7 Hilarious Talent Show Ideas
Searching for Hilarious Talent Show Act Ideas?
While "serious" talent acts such as singing a dramatic ballad or playing in a classical string quartet are admirable and impressive, it is those light-hearted, hilarious acts that make a talent show memorable and often win the prizes. Whether you win or not, the acts listed here are fun to put on. Also, most of them require more than one person, which allows you and your friends to create some hilarious memories together—not to mention some hilarious photos for the yearbook or Facebook.
The great thing about most of these ideas is that they don't require any special talent other than the ability to ham it up for some laughs. Also, most of them don't require special or hard-to-find props or costumes. The costumes for these acts can be thrown together and props can be found in the backs of closets or borrowed from friends.
1. Napoleon Dynamite Dance
Just about everyone is familiar with the hit comedy movie Napoleon Dynamite. There is a very famous, funny, and beloved scene in which Napoleon dances in his school's talent show. You can recreate just the dance on your own or grab a friend to play the part of Pedro, who appears in the movie just before Napoleon's dance. In the video above, there are two Pedros who dance along with Napoleon. Although this is not exactly how they did it in the movie, it works quite well. It would also be funny to get a group of Napoleons to do the dance en masse, whether it's four or five friends together on stage or a flash mob of Napoleons that interrupt a "fake" act and surprise the audience during the show. Watch the step-by-step instructional video for the dance, below.
Tips for the Napolean Dynamite Dance
- Watch the actual movie and study it for the dance moves. Give yourself time to learn the dance and practice it. Although these are moves just about anyone can successfully learn, your act will be funniest if you perform the dance as closely as possible to Napoleon's dance from the movie.
- If your glasses or wig fall off during the dance, roll with it, as it will make your act even funnier.
- You may also want to start your act with Pedro's speech, as in the clip above, though Napoleon's dance is definitely the main act.
- The music Napoleon is dancing to is Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat." The version on Jamiroquai's album Synkronized is a whopping five and a half minutes long, but the dance in the movie is about two and a half minutes long. The shortest version I could find is a 2006 remix that is 3 minutes, 48 seconds. If you have music editing software, cutting it to about two or two and a half minutes is a good idea because even the funniest of jokes shouldn't go too long.
2. "I'm Sexy and I Know It" Dance
Get out those old Batman Underoos or your new leopard-print Speedo (you have one, right?) and get your groove on to the party song "I'm Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO. Just about any song by this group will get the crowd cheering and on their feet, but this one in particular has tons of comedic potential, especially if any of the members of your group are super skinny or a bit on the chubby side.
This song is basically a party on the stage and you can keep the act small with just a few friends, or invite your entire group to take part in the party. Dance around in your tiniest and funniest underwear if you dare, or wear knee-length Under Armour or crazy zebra-print leggings as a base with the silly underwear layered on top. Accessorize with large '80s glasses, Afro wigs, and an "I WORK OUT" California license plate necklace.
Tips for the "I'm Sexy and I Know It" Dance
- This act is definitely not appropriate for a church talent show.
- If you are performing in a school talent show, keep in mind that your school's administration may not approve of all the lyrics, dance moves, and costumes in this act.
- Be prepared in advance with a few modifications so that it will pass muster. You may need to remove a line or two of lyrics, or perform your dance in longer, looser boxer shorts as opposed to tight, revealing bikinis. School officials will also want you to replace the suggestive dance moves from the video with some more school-appropriate ones.
3. Reading (or Rapping) Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss books are iconic, sweet, and written for small children. They are also full of rhymes and rhythms and are perfect for rapping. Juxtapose a sweet children's book with tough gangsta attitude and you have a funny act for a talent show. Green Eggs and Ham and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish are Dr. Seuss books that are especially beloved and well known, so they'll get a great response when rapped. Fox in Sox isn't as well known, but it is in my opinion the most difficult to recite, so that one will be fun and challenging to learn and very impressive when you rap it out at lightning speed.
Tips for Reading or Rapping Dr. Seuss
- Be sure to practice a lot.
