Created By: Stovepipe on August 18, 2011 Last Edited By: Auxdarastrix on December 19, 2011
Troped

Lovely Assistant

Attractive women who assist performers. An extension of The Vanna, which entails only game shows.

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In showbiz, you have the performer and his lovely assistant.

A Lovely Assistant is just that, an attractive girl or woman who assists the performer or primary host. This can be by fetching things, being the object of whatever the performer is to do, giving out prizes, handling the lottery equipment, or doing minor performances themselves.

But primarily, their job is to look good, strike attractive poses, and give the performer room to do their thing. The clothing can vary from modest but sexy to outright Stripperiffic. There are also practical reasons for small, female, assistants in tight-fitting clothes. Some physical-displacement type tricks (moving boxes, sawing a person in half) require the person to be quite small in order to fit into the device (most magic equipment is designed for an assistant who's 5'2" tall). The same is true of quick-change acts, where the model must be small enough to wear many layers of trick clothing without appearing bulky.

Some common roles of the Lovely Assistant are as co-host of a game show, a Stage Magician's assistant or object for tricks, or the target of a Knife-Throwing Act.

Compare Bridge Bunnies and Foil. See also Distracted by the Sexy, which is one of their main roles. Almost Always Female.

Examples from The Vanna:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Stage Magician Arkana was in love with his Lovely Assistant, Catherine, and they were engaged--before his disfiguring accident. Although Catherine still loved him, Arkana pushed her away. He later regretted his choice and fell in with Marik when he promised he could restore Catherine to him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
  • Olivia in The Prestige is this to both of the stage magicians involved (and has affairs with both of them). Angier's wife was also this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Game Shows (Fictional and Nonfictional):]]
  • Vanna White of Wheel of Fortune. She was not the first letter-turner on the show (Susan Stafford was), but her iconic nature in the wake of Wheel's late-80s success has made her a quintessential example of this trope.
  • Similarly there is the late Adriana Xenides, "co-host" of the Australian Wheel of Fortune from the first episode in July of 1981 until November of 1996, when due severe illness, she had to leave; and from July 1997 until June 1999 after recovering. When she left she was the longest serving Female co-host of a Game Show, now Vanna White holds that honorable record.
  • Some shows had male Vannas such as Joe Alaskey of Couch Potatoes and Dan the Centurian of Caesar's Challenge.
  • Lingo tried to subvert this by having main host Chuck Woolery act The Fool and set up beautiful co-host Shandi Finnessey as the smart one. It...didn't really work.
  • Barker's Beauties in The Price Is Right (after Drew Carey took Bob Barker's place, they started simply being referred to as models).
  • Carol Vorderman from Countdown was a Lovely Assistant, although she was picked for her ability to solve the maths round in her head practically every time as much as for her ability to stand around pinning letters to boards.
  • * Subverted in Temptation: The New Sale Of The Century, where many of the models are male.
  • Parodied by David Letterman's Show Within a Show "Will It Float?", with the hula-hoop girl and that chick wearing a steel bustier and a working metal grinder.
  • Predating Vanna White in the United States was Carol Merrill, the sole model on the original Let's Make a Deal.
  • Roxanne on the original CBS version of Beat the Clock.
  • The new version of Let's Make a Deal with Wayne Brady originally had Alison Fiori as the Lovely Assistant, and now Tiffany Coyne.
  • MTV's Remote Control had a new one for just about every season.
  • First Jenny McCarthy and then Carmen Electra on MTV's dating game show Singled Out.
  • Parodied in Paper Mario with Chuck Quizmo's assistant, a Toad named Vanna T.
  • The original Concentration had Paola Diva as its prize model, and Classic Concentration had Diana Taylor and Marjorie Goodson-Cutt.
  • In a Married... with Children episode, where Al and Peggy compete in a game show:
    Host: Hello there, and welcome to How Do I Love Thee?! The game show that dares to ask; "How do I love thee?". For those of you who're totally ignorant of today's superstars, I'm Bink Winkleman. [one person applauds] Thank you! And here's our own little piece of fluff that the network thrust upon me, The Lovely Zelda. [great applause]
