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Easy but Funny Talent Show Ideas
Well, darn. It’s time again—already!—for the annual school talent show. Last year, you swore you’d get your child enrolled in some sort of class so they would be ready for a knock-your-socks-off talent show act.
Little Angelica next door has been taking ballet since she was 18 months old and can perform a flawless rendition of the Swan Lake solo. Gunnar over there has been working hard at his electric guitar lessons and can very nicely crank out a sweet Van Halen/ACDC medley. What about your kids? They want to be in the show, but what if their talents are more along the lines of being the highest-scoring soccer forward or reading five notches above their grade level?
Don’t fret, moms and dads. There are plenty of fun ideas for kids who weren't born for the stage. The key is to put together an act that is fun, lighthearted, and funny. Angelica and Gunnar might get the critics’ choice awards, but your kid will bring down the house and be the talk of the school the next day.
6 Hilarious Things to Do for a Talent Show
- Funny Skit With Cymbals
- Glowing Stick-Person Dance Routine
- Mock Music Video
- Synchronized Swimming Skit
- Silly Dancing People Routine
- Super-Fake Magic Act
These Ideas Are Also Great for Adults!
If you're an adult who needs to create an act for a fraternity, sorority, church group, office event, or whatever else, these funny acts translate well for grown-ups, too.
1. Funny Skit With Cymbals
This very funny cymbals routine (see video) is performed by a college student, but it could easily be done by a grade-schooler. This skit is really entertaining, and it doesn’t require much musical or acting ability. However, a child who has a good sense of comic timing can make this skit shine. Be sure your child adds in plenty of sighing, music page-turning, impatient toe-tapping, and head-scratching.
Unlike most of the acts on this list, this one requires unusual equipment: the cymbals. Ask your school band if you can borrow some, or put up a post on Facebook asking if any of your contacts have cymbals you can borrow. You may even be able to purchase some cheaply on Craigslist, then resell them when the show is over, if you like.
Best Music to Use
If you decide on this act, the music to download is John Phillip Souza's "Stars and Stripes Forever."
2. Glowing Stick-Person Dance Routine
With a glow-stick stick-person costume, a dance that would be hum-drum with the lights on turns into something spectacular when the lights go out. When you’re a glowing, dancing stick-person, nobody cares whether or not your moves are perfect or fancy. The most basic of dance steps come alive.
Watch the video, and you’ll see how easy the dancing is—and how loudly the crowd cheers and claps. This act is fun, funny, and appropriate for all kids. If you’re interested in this act, check out this tutorial on how to make a glowing stick-person costume.
Best Music to Use
Be sure to use some fun dance music that everyone knows, such as LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” Maroon Five’s “Moves Like Jagger,” “Living La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin, or the classic “Shout!” by the Isley Brothers.
3. Mock Music Video
Whether the audience is made up of kids, adults, or both, they’ll howl with laughter at a funny rendition of a famous music video, especially with gender-bending performers. A very funny act that I saw at my own kids’ school involved three boys who dressed up as Beyoncé and her backup dancers and did a lip-synch dance to “Single Ladies: Put a Ring on It.”
The boys wore wigs, sunglasses, black tights, and black leotards, and they really hammed it up. It was hilarious. One of the boys' wig and sunglasses fell off during the dance, which was not intentional but made the skit even funnier.
Best Music to Use
A song with a danceable beat from any diva-type singer works. Try "Shake It Señora" by Pitbull or something from Lady Gaga or Christina Aguilera. “Barbie Girl” is also very funny.
4. Synchronized Swimming Skit
Get a group of kids together for some goofy out-of-water synchronized swimming. Have them wear swimsuits, swim caps, and goggles. Make up a routine with plenty of exaggerated swimming movements. Have the kids parade out solemnly to the Olympic fanfare music, then ceremoniously snap their goggles before beginning. The video here gives plenty of simple but hilarious ideas.
Keep it funny, quick, and light, because this act is funniest when it doesn't go on and on. Also, don’t let the kids take the routine too seriously or even do too well with the movements. The less professional-looking and synchronized it is, the funnier it will be.
Best Music to Use
As far as music goes, Saint-Saens's “Aquarium” is a slow, classical piece that was written to conjure up underwater images in the minds of listeners. A Souza march would also work.
5. Silly Dancing People Routine
This funny act can be done by two, four, six, eight, or even ten kids who work in pairs. Each pair stands behind a table, with one child behind the other. The person in back covers themselves with a black sheet or stands behind a curtain, but they stick their arms out to serve as the arms of the person in front. The person in front uses their arms as legs, putting shoes on their hands and placing them on the table.
It creates an optical illusion of a very short person standing on the table (make sure there is a long table cover that goes all the way to the floor). Put on a jacket or t-shirt so that it covers the front person’s torso and the back person’s arms. Put a pair of shorts on the front person's arms. It's a little hard to describe, but if you watch the video, it becomes crystal clear!
Best Music to Use
You'll want something that lends itself to exaggerated arm and leg movements, like some fun hip-hop or can-can music. Make up some silly dance moves, and you have a memorable, very funny act.
6. Super-Fake Magic Act
I'm a sucker for cheesy jokes, and this one is dang funny. The combination of the magician being so confident and cocky and the trick being so obviously fake makes for great comedy. It's an easy act without many lines or details to remember. Grab a couple of friends to do the act with you, jot down a quick script, rehearse two or three times, and you're ready to go.