- Don't worry if you don't memorize the book. It actually looks funniest when the "gangstas" hold a children's book up for all to see.
- Be sure to dress the part.
- Whether you're rapping alone or with a couple of friends, find someone to beat box and throw in some "yeah," "uh huh," "yo yo yo," and other rapping sound effects. Get the smooth moves down too and the crowd will go wild!
Dramatic Reading of Dr. Seuss
Another skit idea is a dramatic reading of Dr. Seuss, without the rapping. Jesse Jackson succeeded at this with Green Eggs and Ham on Saturday Night Live.
4. "Here It Goes Again" (OK Go) Music Video Re-Enactment
Just like everyone is familiar with Napoleon Dynamite, just about everyone has seen and absolutely loves the really cool treadmill music video by OK Go. It takes some work to learn the routine, but if you and three friends get together to recreate the video for the talent show, it is a guaranteed hit. If you haven't already seen the video, watch the talent show reenactment above, and you'll see that it is really fun to watch. The song also has a great beat and sound, which makes it all the better.
Tips for the "Here It Goes Again" Re-Enactment
- The hardest part may be getting eight treadmills onto the stage. Ask around and you can easily find some to borrow. Most people who own treadmills don't use them regularly and will be happy to see them actually put to good use. Although treadmills are big and bulky, they're not all that heavy and can be lifted and moved by two people fairly easily.
- Of course, dress the part in that nerdy, retro-cool style: slim-fitting, skinny pants (someone in the group must wear pink pants!), skinny ties, and pointed dress shoes.
5. Super Mario Skit
This is a really funny skit that everyone will recognize and love. Even though there are lots of parts and pieces, it can actually be thrown together quickly. It will take a group of friends, a few solid rehearsals, and someone who is crafty enough to make the game icons and mount them on handles.
Tips for the Super Mario Skit
- Keep everything that's not Mario or a game icon as black as possible. This means helpers also need to wear head-to-toe black clothing, including gloves. Fortunately, black articles of clothing aren't difficult to find or borrow. Paint the game icon handles black, also.
- This act works best on a solid black background, with all the lights turned out, except for a spotlight or two. You can find the music, complete with game sound effects here:
6. Belly Whistler Act
This one is for boys only, because you must be bare-chested. This is a funny skit you can do on your own, but when performed as a group it is even funnier. One thing I like about this skit is that it doesn't really matter how many people are in it. A group of two or three friends works well, but it works just as well with an entire class.
As you can see in the video, you take your shirt off and paint your stomach to look like a large face, using your bellybutton as a whistling mouth. Clothes worn just right and a large paper top hat complete this funny costume.
Tips for the Belly Whisler Act
- Keep the dance moves simple, as it is difficult to see with the hat over your eyes.
- Be sure to make as many funny stomach movements as possible to bring your character to life.
The song for this one is called "Colonel Bogey March" and is from the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai.
7. Double-Jointed Act
This is one funny talent show act that not just anyone can perform. If you are double jointed, however, this section is for you. Why not show off your unique abilities in the talent show? You probably get requests all the time from people wanting to see your crazy joints bend off in every direction anyway, so you might as well put yourself up on the stage and show your stuff to the whole school.
Watching people do these body-bending tricks is always awesome. Us "normal" people squirm in our seats and laugh out loud at the crazy contortions. I saw this done as an act at my son's school talent show, and it was great comic relief between all the girls trying to sing sad ballads that they really didn't have the voice for. A boy came out, quietly and calmly introduced himself and what he was going to do. He then proceeded to give us all an eyeful. It was really funny and quick, maybe 45-60 seconds, but everyone loved it.
If you happen to be double-jointed, this is a super easy act to pull off, because it doesn't require a costume, practice, or even any props, unless you need an empty soda can. You can set your act to music like the girl in the jump-rope video does, or you can just do your tricks, take a bow, and listen to the whistles, yells, and applause. Watch how the girl in the video moves her shoulder blades around to a song with a great beat. Music can also add a terrific comedic effect.