You and Me by John-Michael Howson and Jeanne Little

You and Me by John-Michael Howson and Jeanne Little
Mike Walsh AM, OBE Hayden Productions
Access fees

Jeanne Little and John-Michael Howson perform 'You and Me' by Henry Mancini from the Julie Andrews musical Victor/Victoria (Britain-USA, Blake Edwards, 1982) on The Mike Walsh Show circa 1984.

This totally delightful clip exemplifies Jeanne Little as the full package for daytime television – dressed to the nines, dancing beautifully with Howson, hitting all the right notes and oozing charm and cheekiness. The studio set's 1920s Art Deco theme contextualises the song and dance routine and the camera direction is first class, particularly the high crane shots that enhance the sense of glamour.

This clip, which sees Jeanne in drag king mode, is an excellent example of her drag sensibilities. Inspired by the drag queens at Sydney's first gay bar the Purple Onion in the late 1960s, Jeanne played with gender in her one-woman cabaret show Hello Dahling!. She played the first half of her show as a man singing Cole Porter songs and the second half as a woman paying tribute to Marlene Dietrich and others.

Jeanne's on-screen collaboration with John-Michael Howson began the very first time she appeared on The Mike Walsh Show in 1974. With Walsh on leave, guest host Howson thought the producers were having a laugh and had sent a drag queen with a fake baby bump (Jeanne was eight-and-a-half months pregnant); Jeanne loved Howson's camp aesthetic. Howson likens her appearances to sketches from the  television comedy I Love Lucy (USA, 1951–57) in their sheer ridiculousness and freshness.

Howson and Little performed in popular Mike Walsh Show pantomimes including Off White and the Seven Wharfies and Gone with the Wind Up.

This excerpt is taken from a compilation called The Mike Walsh Show Archive No. 503.

Notes by Beth Taylor