearing me?

LOU: I'm hearing you.

MAMET: No, no, no, listen. Listen. We're talking here--

LOU: We're talking.

MAMET: We're talking. We're talking about the baseball team.

LOU: We're speaking about the team.

MAMET: Speaking? Speaking? The hell? The hell? We're speaking about the team now? Are we actually speaking about it? Or are we just talking?

LOU (hands up, placatingly): We're just talking. We're just talking.

MAMET: We're just talking.

LOU: All right.

MAMET: All right. All right. Jesus. We're talking.

LOU: But who's on first?

MAMET: Are you hearing me? Are you hearing me. I don't think you are. We're sitting here and I'm talking but you are not [pause, then more calmly] hearing me. Jesus. Yes. Who is on first.

LOU: That's what I'm asking you!

MAMET: I'm telling you.

LOU: Who.


LOU: Who is on first.


LOU: How often do you pay the players?

MAMET: Every week.

LOU: When you pay the first baseman, what name do you put on the cheque?

MAMET: Cheque? I don't pay them with a cheque. I use direct deposit.

LOU: What's the name on his bank account?


LOU: The first baseman.


LOU: Yes?

MAMET: Yes. Yes.

LOU: Yes is the name on his bank account.

MAMET: What do you, what do you, what is this? I mean what is this? Why do you care how he gets paid? Murray got the account number off a blank cheque. What do I care about his account?

LOU: What was the name on his blank cheque?

MAMET: No, What's on second.

LOU: I'm not asking you who's on second!

MAMET: Who's on first.

LOU: I don't know.

MAMET: He's on third.

LOU: Fuck you.