NEW YORK (AP) – Abbott and Costello’s heirs are suing the producers of a Broadway play in which a character uses a sock puppet to perform part of the comedians’ famous “Who’s on First” routine.
The copyright holders sued “Hand to God” producers, promoters and playwright Robert Askins on Thursday in Manhattan federal court, accusing them of copyright infringement.
“Hand to God” will be up for five Tony Awards on Sunday. The play’s lead producer, Kevin McCollum, called the filing on the eve of the Tony Awards “nothing more than a stunt.” He says the producers welcome the attention.
The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages claims the play “copied the very heart” of “Who’s on First.” It claims the routine was lifted so the play could more easily be promoted as a comedy.