Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man brings the laughs without showing a thing. Turns out the Invisible Man’s cameo at the end of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein was more than just a quick gag. It led to a whole slew of crossovers between Universal-International monsters and the comedic duo. Although I didn’t see Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man initially. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are now bumbling detectives named Bud Alexander and Lou Francis. The story is more small scale with only one monster, but the jokes are just as good before he shows up. The Invisible Man is now a boxer named Tommy Nelson played by Arthur Franz.
The original Invisible Man, Jack Griffin is directly referenced with a portrait of Claude Rains. The invisible transformation is played straight with the expected fear of insanity. Nancy Guild plays Tommy’s sweetheart Helen and Gavin Muir plays her scientist father who holds the formula. Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man is mostly a more comedic version of The Invisible Man Returns. It follows a murder mystery that the framed Tommy tries to investigate while invisible. The special effects are up to the usual standard. The jokes come out of Lou reacting to nothing and Bud remaining unconvinced.
There’s even a running gag where several people go to a shrink after witnessing the Invisible Man. Bud and Lou go undercover in a boxing ring to help clear Tommy’s name. Lou reluctantly pretends to be a boxer with Tommy secretly throwing his punches. Boots Marsden played by the lovely Adele Jergens seduces Lou as an accomplice to the real murderers. They catch the crook, but a botched blood transfusion turns Lou invisible in the silliest way possible. Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man gave invisibility one last shot in the limelight.