Pink Lady was a popular Japanese singing duo comprised of Mie (Mitsuyo Nemoto) and Kei (Keiko Masuda), who will always be best remembered (in the US, anyway) for their very short-lived 1980 NBC TV show Pink Lady (aka Pink Lady and Jeff).

Above are Mie and Kei in a skit from the show’s third of its six episodes, featuring Hugh Hefner and some of his “Bunnies” (played by Playmates Karen Morton, Rosanne Katon, Sondra Theodore, Janis Schmitt, and Jeana Tomasino).

Although it’s been described by some TV historians as a “ten megaton stink bomb,” Pink Lady and Jeff deserves its place among memorable US television comedy-variety shows, particularly since most of those historians also say it was the final nail in the coffin of such shows of that era. The show was the brainchild of the then-network CEO, who thought the ladies spoke fluent English when he proposed the project to their management. Once it was found out that was far from true, the girls were teamed up with a fairly popular US comedian and the running gag was the misunderstandings between himself and the girls, due to the language/cultural barrier. The ladies learned their lines phonetically and often didn’t know exactly what they were saying or singing about, since all the songs they performed on the show were also in English.

Mie and Kei circa 1977 performing the Supremes’ classic, “Stop in the Name of Love,” proving they did have some experience with US songs before their NBC show. Yes, they do lack the soul of Diana and company, but since the duo had to learn the lyrics phonetically in a relatively short time, consider that before leaving a comment like; “Godzilla should have got these two,” “Motown will never forgive this,” or (my personal favorite) “its like jumping of a bridge into a lake of ear crap” [sic] like some Youtube viewers did.

Pink Lady

At the end of every episode, the girls and their co-host, ended up in a hot tub together. Despite the assurance of seeing them in bikinis, it wasn’t enough to save the show from poor ratings and getting axed after just six episodes and ending up in the “Worst TV Variety Shows of All Time” file. If you want to find out pretty much everything about Pink Lady, from their origin to what the two ladies are doing these days, it’s all at their English fansite.

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  1. Avatar of Luke

    Gold CEC, Hugh brought some wonderful things to the attention of the world but his singing isn’t one of them. I will have to research these guys further, the demise of this type of variety show is a sad thing IMO, given that the replacement is crappy reality TV.

  2. Avatar of French

    Wow! Playboy had some diversity! And look at their bodies- classic late 1970s/early 1980s bodies. No implants, no body fat, no silly navel jewelry. No tatts. That Keiko (she is on the right) is rather hot! And I love purple.

    Nice find, CEC.

    A little sad history: Many Americans of Japanese background were native Californian and sent to “re-location camps” (in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado) by President Roosevelt during WWII. They lost their homes and businesses during their internment, and many never went back to California- so to Chicago they went in the late 1940s.

    Fun Fact: By the way, none other than “Tokyo Rose” settled there after she got out of prison.

    Anyhow, Hefner served in the U.S. Army during WWII. I am certain he met many Americans of Japanese background after the war when he went back to Chicago. Right around 1980, the American economy took a nose dive. Japanese cars started selling well as the American car manufacturers started losing a lot of business. Japan-bashing started again. Despite Playboy becoming a cookie-cutter “blonde-fest” in the 1990s, Hefner was a smart man. He must have known he was taking a bit of a business risk appearing with two Japanese right when Japan was being blamed for people being out of work.

    Back to Keiko (the one on the right)….she is hot. Reminds me of a flight attendant from All Nippon Airways I met last year.

  3. Avatar of fungusfarm

    Beautiful ladies! That was a nice tribute to classic variety show tv.

  4. Hapabeauty’s avatar

    What is Keiko’s response @ the 0:24 mark? I have played back many times to no avail.

  5. Avatar of French

    Hapabeauty wrote:
    What is Keiko’s response @ the0:24 mark?I have played back many times to no avail.

    Keiko is saying, “What are we? Chopped Tempura?”

    I guess it is the Japanese equivalent to the American expression- “What are we? Chopped liver?”

    She is still hot…check out her website here: http://www.kei-office.net/

    She has a lot of pictures of cats on there. I mean, a lot.

    I think the Doc is gouging his ears out about now after listening to the singing.

  6. Avatar of Dr. Lee

    I think the Doc is gouging his ears out about now after listening to the singing.

    How did you know? ;-)

  7. Avatar of arf

    I wouldn’t mind being in the pool with these two lovely ladies like the guy in the bottom photo.

  8. Avatar of wylde8

    Looking at it 33 years later, that’s pretty cool.

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