  • In the U.S., Duel had "chip girls" whose only job was to walk to the players' podium after each question to collect chips spent on incorrect answers.
  • In Dead Rising 2, sexy twin sisters Crystal and Amber Bailey serve as the assistants of the zombie-killing game show Terror is Reality. They also serve as the Dragons to the Big Bad, TIR host Tyrone "TK" King.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature
  • Nynaeve gets this job at Valan Luca's circus in The Wheel of Time.
  • Referenced in Equal Rites, which says that members of the Guild of Conjurers are acompanied by "sad thin women in spangly tights" (as in The Amazing Bunko and Doris).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
  • In Monty Python, The Amazing Mystico and Janet put up housing blocks by hypnosis. (Janet is the Lovely Assistant.)
  • Parodied in How I Met Your Mother ("False Positive"), when news anchor Robin suffers a crisis of confidence and auditions to be the "coin-flip bimbo" (or "currency rotation specialist") on Million-Dollar Heads Or Tails.
  • The Late Show with David Letterman: The recurring segments "Will it Float?" and "Is this anything?" have 2-4 lovely assistants: "Float" has two Vanna types who drop an item in a tank of water to see whether it will float or not. Both "Float" and "anything" have the Grinder Girl (a woman who holds a metal grinder to a piece of metal on her costume's thorax) and the Hula Hoop Girl (a woman who hulas a lot of hoops) doing their thing to either side during the segment. Both GG and HHG were originally "discovered" on previous installments of "Is this anything?"
  • The Brady Bunch: Peter has magic as a Fleeting Passionate Hobby and does the Disappearing Girl trick with Jan as his lovely assistant, which freaks Cindy out. Even when they try to explain the trick to her she is still terrified. Then on the day of the Talent Show Jan twists her ankle and can't perform with Peter, so Cindy steps up and takes her place. Once she's been in the cabinet and sees how it's done she gets very enthusiastic, even wanting to do the trick again.
  • Beakman's World had three lovely assistants (Josie, Liza, and Phoebe, depending on season), and one not-so-lovely assistant (Lester).
  • Tool Time, the Show Within a Show on Home Improvement, had Lisa and her replacement Heidi, the latter becoming an Ascended Extra.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Stage Magicians]]
  • Debbie Mc Gee, Lovely Assistant (and wife) of UK magician Paul Daniels. A good example of the "also a skilled magician", she went on to have a solo career.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • No More Heroes has Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii, an assassin magician. His two silent, lovely "asseestahnts!" are under his loyal command, until Travis blinds him and they provide the wheel saw for his execution.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • Parodied in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Let's Take A Quiz!" While Phineas plays game show host, the role of the Lovely Assistant is taken by Ferb, who appears in several glamorous women's outfits.
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • August 18, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    So "Barker's Beauties" in The Price Is Right gameshow, Angier's wife and later his mistress in The Prestige, that kind of thing. This must go back a long way.
  • August 18, 2011
    Stovepipe
    Yes, that was what I was thinking.

    My idea from it came from the Doctor Who episode "Carnival of Monsters".
  • August 18, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Stage Magicians will often have Lovely Assistants to invoke Distracted By The Sexy.
  • August 18, 2011
    Stovepipe
    Oh, and maybe some of them are performers in their own right.
  • August 19, 2011
    kjnoren
    The Laconic is a bit mis-leading, since this is an extension and replacement of The Vanna.

    As for the description, what about:

    In showbiz, you have the performer and his lovely assistant.

    A Lovely Assistant is just that, an attractive girl or woman who assists the performer or primary host. This can be by fetching things, being the object of whatever the performer is to do, giving out prizes, handling the lottery equipment, or doing minor performances themselves. But primarily, their job is to look good, strike attractive poses, and give the performer room to do their thing. The clothing can vary from modest but sexy to outright Stripperiffic.

    Some common roles of the Lovely Assistant are as co-host of a game show, a Stage Magician's assistant or object for tricks, or the target of a Knife Throwing Act.

    Compare Bridge Bunnies and Foil. See also Distracted By The Sexy, which is one of their main roles. Almost Always Female.

