In some ways I am a cultural illiterate. When Dr. Faustus commented on yesterday’s Banana Bra post that we should “Cf. the Josephine Baker caricature in Les Triplettes de Belleville I was like “OK, fine, I’m going to have to Google all that.” Josephine Baker I knew to be a vaudevillian/stripper who made it big in Europe and with that, I was out of clues.

Ho, boy. Let’s start with her Wikipedia. If she didn’t invent the banana-as-inadequate-attire concept, she surely was its most famous popularizer, in the form of the banana skirt that took Europe by storm:

Josephine Baker banana skirt

But what about Faustus’s reference? That’s to a 2003 animated movie, in which a parody of Baker’s famous dance routine is featured:

Since this is just the sort of YouTube video that’s always gone a year after I post it, here are a few more durable screenshots as well:

banana skirt

dancing in a banana skirt

losing her banana skirt

Those are not pesky monkeys stealing Josephine’s bananas in this last screenshot; those are tiny oppressed hungry husbands from the audience.

Thanks, Faustus!

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