Before they can star under the bright lights on American Ninja Warrior, contestants must send in submission videos to be taken under consideration by the obstacle-racing show’s producers. Here we present the funniest of the many thousands of such videos, led off by Yen Chen’s submission from 2012.
The Los Angeles-based Chen used his video to simultaneously embrace and poke fun at Asian American stereotypes.
For his Season 7 submission video, skateboarding ninja Jake Murray borrowed liberally from Kevin Bacon’s dated dance moves in the 1984 film Footloose.
The Denver-based Murray, who attributes his ninja powers to his mother’s side of the family, has enjoyed considerable success on ANW since his debut last year.
By his own admission, Neil Craver is “allergic to normal” and it shows in his submission video which features his mustachioed face emerging from an arugula salad.
Craver joined fellow ninjas Natalie Duran and Grant McCartney to form Team Golden Hearts and compete on Team Ninja Warrior.
In Kevin Mosley’s ANW 6 submission video/mini-movie, he roams a post-apocalyptic Ninja world a la Will Smith’s character from I Am Legend — complete with a stuffed toy german shepherd.
If Mosley’s dreams of summiting Mt. Midoriyama’s never pan out, the Florida-based, cos-play enthusiast can always try his luck at the Spartan Race instead.
Gymnastics and freerunning coach Edward Clyde used a video format inspired by Old Spice commercials for his hilarious 2014 submission video.
You can find more of Clyde’s video work at Loft Party Films.
Micah Soelberg got a leg up on the competition by having Morgan Freeman — or at least someone that sounds an awful lot like him — narrate his submission video last year.
Like many of the best ninjas, the Salt Lake City resident is an accomplished rock climber.
Alvaro Campos‘ love of kung fu flicks is abundantly transparent from his hilarious submission video that secured him a spot on ANW’s season 7.
Campos is easy to recognize in public when he’s carrying a six-foot long #AmericanNinjaWarrior sign.
One famous Andy Taylor was the sheriff of the fictional Mayberry, North Carolina, another was the real-life guitarist for Duran Duran. Yet another Andy Taylor sports blue hair and can reel off backflips with ease. Taylor’s submission video features a rocking soundtrack courtesy Foxy Shazam.
Judging from the Instagram post above, it’s probably safe to say that the freerunning Taylor can out lache his more famous namesakes.