Lovely Assistant

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To the audience: "Watch in wonder as I pass this hoop completely around her!" In his head: "...those can't be real".

In showbiz, you often have the (usually male) performer and his Lovely Assistant - typically an attractive girl or woman, she assists the performer or primary host, often by fetching things, being the object of whatever the performer is to do, giving out prizes, handling the lottery equipment, or doing minor performances herself. But primarily, the assistant's 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.

A variation appears in a Stage Magician's show, where there are 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. In these cases the "assistant" is an integral part of the act who requires skill and training, but plays off the audience expectations that she is nothing but eye candy in order to set up the trick and make the magician look impressive.

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 (even if the host or magician is female herself).

Examples of Lovely Assistant include:

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.
  • In the original Pokémon series, Misty/Kasumi gets roped once into playing this part, complete with a Goldeen-themed white outfit.


  • 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. Michael Caine's character specifically mentions their importance as an on-stage distraction.


  • 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 accompanied by "sad thin women in spangly tights" (as in The Amazing Bunko and Doris).
  • Subverted in Lovely Assistant by Geoph Essex: Jenny is both a magician's lovely assistant and the main protagonist. Even in the magic act, Jenny is more than just a pretty thing to look at. (She's also one of Calvin's most effective props, and does some tricks herself.) As the plot develops, this trope zig-zags: as a Grim Reaper, Jenny "assists" death by sending the recently departed off to their next journey; but she's still not just eye candy, as the Angels of Death don't seem to have any defined employer and are a pretty mixed lot.

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, with the latter becoming an Ascended Extra.
  • On Brainiac: Science Abuse we get Professor Myang Li, who determines "Does this fruit float?" You do doubt her academic credentials given her Stripperiffic outfit.
  • One sketch written by Ronnie Barker revolves around a stage magician having an affair with his Lovely Assistant, and trying to hide the evidence from his suspicious wife by passing it off as conjuring tricks he was practising.
  • In a Married... with Children episode where Al and Peggy compete on 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]


Game Shows (Fictional and Nonfictional)

  • Vanna White, the former Trope Namer, from Wheel of Fortune. She was not the first letter-turner on the show (Susan Stafford was), but her iconic nature in the wake of the show's late-80s success has made her the 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 June 1999 - from November 1996 to July 1997, she took a temporary leave due to severe illness. When she left, she was the longest serving female co-host of a game show, a record now held by Vanna White.
  • In a variation, Jeopardy! has the Clue Crew, a team of assistants who present pre-recorded visuals on some clues.
  • Some shows had male examples of this, such as Joe Alaskey on Couch Potatoes and Dan the Centurian on 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 were simply referred to by name. Bruce Forsyth also had lovely assistants when he hosted a UK version of The Price Is Right.
  • Carol Vorderman from Countdown was picked for her ability to solve the Numbers Game in her head practically every time as much as she was for her ability to stand around pinning letters to boards.
    • In the British comedy Panel Show Would I Lie to You?, Carol stated that she played games for most of the 30 seconds of the Numbers Round because she'd already solved it.
    • Since Carol left the show, her (younger, taller, blonder and cheaper) replacement Rachel Riley has taken the role.
  • Temptation: The New Sale Of The Century had male models as assistants. The Australian Temptation has Livinia Nixon as the assistant, with about half the Gift Shop prizes modeled by Scott McGregor.
  • Predating Vanna White in the United States was Carol Merrill, the sole model on the original Let's Make a Deal. The new version of Deal with Wayne Brady originally had Alison Fiori as the assistant, then Tiffany Coyne.
  • Roxanne on the original CBS version of Beat the Clock.
  • MTV's Remote Control had a new one for just about every season.
  • Jenny McCarthy, and then Carmen Electra, on MTV's dating game show Singled Out.
  • The original Concentration had Paola Diva as its prize model, and Classic Concentration had Diana Taylor and Marjorie Goodson-Cutt.
  • The American version of Duel had "chip girls" whose only job was to walk to the players' podium after each question to collect chips spent on incorrect answers.
  • Richard Osman on Pointless.
  • Win Tuition subverted this with a short, bald male assistant named "Gorgeous George", who acted as if he would rather be anywhere else whenever he hauled in props for a question.
  • The briefcase-toting gals on the American version of Deal or No Deal - though they are generally absent in later airings, replaced by potential contestants.
  • Ms. Holly "Too Sexy for This Time Slot" Willoughby.
  • Jim Perry's run of $ale of the Century had Summer Bartholomew as the main assistant, and about half the models showcasing the Instant Bargains were male.

Stage Magicians

  • Debbie McGee, Lovely Assistant (and wife) of UK magician Paul Daniels. A good example of "also a skilled magician", she went on to have a solo career.
  • Bess Houdini, wife of Harry Houdini.


  • In The Magic Show, Doug arrives at the Top Hat with waifish ragamuffin Cal as his assistant. However, influenced by some of the other acts at the club, he conjures up Statuesque Stunner Charmin to be a more traditional Lovely Assistant.

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.
  • Parodied in Paper Mario with Chuck Quizmo's assistant, a Toad named Vanna T.
  • 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.
  • The MC in Smash TV appears in the game's attract mode with one on each arm, accompanied by knowing looks to the viewer.

Web Comics

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.
  • Gypsy Moth from A Bug's Life is this to her praying mantis husband, Manny.
  • Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame is this to Clopin.
  • In the Yogi's Treasure Hunt episode "Goodbye, Mr. Chump", Penelope Pitstop was a lovely assistant to Hokey Wolf.
  • In Dinosaucers Sarah is a willing assistant for her friends' magic show. Later on, Quackpot puts on his own show with the good guys captive, except for Sarah, who he Hypnotizes to be his assistant.