As provided by the Jot ’em Down Journal of February, 1999:
ABnER: Don’t you think we ort to drop Mr. Truman a post- card and let him know we’re comin? Otherwise he might not be expectin’ to see us at this ‘nauguration.
Lum: Oh, that’s all right Uh… Ther’s lotsa folks that never expected to see HIM at this ‘nauguration!
And those are all in the first two minutes of the show! More Abbott & Costello-style wordplay abounds when Lum makes their travel arrangements, and tells Abner they will go to Washington by Buffalo. (Why would anyone go through the state of New York to get to Washington DC from Arkansas? Just as an excuse to make jokes!) In short order, L&A are at the train depot and Sister Simpson (again played by Vivian Lasswell) has given them a LIVE chicken to present to the Truman family as a gift.
On the train, L&A and Ben Withers can’t figure out why Sister Simpson is waving at them so frantically, until they suddenly realize that Ben wasn’t SUPPOSED to be going to Washington with them! The rural threesome has many improbable adventures while blundering about the White House, where the dual roles of a guard and a tour guide are played by the talented Peter Leeds.
While searching for the president, Abner opens a door and we hear the piano strains of The Missouri Waltz.
(“That ain’t it, just somebody practicing’ on the pianner.”)
They also recycle a gag or two from their 1943 RKO movie So This is Washington. Unlike the timeless nature of the 15-minute Lum and Abner, he ending is loaded with topical humor that would probably go completely over the heads of most present-day listeners:
lum: I grannies, I’m gonna give this chicken to the next feller that walks across Pennsylvania Avenue and ask him to give it ta the president!
Ben: Looks like he’s found somebody. He’s talkin’ to that gray-haired man with the glasses and bow tie.
Abner: He ‘II stand ther an ‘flap his jaw for two hour. We’re
Learn more about the world of Lum and Abner from the pages of the National Lum and Abner Society.