Posted by: kerrywills | October 31, 2014

Reply to All – Abbott & Costello Style

This is a scenario based on a recent incident at my workplace that many people can relate to. An individual posted a note to a company-wide distribution list asking to be removed. Then other people replied to all (the entire company) saying not to do it (but doing it themselves as well). There was a recent Unit Way charity Talent Show where a colleague and I re-enacted this reply to all thread but in the form of an Abbott & Costello “Who’s on First” format. The transcription is below along with a link to the video .


Kerry: Hey Winthrop, I have this new employee and I am trying to get them added to a distribution list which includes the entire company on it.
Winthrop: Well I am sure that you know who this person is so please tell me their name
Kerry: Oh sure, his name is “All” and I think he sent you an email, asking to be added…
Winthrop: Well I do remember Replying to All, sending out a note to the distribution list asking for him to be added.
Kerry: Wait you did Reply to All for the entire distribution list?
Winthrop: Yes I did Reply to All.
Kerry: You did a Reply to All!? What were you thinking?
Winthrop: What do you mean? I was trying to do the right thing, hence Reply to All.
Kerry: While well intended, that was a highly questionable decision. What happened after that?
Winthrop: Well then a bunch of other people also sent a Reply, to All.
Kerry: Like who?
Winthrop: Well I saw notes from… Say Again.
 Kerry: Say Again?
 Winthrop: Yes.
Kerry: Who?
Winthrop: Say Again.
Kerry: What?
Winthrop: Not What, Who, Say Again.
Kerry: Wait, Say Again
Winthrop: Yup. That’s what I said; I also saw several emails from Say Again.
Kerry: So let me try to understand; first you did a Reply to All and then there were others who did a Reply to All and… Say Again (?).
Winthrop: Right and they also included CC in the email.
Kerry: CC?
Winthrop: Yes, works over in Distribution and is very good at over-communicating. Feels like this is all they do really. Are you familiar with CC and the capabilities he brings to the organization? You must be.
Kerry: So who else did CC loop in?
Winthrop: Nobody, because even if he wanted to Reply to All, it is impossible.
Kerry: Why so?
Winthrop: He’s in email jail.
Kerry: Ok I think I understand now
Winthrop: Things were somewhat under control, until the rash of emails sent to Unsubscribe; asking for people to stop Replying to All.
Kerry: Did other people agree with Unsubscribe?
Winthrop: Say Again.
Kerry: I said did other people agree with Unsubscribe?
Winthrop: Yes, Say Again.
Kerry: You heard me.
Winthrop: I know.
Kerry: Really!?
Winthrop: Yes, Say Again. See.
Kerry: CC?
Winthrop: Not CC, Say Again. See?
Kerry: Ok, then how did he get removed from the e-mail conversation?
Winthrop: Unsubscribe.
Kerry: Right, I know he wanted to be removed but who removed him?
Kerry & Winthrop: One, two: Say Again.
Kerry: And now for some reason I haven’t received any e-mails for the past 27 hours.
Winthrop: Did you check with our customer support technician, Out of Office?
Kerry: Out of Office?
Winthrop: Yes
Kerry: Where is he now?
Winthrop: Out of Office.
Kerry: I know, but what is his name?
Winthrop: Out of Office.
Kerry: Winthrop, I think you are out to lunch. Anyway, how do you know where this person is?
Winthrop: Out of Office email.
Kerry: Super. Thank you. I know just what to do next.
Winthrop: Great. What is that?
Kerry: I’ll simply Reply to All, plus CC and Unsubscribe.


SEE THE VIDEO of the performance


  1. You could have at least waited a decent interval after the World Series before posting this sacrilege …

  2. Ah! Reply to all! What a beautiful way to let people know that you exist only for them to keep pretending that you don’t!

  3. Great job Kerry!

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