top banana


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top banana

Also, top dog. The principal person in a group, organization, or undertaking, as in His plan was to be top banana within ten years, or Now that she's top dog you can't get hold of her at all. The first term comes from show business, where from the early 1900s it has signified the leading comedian (possibly the original allusion was to Frank Lebowitz, a burlesque comedian who used bananas in his act). It also gave rise to second banana, for a supporting actor, usually a straight man. Both were transferred to more general use in the second half of the 1900s, as in executive Peter Barton's statement, "There is a certain pain to being a second banana, but you have to have an ability to sublimate your ego," quoted in The New York Times, May 15, 1996. The variant, top dog, originated in sports in the late 1800s and signified the odds-on favorite or winner in a contest; it alludes to the dog who wins (comes out on top) in a dogfight.
See also: banana, top

top banana

1. n. the lead comedian in a burlesque or vaudeville act. The top banana didn’t show up for the gig.
2. n. the boss; the leader or head of something. (see also big cheese, big enchilada.) You’ll have to ask the top banana. He’s out right now.
See also: banana, top

top banana

Headliner comedian in a vaudeville show. The phrase is said to have originated with a vaudevillian named Harry Steppe in 1927 from a skit in which three comics tried to figure out how to share two bananas. Steppe also claimed to have first used “second banana” to refer to the cast's number two comic. Comedian Phil Silvers popularized the phrase “Top Banana” when he used it as the title of his Broadway musical and movie.
See also: banana, top
References in periodicals archive ?
There were many reputable competitors for the top spot - with the likes of Serco and Nicklin winning other categories, but Top Banana emerged the winner.
Shop assistant Mazzy Snape, 30, who used to be a regular customer at Top Banana before being recruited by the firm 18 months ago, believes vintage will never go out of fashion.
As Top Banana cooks and the banana pieces caramelise, the rich flavours combine to turn this into a breakfast that is barmily good.
and Top Banana paint will be featured in the Daytona Speedway Dodge City display, Feb.
Working through Across the Divide, who are organising the rickshaw ride, Top Banana has booked all the rooms for 'Team Rickshaw' in eight locations.
The Italian stallion was top banana in 1994 and '95 - Mighty Mac didn't notch the first of his umpteen crowns until '96.
Best of the rest were Top Banana and Ambi-Boo, who picked Jack Martin at 13-2 and Keresley Coronation Bowls and ATL Couriers, who joined forces with General Duroc at 11-4
Don't expect to see much of TOP BANANA in the early stages of the Wokingham, but his late dash can cut down another huge field.
Specifically, we have found great interest in our Top Banana Checking and our FREE Personal Plus Checking which carries a low $99 minimum balance.
The items were discovered in Connecticut, USA, by Greg Nicholls, who hand-picks retro items to send to Top Banana and Top Banana Too vintage shops in Kings Heath.
Former Capital of Culture top banana Jason Harborow has set up his own consultancy company, called Harborow Associates, which includes services such as "Crisis Management Plans" and "Risk Registers".
The other clubs who tipped Black Frost were Gatehouse Tavern FC - who kept up their excellent recent form Top Banana and Ambi-Boo.
Local trainer Michael Madgwick was "over the moon" after Richard Quinn had brought top weight Loch Laird from the back of the field to catch Top Banana on the line in the six-furlong handicap, which he had won a year ago with Out Line.
Armed with bunches of US fruit, our man tried to hand them to consulate top banana Cathy Hurst.
Thanks to Noboa and Del Monte, which has operated out of the port since 1979, banana cargo shot up 60 percent last year, making the Port of Hueneme the West Coast's top banana importer.