Abbott and Costello's The Naughty Nineties offers a million laughs and a nickel's worth of plot. Most of the film takes place aboard a 19th century showboat, owned by kindly Captain Sam (Henry Travers). Bud Abbott plays the showboat's leading man Dexter Broadhurst, while Lou Costello is handyman Sebastian Dinwiddie. A group of slick gamblers (Alan Curtis, Rita Johnson and Joe Sawyer) cheat Captain Sam out of his boat, turning the place into a floating gambling palace, but Dexter and Sebastian foil the villains and save the day. The film is a virtual encyclopedia of wheezy but still hilarious comedy routines, many of them devised by veteran Laurel & Hardy and Three Stooges gagman Felix Adler. The film's highlight is a full-length performance of Abbott and Costello's verbal classic "Who's on First?"-and if one listens very closely, one can hear the cameramen and crew members laughing!
by Hal Erickson synopsis