    Literature:
  • August 19, 2011
    Stovepipe
    That's much better.
  • August 19, 2011
    Meeble
    This would fit on Occupation Tropes
  • August 19, 2011
    MorganWick
    The laconic is also misleading, as it can be read that the YKTTW is the one that focuses on game shows.

    Is this actually a replacement for The Vanna, as opposed to that being a subtrope? Did that go through Trope Repair?
  • August 20, 2011
    kjnoren
    Two clicks give the answer (Yes).
  • August 20, 2011
    Stovepipe
    Well I was told to take it here.
  • August 21, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Repair job or not, I think this is a good idea. Done this way, it shows this trope is Older Than They Think (which I'm sure it is).
  • August 22, 2011
    Stovepipe
    I gotta confess, I'm not really sure how trope replacing works. I'm thinking it's some sort of convenient process and others said it was a good idea in the Repair Shop.
  • August 22, 2011
    kjnoren
    There is a guide in the Administrivia section, I belive.
  • August 22, 2011
    DaibhidC
    The Lovely Assistant to a Stage Magician is often a skilled magician herself. Since everybody assumes she's just there to pass props and look sexy, the audience doesn't notice if she's actually doing the trick herself while the magician just waves his hands about.

    • Debbie McGee, Lovely Assistant (and wife) of UK magician Paul Daniels. A good example of the "also a skilled magician", she went on to have a solo career.
    • Referenced in Equal Rites which says that members of the Guild of Conjurers are acompanied by "sad thin women in spangly tights" (as in The Amazing Bunko and Doris).
  • August 23, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In Monty Python, The Amazing Mystico and Janet put up housing blocks by hypnosis. (Janet is the Lovely Assistant.)
  • August 28, 2011
    Stovepipe
    I'm thinking this wouldn't be Always Female because Gender Flip versions do exist.
  • August 28, 2011
    kjnoren
    On the other hand, Gender Flip pretty much needs a default gender (ie Always Female or Always Male). Think of it as the inverted version.

    With The Vanna's examples, I think there are enough of them, but I think they need quite a bit of work.
  • August 28, 2011
    kjnoren
    Picking up examples from The Vanna:

    Game Shows:

    • Vanna White of Wheel Of Fortune. She was not the first letter-turner on the show (Susan Stafford was), but her iconic nature in the wake of Wheel's late-80s success has made her a quintessential example of this trope.
    • Similarly there is the late Adriana Xenides, "co-host" of the Australian Wheel of Fortune from the first episode in July of 1981 until November of 1996, when due severe illness, she had to leave; and from July 1997 until June 1999 after recovering. When she left she was the longest serving Female co-host of a Game Show, now Vanna White holds that honorable record.
    • Some shows had male Vannas such as Joe Alaskey of Couch Potatoes and Dan the Centurian of Caesars Challenge.
    • Some shows had male Vannas such as Joe Alaskey of Couch Potatoes and Dan the Centurian of Caesars Challenge.
    • Lingo tried to subvert this by having main host Chuck Woolery act The Fool and set up beautiful co-host Shandi Finnessey as the smart one. It...didn't really work.
    • Barker's Beauties in The Price Is Right (after Drew Carey took Bob Barker's place, they started simply being referred to as models).
    • Carol Vorderman from Countdown was a Lovely Assistant, although she was picked for her ability to solve the maths round in her head practically every time as much as for her ability to stand around pinning letters to boards.

  • August 28, 2011
    thegrenekni3t
  • August 31, 2011
    kjnoren
    More mining from The Vanna:

    • In MST 3 K episode Devil Doll, evil ventriloquist Vorelli has a Lovely Assistant.
    • * Subverted in Temptation: The New Sale Of The Century, where many of the models are male.
    • Parodied by David Letterman's Show Within A Show "Will It Float?", with the hula-hoop girl and that chick wearing a steel bustier and a working metal grinder.
    • Predating Vanna White in the United States was Carol Merrill, the sole model on the original Lets Make A Deal.
    • Roxanne on the original CBS version of Beat The Clock.
    • The new version of Lets Make A Deal with Wayne Brady originally had Alison Fiori as the Lovely Assistant, and now Tiffany Coyne.
    • MTV's Remote Control had a new one for just about every season.
    • First Jenny McCarthy and then Carmen Electra on MTV's dating game show Singled Out.
    • Parodied in Paper Mario with Chuck Quizmo's assistant, a Toad named Vanna T.
    • The original Concentration had Paola Diva as its prize model, and Classic Concentration had Diana Taylor and Marjorie Goodson-Cutt.
    • In a Married With Children episode, where Al and Peggy compete in a game show:
      Host: Hello there, and welcome to How Do I Love Thee?! The game show that dares to ask; "How do I love thee?". For those of you who're totally ignorant of today's superstars, I'm Bink Winkleman. [one person applauds] Thank you! And here's our own little piece of fluff that the network thrust upon me, The Lovely Zelda. [great applause]
    • In the U.S., Duel had "chip girls" whose only job was to walk to the players' podium after each question to collect chips spent on incorrect answers.
    • In Dead Rising 2, sexy twin sisters Crystal and Amber Bailey serve as the assistants of the zombie-killing game show Terror is Reality. They also serve as the Dragons to the Big Bad, TIR host Tyrone "TK" King.

    And some good info from The Vanna, that might be useful to incorporate somewhere:

    There are also practical reasons for small, female, assistants in tight-fitting clothes. Some physical-displacement type tricks (moving boxes, sawing a person in half) require the person to be quite small in order to fit into the device (most magic equipment is designed for an assistant who's 5'2" tall). The same is true of quick-change acts, where the model must be small enough to wear many layers of trick clothing without appearing bulky.

  • September 1, 2011
    cityofmist
    Olivia in The Prestige, to both of the stage magicians involved. She also had affairs with both of them.
  • September 1, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    ^ Yes thank you, I couldn't recall her name. Also Angier's wife who died when a water escape trick went wrong in the earlier part of the film.
  • September 1, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The Late Show with David Letterman: The recurring segments "Will it Float?" and "Is this anything?" have 2-4 lovely assistants: "Float" has two Vanna types who drop an item in a water tank to see whether it will float or not. Both "Float" and "anything" have the Grinder Girl (a woman who holds a metal grinder to a piece of metal on her costume's thorax) and the Hula Hoop Girl (a woman who hulas a lot of hoops) doing their thing to either side during the segment. Both GG and HHG were originally "discovered" on previous installments of "Is this anything?"
  • September 1, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    In the episode "Life in The Past Lane" of Daria, Stacie's curiousity has her more enchanted with Upchuck's Magic performance than the other members of the Fashion Club. This culminates in her acting as his Lovely Assistant when he puts on a Houdini escape in the school's theatre.
  • September 1, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • The Brady Bunch: Peter has magic as a Fleeting Passionate Hobby and does the Disappearing Girl trick with Jan as his lovely assistant, which freaks Cindy out. Even when they try to explain the trick to her she is still terrified. Then on the day of the Talent Show Jan twists her ankle and can't perform with Peter, so Cindy steps up and takes her place. Once she's been in the cabinet and sees how it's done she gets very enthusiastic, even wanting to do the trick again.
  • September 1, 2011
    hevendor717
    No More Heroes has Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii, an assassin magician. His two silent, lovely "asseestahnts!" are under his loyal command, until Travis blinds him and they provide the wheel saw for his execution.
  • September 2, 2011
    IlGreven
    Beakmans World had three lovely assistants (Josie, Liza, and Phoebe, depending on season), and one not-so-lovely assistant (Lester).
  • September 8, 2011
    kjnoren
    Bump.
  • September 9, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Add the non-gameshow examples and I think it's ready. Have a hat.
  • November 11, 2011
    crazysamaritan
    Bump: this trope is Up For Grabs, if anyone wants to do a bit of editing.
  • November 11, 2011
    StarryEyed
    Yu-Gi-Oh: Stage Magician Arkana was in love with his Lovely Assistant, Catherine, and they were engaged--before his disfiguring accident. Although Catherine still loved him, Arkana pushed her away. He later regretted his choice and fell in with Marik when he promised he could restore Catherine to him.
  • November 12, 2011
    TonyG
    Tool Time, the Show Within A Show on Home Improvement, had Lisa and her replacement Heidi, the latter becoming an Ascended Extra.
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