In the really old days, before the advent of the talkies in 1927, the lowest form of variety show in the U.S. was burlesque, home of striptease and the raunchiest jokes. Here's where the phrase, "top banana," originated, meaning the lead comedian in the show.
I suspect this info is already known to Maurizio Cattelan, the Italian conceptualist, heretofore famous as the creator of "America:" a fully-functional, solid gold toilet that had art-lovers who visited the Guggenheim Museum in New York a year or so ago lined up to use it.
Why do I suspect that this artiste is already familiar with the phrase, "top banana"? I say this because his contribution to civilization this year was a real, live banana fastened by silvery-grey duct tape to a partition in the Paris-based Perrotin gallery booth at Miami Basel. Its title was "Comedian," and its price tag ranged from $120,000 to $150,000. Read More