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Best Funny Dances
My Top Funny Dancing Moments
Comedy often deals with social embarrassment, and few human activities (save for the obvious) have the potential to be funnier or more embarrassing than dancing. As an avowed non-mover, I would personally rather be caught masturbating by the Queen than be seen dancing in public.
Funny dances, however, give the non-dancer the chance to lay down some moves while maintaining a pretence that he or she is not really trying. Perhaps that’s why I love them. Here are what I consider the ten most hilarious TV and movie dances. Please let me know what you think.
When you're done, please check out my top comedy songs article too.
10. Ben Stiller’s Salsa (Along Came Polly)
Ben Stiller’s salsa with Jennifer Aniston is the funniest moment of this movie. OK, you’re right – I don’t need the superlative because it’s actually the only funny moment, but it’s still worth watching just for the dance. It’s like a take-away pizza: extremely cheesy, occasionally hot and after a little too much of it you begin to feel queasy. Stiller’s brilliantly goofy expression as he rocks out like someone’s dad at a wedding is the highlight, but I also like watching Aniston nervously biting her lip, trying not to look embarrassed. Keep your pillow handy for this one.
9. Jen’s Reunion (IT Crowd Season 3: Episode 5)
A bit of an obscure one here, but a brilliantly awkward funny dance scene occurs when Jen, is being embarrassed by her fake husband at a school reunion. He is just about to tell everyone about her bionic arm, when she tries to end the conversation by getting everyone to dance. The dancing continues during the end credits, with Jen semi-rhythmically stepping side to side to everyone’s bewilderment. She looks a little like Spider trying to avoid bullets in Goodfellas.
8. Bruce Springsteen and Courtney Cox (Dancing in the Dark)
This is the only unintentionally funny dance of to make the list. The cliché that straight, white guys can’t dance is given support by the efforts of one of the whitest, straightest guys on the planet. Cox follows the Boss’ lead once she takes to the stage, performing the popular 80s dance, “The Demented Ski Instructor.” After this video I think the dark is probably the only place Cox and Springsteen should be dancing.
7. Carlton Banks (Most episodes of The Fresh Prince)
Little Carlton’s Tom Jones-inspired jig is just a little too self-satisfied to make it past number seven in the list, but it is still worth a mention. It could be described as Springsteen meets Tom Jones meets ‘man dying from first degree burns.’ The funny thing about Carlton was that he was short. Oh yeah, and he was, erm, short...
Well, it seemed funny at the time.
6. Bob Fossil’s I Can’t Go for That (The Mighty Boosh Season 3: Episode 3)
Bob Fossil makes the list twice. The first entry is for the hilarious belly-out shapes he cuts in Season 3 to the 1983 disco classic “I can’t go for that.” It’s a great example of a joke that starts being funny, then seems to go on too long, and then becomes funny again. It’s a little like George Bush Jnr. – we can laugh again now he’s finished trying to destroy the world. In any case, it takes commitment to come up with a genuinely funny dance, and Rich Fulcher, who plays Fossil, possesses this by the tightly-wrapped-in-sky-blue-70s-slacks-buttload.
5. David Brent in The Office (Season 2: Episode 5)
As a standalone funny dance David Brent’s effort to outdo his new boss is quite fantastic. It’s a little out of place in the ultra-realistic setting of the show, but you still can’t help but laugh. His hunched, thrusting style and air guitar-style lip-biting create a truly original funny dance. Never imitated, and hopefully never replicated.
4. Flight of the Conchords: Bret’s Angry Dance (Season 1: Episode 12)
Bret dances when he’s angry, and by the end of Season 1 he’s so mad he decides to go on a parkour-style boogie through the streets of New York, wiggling his weedy arms around like a puppet whose master is in the middle of being garrotted. After a few minutes he’s had enough, and begins his stroll home. Awesome.
3. Bob Fossil’s I Don’t Like Cricket (Season 1: Episode 1)
This is the first of the Bob Fossil dances, and definitely the best. Fossil, the Zoo manager, calls staff member Howard to his office, only to perform a bizarre musical mime to the baffled Howard. Howard just stands through the entire dance, asking only at the end: “Will there be anything else, Mr Fossil?” Genius.
2. Ted and Elaine’s Bar Scene (Airplane!)
Less of a dance, more of a series of classic jokes set to music. Not since ‘Gimp Night’ at my local S&M club have I seen this many gags squeezed into one barroom scene. Set in a violent local bar that Ted describes as ‘worse than Detroit,’ he meets Elaine. To check he isn’t dreaming he asks a guy to pinch him. The guy shuffles away nervously, setting the scene for my number two funny dance.
1. Napoleon final dance (Napoleon Dynamite)
Of course, there can be only one winner, but there have been many great remakes of this scene that you can check out on YouTube. Throughout the movie we know Napoleon has been practising his dance moves, but we’re not sure about his progress. We find out in the finale, where Napoleon chooses to perform a dance to save his friend Pedro’s efforts to become School President. It’s the best dance anyone has ever performed in moon boots. There, I’ve said it. Prove me wrong.