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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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Second Bananas


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#1 TopBilled

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 11:00 AM

Something ironic I wanted to mention in this thread--

 

Phil Silvers usually played a second banana in studios' A films. But he is (appropriately) the star in the independently produced comedy TOP BANANA.


"You've had a few hours given back to you from life. A few hours in which to change your minds and your hearts. When you came into the grounds of this inn, you came into a place as it was a year ago today. You were in your own time, but the house and garden and Gwyneth and I are in the time of last year. The day the bomb hit. When you go away and walk up the road you will have spent a night in an inn. But if you look back from the crest of the hill, the halfway house will not be here...but if you remember, it will be as you remember a forgotten snatch of song. It will be a picture before your eyes. Gone before you realize it is there. Or an echo in the hidden places of your mind. But you have been here...and the world is what you make it." -- Mervyn Johns, THE HALFWAY HOUSE.


#2 TopBilled

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 05:47 PM

Great topic!  I love your selection of Donald O'Connor-- though keep in mind that over at Universal, his home studio, he was not a second banana. Only during this loanout to MGM where he was third-billed.

 

When I think of second bananas, I think of the thankless jobs played by the comic relief guys in all those Republic westerns. Look at how Gabby Hayes played second banana to Roy Rogers in countless pictures. Or Andy Devine. And Smiley Burnette was always the second banana to Gene Autry, and so was Pat Buttram and Sterling Holloway. Those men are unsung heroes.


"You've had a few hours given back to you from life. A few hours in which to change your minds and your hearts. When you came into the grounds of this inn, you came into a place as it was a year ago today. You were in your own time, but the house and garden and Gwyneth and I are in the time of last year. The day the bomb hit. When you go away and walk up the road you will have spent a night in an inn. But if you look back from the crest of the hill, the halfway house will not be here...but if you remember, it will be as you remember a forgotten snatch of song. It will be a picture before your eyes. Gone before you realize it is there. Or an echo in the hidden places of your mind. But you have been here...and the world is what you make it." -- Mervyn Johns, THE HALFWAY HOUSE.


#3 JamesStewartFan95

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 09:00 PM

Who is your favorite second banana in a comedy film?

 

My pick is Donald O'Connor in Singin' in the Rain because of his under appreciated ability to hold his own against Gene Kelly.






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