second banana

(redirected from second bananas)

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 ?
Reilly: The gut-level empathy Reilly quietly musters for his sidekicks, cuckolds, and second bananas defines his sixteen years on film.
In tribute to Carney, one of TV's best-ever second bananas who died Sunday at age 85, TV Land has slated a marathon of the original 39 ``Honeymooners'' episodes from 1955-56.
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.
But, entertainment insiders say that by investing wisely, you could become one of the biggest-earning second bananas on the bill.
The - comparatively - straight men and women to Stewart's titular loon aren't just good second bananas at the Colony.
His groundbreaking research shows how Hollywood casts bald men mainly as boobs and second bananas.
They were the second bananas and chorus lines of the golden age of entertainment.
They're second bananas to an egotistical palooka named Ted Healy when Hollywood comes calling, which almost torpedoes their chances at fame and fortune.
For while Gumbel is his usual smooth, steady and occasionally unpredictable self, willing to confront interviewees with at least nominally challenging questions, he has been surrounded by a coterie of benignly bland second bananas.
Christine Baranski and David Hyde Pierce (talented second bananas on television sitcoms).
You invited me over to the Hollywood Men's Comedy Club to meet some of the other second bananas in town - Happy Hall, Joe Ploski, Bobby Faye and Johnny Spoons, who made a living playing spoons on various parts of his body.
How you left home as a teen-ager for the vaudeville circuit and wound up spending your whole life as a second banana - and loving every minute of it.