Funny act ideas for talent shows

Updated April 17, 2017

Talent shows are an entertaining way to come together as a community, and they also make well-attended fundraisers. Funny acts are always a hit at talent shows, and the more absurd they are, the better. If you're holding a talent show, give a prize for the funniest act to encourage more people to make the audience laugh.

Boy Band

Poking fun at famous people will usually make an audience laugh. If you're a middle-aged or older man, round up some friends to create a boy band act. You'll have the audience reeling with laughter. If you're younger, create a "bad boy band" script in which you and your friends stumble through the routine, struggling to stay synchronised through ridiculously simple dance moves.

Silly Poems

Write a selection of bad poems for your act, from haikus that don't make sense to insulting sonnets written for a fictitious person. Rather than express a deep insight, your haikus should state the obvious, like "Violets are beautiful. Grapes grow on vines. Both are purple." In your delivery, state the last line meaningfully like you're giving a powerful revelation. Or, write longer poems or sonnets with nonsensical comparisons, like "Your feet glow like the lighthouse of a distant harbour; just as cheese curdles on the wind, I will love you always."


Ordinary mimes may not get many laughs, but in this act, one mime tries to hunt down another as they move across the stage and through the audience. One mime comes out first, looking around fearfully and searching for a hiding place. Then the other one comes out in pursuit. They lose sight of one another, looking around suspiciously, ducking down to hide, and then searching frantically. Finally, they meet on stage and wrestle with one another, with one mime rising victoriously. Choose a bright white face make-up, dark black eyeliner applied thickly, and bright red lipstick, as says, so make-up will show up well from a distance.

Animal Friends

Have friends dress up as various animals for this act, while you dress in hiking attire to portray a wildlife handler. One by one, bring your wild friends onto the stage, only to have one thing after another go wrong. After you get bitten by a panther that escapes into the audience and starts harassing audience members, shrug and bring out a crocodile, a bear, a lion, or other wild creatures, who in turn escape from you and run into the audience.

Magic Tricks

Do purposefully bad magic tricks for this act, letting the audience see exactly what's up your sleeve. Be the sloppiest, most uncoordinated magician you can be, while sticking to simple tricks. After you finish a trick, give an exaggerated bow and beam at the audience in pride.

Magic Potions

Bring a fake chemistry set on stage, complete with beakers and mysterious liquids that are really juices and sodas. Tell your audience that you can create a potion to heal any illness or grant any wish. Then, ask who wants one. Plan ahead of time to have friends raise their hands with requests, like the ability to break dance, speak with an Irish accent, or make someone fall in love with them. Pour liquids into a glass and watch the "miraculous" transformations that occur.

Sad Story

Begin performing on stage, singing or playing a song. Then, abruptly stop in exasperation, and launch into a monologue that tells a long, sad, but funny story about why you think you have no musical talents. Include lots of random side tangents, continuing until a friend finally comes up and convinces you to finish your act, as planned in advance.

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About the Author

Melanie J. Martin specializes in environmental issues and sustainable living. Her work has appeared in venues such as the Environmental News Network, "Ocean" magazine and "GREEN Retailer." Martin holds a Master of Arts in English.