Pink Lady

Top Japanese singing duo Mie & Kei couldn't make this one last, even in bikinis

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.

About the author

Editor-in-Chief at // Website // See more articles

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English, traveling, and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the monthly magazine, Effective.

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