The hardest part may be finding the magician's boxes. You can rent them from a magic store, or rig up your own with cardboard boxes and rolling utility carts.
In the video, I love how you can hear laughter coming not just from the crowd, but also from the person who's filming.
Best Music to Use
You don't necessarily need music for this act, but if you decide to play some, pick something orchestral and super dramatic (like in the video). You could also opt for a simple drumroll sound. Or why not use a song with "magic" in the lyrics, like "Magic Man" by Heart or "Magic Carpet Ride" by Steppenwolf?
Need More Talent Show Ideas?
- More Funny Talent Show Ideas: There are so many funny talent show ideas that I couldn't fit them all into just one article. If you'd like to check out some more ideas—also with videos—see this article.
- Talent Show Ideas for Kids: If you'd like some fun but more serious talent show ideas appropriate for the younger set, you'll find them here.
- List of Awesome Talent Show Songs: What Song Should I Sing in the Talent Show? Check out this article if you'd like to sing but need song ideas and a little help choosing a song that's right for you.
Ariana Grande on April 17, 2018:
Glow stick on fleeeek!
Kiara on August 15, 2017:
I like that glowing stick one
jack lessard on April 28, 2017:
i luv the last one it's so funny
Juju on December 12, 2016:
Where do I find talent show ideas class acts????
Nancy on February 13, 2015:
This post really stretch all my face muscle because of laughing.
Shona on January 08, 2015:
Thank you so much! I couldn't figure out how to do better then our glow stick dance last year - the synchronized swimming is perfect!! You saved me!
Elmo on December 11, 2014:
I had tons of fun with it! Thanks.
The weirdo on November 13, 2014:
Hey, I just wanted to say, you are.."..............................
HORRIBLE! Just Joling! I LOVE you! You gave such GREAT ideas. I tried these out, and I WON the talent show for 2 straight years!!!!!!! I LOvE you so much!!!!!!!!! Keep up the BEAUTIFUL work!
Ryan from Manchester on September 24, 2014:
Ha ha, thanks for sharing. I may give one of these a try on next year's Britain's Got Talent. All the best.:)
Dream Lover from Zagreb on April 15, 2014:
Glowing Stickman Dance ;* i like it. great hub
UndercoverAgent19 on February 01, 2014:
These are all great. However, it would be unfortunate if people just ripped off these ideas directly. I'd hope that people would be more likely to use these ideas to get inspired or tried to add a unique twist on them.
cjarosz on January 11, 2014:
These are some excellent ideas
SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on November 30, 2013:
Hi lol, thanks for your kind words. Do you mean a magician's box? Try calling around to costume shops or magic shops; perhaps someone has one they can rent to you. Or you could post an ad on Craigslist asking if anyone out there has one you can borrow. You could also ask an appliance store if you could have a refrigerator box, and use a box cutter and wide packing tape to cut it down to the right size. Best of luck to you, and have fun! I'm sure your act will turn out brilliantly!
lol on November 30, 2013:
Where do you get a box!!!!! I need one for my school talent show but I looked everywhere and I cant' find one! :(
Brilliant website thought!!!! lol
avery & tia on November 24, 2013:
cool dancing act that's what we did
SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on November 14, 2013:
Thanks, Shiley! I have several talent show hubs if your kids need some ideas, including another article with more funny ideas. There were just too many to put in one article. There are some really creative acts out there! https://hobbylark.com/performing-arts/More-Funny-T...
Karen Shiley from Washington on November 14, 2013:
Great ideas I will definitely have to show this article to my kids!
Lexi on November 27, 2012:
The cymbals one hurts me to watch. I'm a musician and you are not supposed to just slap cymbals together as hard as you can. If you hit the cymbals straight on, you can actually break them and they are not cheap to say the least.
SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on April 28, 2012:
Did you check out "Talent Show Ideas for Kids?" The link is on this page above the photo of the glowing stick man. That one lists a few ideas that don't use props, such as the hand-clapping skit. The "no props" rule makes it difficult!
Your best bet may be to act out a skit or take turns telling jokes to each other, or all sing a song or do a dance together. I saw a really cute, quick one where an older boy sang the Elmo's World song in an Elmo voice. It was really quick, funny and cute! "God Bless America" is a crowd favorite, and so is "America the Beautiful." Plus, no one can criticize your group for singing a patriotic song, LOL.
Here are a couple of easy, short skits that don't have props: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvYcnqqmW3A
The one in desperate need of help on April 28, 2012:
Talent show ideas? I can't sing or dance, I am in a group and we are not aloud props, I don't really like being funny though, and we are being forced to do it. I know I am picky about this . Soz?
SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on April 10, 2012:
LOL thanks for the comments everybody.
plaid pages on April 10, 2012:
plaid pages from Wisconsin on March 10, 2012:
The "single ladies" sort of creeped me out. haha
SmartAndFun (author) from Texas on February 16, 2012:
Thanks for stopping by, rutley. I'm glad you liked these ideas! It's fun to hear kids sing, but a little comic relief goes a long way, doesn't it?
rutley from South Jersey on February 16, 2012:
This was interesting. We just went to our school's talent show. It was good but every kid sang. It certainly needed a bit of variety. These are good ideas to remember. Voted up and thank you!