second banana


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second banana

1. A performer who acts as a support to a lead comedian (the so-called "top banana"), as during a burlesque or vaudeville routine. I generally don't mind playing second banana when I'm with such a legendary comedian, but it would be nice to be the one getting all the laughs once in a while.
2. By extension, someone who occupies a secondary, lesser, or subservient role or position. I've been second banana in this company for too long now. I'm going to start up my own business, and then I'll be the one in charge!
See also: banana, second

second banana

see under top banana.
See also: banana, second
References in periodicals archive ?
Even so, it's pretty darned delightful watching Time Winters and Louis Lotorto extract every bit of comic nectar out of stuffy, self-important Holmes and perpetual second banana Watson.
He was terrified that a second banana would shoot 'The Kid' before he did.
2 -- 3) Guy Pearce, above, doesn't mind playing second banana to Kumal and the rest of the big cats in ``Two Brothers.
Here, Daffy, fed up with playing second banana to Bugs, throws a tantrum and is fired by a studio executive played by Jenna Elfman.
American audiences have largely seen the comedian in smaller roles: the tongue-tied minister in ``Four Weddings and a Funeral,'' the tyrannical leading man to Jeff Goldblum's second banana in ``The Tall Guy'' and as part of Jerry Zucker's ``Rat Race'' ensemble.
Jordan played second banana to Richard Hamilton for most of the game but finished with 22 points.
current second banana to pal Denis Leary in ABC TV's edgy cop comedy ``The Job''
The trio is second banana to this year's Doo Dah Queen, Tequila Mockingbird, a 6-foot-tall chanteuse.
Reilly: The gut-level empathy Reilly quietly musters for his sidekicks, cuckolds, and second bananas defines his sixteen years on film.
Or consider Jack Carson, the character actor's character actor, a bearish presence whose gallery of glad-handing second bananas couldn't help but enhance the comparative glamour of a host of stars, including James Cagney, Joan Crawford, James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Cary Grant, Judy Garland and Paul Newman.