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Friday, May 5, 2017

Revisiting Lananeeneenoonoo

Dear Poptastic Readers,

With all the news of Bananarama reforming, we thought it would be fun to have a look back at Lananeeneenoonoo. In December of 1988, the comedy duo French & Saunders did a sketch that poked fun of Bananarama with a group called Lananeeneenoonoo.

Lananeeneenoonoo: Dawn (Kirsten), Jennifer (unnamed), and Kathy (Kim)

Dawn French’s character was Kirsten (based on Keren), Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) character’s name was never mentioned (based on Sara), and Kathy Burke’s character was Kim (based on Jacquie). 

Bananarama 1988: Jacquie, Keren and Sara

The sketch was spot on! It featured a day in the life of the trio: recording music, being interviewed, and making a video. Just have a look …



Now, if you are the casual Bananarama fan and you think all the jokes were lost on you, here are some reasons why the sketch is funny …


Bananarama and Lananeeneenoonoo

1.   Some history: Siobhan had left Bananarama in early 1988. Jacquie had be hired to be the third Banana. That fall, the record label released the group’s Greatest Hits Collection, and Bananarama was doing loads of interviews where Jacquie was sitting silent as most of the questions were about the group’s past. And Lananeeneenoonoo picked up on this so when Kim (aka Jacquie) speaks, the other two look annoyed.

2.   The videos in the beginning of the sketch are spoofs of Bananarama videos "Love In The First Degree" and "A Trick Of The Night" (black and white version)


3.   The Works is supposed to be a spoof on the production team of Stock, Aitken & Waterman.


Bananarama and Lananeeneenoonoo

4.   During the recording, Kim (aka Jacquie) leaves and the other two record the song without her. This is funny because Bananarama always sang in unison and when Siobhan left and Jacquie came, the sound of Bananarama was so similar so the joke was that Jacquie wasn’t singing.

5.   Lananeeneenoonoo keep laughing while being interviewed because Bananarama were notorious for laughing through interviews.

6.   Kevin Godley who talks to them about the video was a very well-known music video director in the 80s and Lananeeneenoonoo don’t know he is.

7.   The ideas for the music video are funny because Kirsten talks about getting her face whited out with big red lips, which is something that was happening in Bananarama videos.

8.   The video for “Jimmy Mack” is basically a spoof on their video for “I Want You Back.”



Bananarama found the show to be really funny. And together the two trios of Bananarama and Lananeeneenoonoo recorded a cover of The Beatle’s “Help!” for Comic Relief in 1989. The single went to #3 in the UK. Check out the funny video where Lananeeneenoo spoof Bananarama. And yes, that is Lananeeeneenoonoo on backing vocals …

They even performed it on TV and it ended up with a rather funny ending …



Sadly, “Jimmy Mack” by Lananeeneenoonoo was never commercially available. It would have been a great b-side to “Help!” Instead, the two trios did an improv session for the b-side called “Love In The Factory.”


Bananarama 2017: Keren, Siobhan, and Sara

With the original lineup of Bananarama performing, perhaps French & Saunders can recruit a new actor to play the part of Siobhan and reform the legendary Lananeeneenoonoo. After all, Jennifer Saunders said that part of her inspiration for Absolutely Fabulous was Bananarama.

Back in 2012, Jennifer Saunders said in an interview: "The nights with Bananarama were some of the best nights of my life. I got a lot of gags from Bananarama because they were big vodka drinkers. When I started Ab Fab, I remembered all the falls that I saw Bananarama do. I once saw one of them coming out of cab bottom first and hitting the road and I thought: that's class!"

Cheers then,
—Davearama

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for this fabulous blog brought back so many memories. I had never seen the original French & Saunders skit.

    Phil

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  2. I love French and Saunders as much as Bananarama and this sketch has provided me with laughs for so many years.....THANKS for posting i havent seen it for a while

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