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December 16, 2013 5:54 PM   Subscribe

What are your go-to "talents" that don't require any actual talent?

My extended family has decided to resurrect an old holiday tradition: the Christmas talent show. Unlike our cousins, my sibling and I did not have musical or physical talents as kids, and, what do you know, we still don't. We want to participate but are stumped.

I mean it: we can't sing, play instruments, balance on anything, contort ourselves, or act convincingly. We'd be willing to use cheap, easily found props. Corny is fine, but clever would be better. Something that could involve three people (me, sibling, sibling's partner) would be ideal.
posted by oinopaponton to Grab Bag (20 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Recite a poem. Robert Frost maybe?
posted by cda at 6:00 PM on December 16, 2013


Lip sync a song that is notorious for being lip synced; put on a play; do 'performance art' where you splatter around paint while doing modern dance; teach yourselves the 4 chord song ( this might be challenging with only a week, but it is, in theory, only four different chords); do performance carpentry (make a bookshelf in less than five minutes) or any other thing you do well really, really fast.
posted by valoius at 6:12 PM on December 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Card tricks.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:13 PM on December 16, 2013


For two people, there's always the classic Who's On First routine.
posted by jquinby at 6:13 PM on December 16, 2013


My go-to talent that isn't a talent is eating.
posted by Rob Rockets at 6:19 PM on December 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Might I suggest a simple card trick?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:32 PM on December 16, 2013


Recite a poem.

Or, if you want to make it into a comedy sketch, you could do something like the "Talent show? But I don't have a talent!" bit from The Brady Bunch, where Mr. Brady recites "The Day is Done" while the boys "illustrate" bits of it behind him.

There was a similar bit on I Love Lucy where Ethel sings "Shortnin' Bread." while the gang does similar antics. (Ethel sings well, but that doesn't matter for the purpose.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:33 PM on December 16, 2013


A lot of the classic kids skits can be done with 3 people, and none of them take any particular talent. The fact that you're adults won't detract from a lot of them. You can sift through that list for something appropriate to your family, the holiday, etc.
posted by aimedwander at 7:27 PM on December 16, 2013


Dramatic reading. Or, in my case, comedy reading: I got up at an open-mike talent thing in college where I read a two-page short-short from a book of humorous science fiction stories.
posted by telophase at 7:40 PM on December 16, 2013


Our family did this too, and one year I decided to do some easy magic tricks. Simple enough to learn quickly but enough of an "ooh" factor if they work, and good for a laugh if they don't! Google a few youtube videos for examples, and maybe find ones where you need an assistant and/or audience plant. Have fun!
posted by billiebee at 4:57 AM on December 17, 2013


Valouis has a great idea - lip syncing. Lip sync a Milli Vanilli song.
posted by gt2 at 5:17 AM on December 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eating, yes. Make each other eat weird things. Either have one person do all the eating and the others make a show of it as Emcees, or split it up. Lemon Wedges, shots of steak sauce, that kind of thing.
posted by rainbaby at 6:08 AM on December 17, 2013


Remember that old campfire skit where one person stands behind you, puts their arms in your sleeves, and mimes out the story you're telling in a big goofy flapping manner? I bet that would KILL, especially if you tell some childhood stories about some characters in your family and the adventures they got up to. The three of you could take turns being storyteller / arm flapper.

Bonus points if there's food or makeup involved in the story -
posted by sestaaak at 6:17 AM on December 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd each wear a silly hat, get index cards, and do a ridiculous, bombastic reading of something Shakespearean. (Romeo and Juliet comes to mind, with the big burly family member wearing a dollar store tiara and booming out Juliet's lines)
posted by aggyface at 7:15 AM on December 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Aristocrats!
posted by Thorzdad at 7:28 AM on December 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was just remembering when my Mom's brilliant weirdo friend and her kids did a radio play of A Lion in Winter as if it was a Marx Brothers movie, with Groucho and Chico doing lots of asides to the audience, and Harpo doing lots of sound effects. Building on aggyface's suggestion and the fact that you've got just enough people, you could do the same thing with a scene from any "serious" play, with lots of slapstick. (Shakespeare would be awesome, and only two of you would have to learn lines.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:29 AM on December 17, 2013


Wow, this outage was weird and took some of the old comments with it.

I remember that smoke suggested fire breathing!
And I agree! It's easy to learn and very impressive. You could make it a fire show - two people do fire breathing and one person writes/dances with fire, like here.
posted by travelwithcats at 9:25 AM on December 17, 2013


i have a vast repertoire of animal noises. also: juggling!
posted by bruce at 9:34 AM on December 17, 2013


It's pretty easy to solve the Rubik's Cube if you memorize a few algorithms and practice for a couple days. Rubiks.com has an easy-to-follow tutorial, and of course there are a million others all over the web.
posted by soonertbone at 10:22 AM on December 17, 2013


This wouldn't be great for a group, but I would cut out snowflakes, and unfold them with a flourish. Ta da!
posted by nowmorethannever at 10:44 AM on December 17, 2013


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