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Milt Bronson Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Jan 1, 0001
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001

Milt Bronson wasn't a terribly familiar face in movie and television comedy, but as a voice he was unmistakable, and as a fixture in the comedy of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, he was only slightly less important than such players as Sidney Fields. With his clear announcer's diction, working-class New York accent, and a split-second sense of timing, he could switch gears from machine-gun-like outbursts of gag lines to straight narrative and make it all memorable and comic. Bronson had a long association with Abbott & Costello, and when they came to movies, so did he. His first credited onscreen appearance was in In Society (1944), in what is probably the funniest scene in the entire movie, as Costello tries to find the Susquehanna Hat Company -- this sketch, usually referred to as "Floogle Street" (and often credited to Joey Faye for authorship), features Bronson as the first passerby that Costello stops; with his clipped delivery and over-the-top nervous voice, Bronson batters the exasperated, roly-poly comic verbally, with some of the funniest invective ever heard in a comedy film of the 1940s. The following year, Bronson appeared (playing a character named "Milton Bronson") in A Wave, a WAC, and a Marine at Monogram -- not coincidentally, the movie was a co-production of Abbott & Costello's agent Eddie Sherman and Costello's father, in a short-lived effort to spin off the comic team's success. In Abbott & Costello's Here Come the Coeds, made the same year, Bronson played a ring announcer in a comic fight between Costello and a very bad-tempered villain (played by Lon Chaney Jr.); he performed a similar role in Abbott & Costello Meet the Invisible Man, and was a radio newscaster in Abbott & Costello Go to Mars, announcing that a rocket ship has just flown through the Lincoln Tunnel. Bronson was the team's resident dialogue coach through most of this period, a role that he also assumed (with an onscreen credit) when they did The Abbott & Costello Show from 1952 through 1954, which also gave him some time onscreen -- he played a multitude of bit parts on the show, but his most visible contributions included a repeat of the Floogle Street routine on one show; playing the nervous, put-upon Mr. Bronson, butt of Costello's mishaps and husband to Renie Riano's Mrs. Bronson, in the episode in which they go to Las Vegas; in "The Retired Actors Home" episode, he's one of the two rest home denizens playing baseball with an invisible ball (which breaks a window when Costello hits it with an invisible bat), and is the audience member who requests "Who's on First"; and in the show where Costello runs for city council, and Abbott introduces him as "a combination of a Democrat and a Republican," Bronson is the heckler who yells out, "I'll say -- he eats like an elephant and thinks like a jackass." Such is greatness. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi


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