A Tribute to a Dear Friend.
On September 24, 2016, Joe Ziegler passed away. The world lost a committed comic, but more importantly, a faithful friend. For nearly 30 years, Bill Riley and Joe Ziegler transformed themselves into Bud Abbott and Lou Costello through vintage dress and an authentic recreation of the team’s mannerisms and vocal styling. Their partnership impressed all that saw their performances. They had pinpoint accuracy in many of the vaudeville and burlesque routines made famous by Bud and Lou on stage, screen, radio and television, including the classic baseball routine, “Who’s On First?”.
Riley and Ziegler met in 1986, when Riley attended the broadcasting school where Ziegler was Dean of Students and an instructor of commercial writing and promotions. In 1987 Riley also began working at the school as Radio Director and instructor. While both Ziegler and Riley had worked with various partners through the years – their love and admiration of Abbott and Costello combined with their own comedic chemistry and friendship sparked to form a partnership that has flourished.
They performed as Abbott and Costello since 1994. Their ventures took them around the country for various corporate and business functions, private parties, civic groups, fund raisers, along with radio and television appearances.
Although Joe has passed away, his memory will always remain.