Mascots are to sports, what clowns are to the circus—minus the creepiness and infamous serial-killer connection. The mascot is supposed to play to role of entertainer and icebreaker.
Every sport features intermissions and other pauses in the action, so someone...or something...has to keep whoever is paying attention happy. And when you consider all the forces working against them, it's an admirable—if thankless—job.
Not only does performing this duty usually entail putting on a heavy, hot and ridiculous-looking costume, but they're facing a crowd that is often equal parts angry and inebriated. Furthermore, there are few feats more difficult to pull off than actually being funny when thousands of people know that's your only goal.
Sometimes the guy or gal sweating in the musty confines of a costume can pull it off as planned, but more often than not, success comes in a form as old as mankind: their expense (or someone else's).
Whether falling flat on their foam-rubber face or picking a fight with the only other dude in the stadium with a tail, there is no shortage of moments when mascots achieve comedy gold, even if it wasn't scripted.
These are the 25 funniest mascot videos in sports.
When a mascot takes its clothes off, it's allowed because there's really nothing to see under whatever they're wearing—unless it's some freaky modified costume for a furry convention or something.
It's technically okay, but there's still something a little unsettling about it. Maybe it's the act of a grown man dressed as a bear pulling down his pants, rather than the furry nudity itself.
The Houston Rockets mascot Clutch has a history of dropping trow for an audience. In this video, he takes it off after an extended dance number—he more recently disrobed after a loss to the Spurs in 2011.
Thank heaven the Pirate Parrot is as entertaining as it is, because we all know those Pittsburgh fans haven't had anything else to cheer about in a very long time.
Sometimes he busts out the highbrow humor, but mascots often do best when they keep it simple—and it doesn't get much simpler than a fart joke!
In this video, the Parrot makes his way into the crowd and parks his feathered butt on a fan for a few before letting one rip and fleeing the scene.
Mascots fighting each other is common in pretty common. It really entertains the crowd and they can't do much, if any, actual damage while dressed in those costumes.
Not only do they protect person inside with padding and various appendages, they tend to limit range of motion and overall effectiveness in landing a blow.
But this fight between the Stanford Tree and the Virginia Tech Hokie gets a little intense. The tree is kicking wildly, in the exact unhinged manner you'd expect from something with that face, and the turkey is fighting back with a homemade ax.
Because crazy always wins, the tree eventually snatches away the ax and smashes it over his leg—the turkey walks away defeated. Probably how he feels every single Thanksgiving!
In the last slide, we learned who wins when the physical, real life mascots from Stanford and Virginia Tech go head-to-head on the sidelines of an actual game.
In this slide we'll learn who wins when the digital, video game mascots from Stanford and Virginia Tech go head-to-head playing football in NCAA Football 13.
Spoiler Alert! The deranged tree wins again—you just can't beat crazy. But how amazing is the mascot vs. mascot mode of NCAA Football 13?!?!
If there's anything that can make you long for the days of the Beyonce "Single Ladies" parodies, it's the unending barrage of increasingly heinous "Harlem Shake" videos.
The Miami Heat mascot Burnie (see what they did there?) decided to revive a not-so-distant classic for the hometown crowd in February 2013. Beyonce better watch her back!
Check out the slack-jawed bros checking out Burnie's badonk about 50 seconds into the video.
Often the only thing more entertaining than someone charging the field is the way in which they are stopped from charging the field.
The Colts mascot Blue will not tolerate any streaking at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, as evidenced by this epic takedown back in 2009.
Getting body slammed by a goober in a baby horse costume can't be good for the ego, but at least James Harrison wasn't there! Now this is a body slam.
The Oregon Ducks mascot "Puddles" is one of the most famous in sports, particularly collegiate sports.
He's always seen doing pushups or canoodling with cheerleaders during televised games and even starred in his very own SportsCenter commercial.
But Puddles isn't all cardio and canoodling, judging by this video it seems he does some hard living on the Oregon campus when not conducting official mascot business.
This the video Puddles doesn't want you to see—passed out on the ground outside a student center and vomiting in a nearby garbage can when awoken by some good Samaritans.
That or it was all staged. Let's pretend it's the former!
Any other Jackass fans out there should appreciate this compilation of NBA mascot and cheerleaders acting as human slingshots to entertain the crowds, presumably at halftime.
Giant bottles of Coke Zero, Christmas trees, bowling pins, and garbage cans are among the items these amazing Americans launch themselves into—all to amuse you.
The NBA should really release an extended version of this with "God Bless America" as the soundtrack in the background. That's how you make a good idea great.
Let's face it—nobody outside of Philadelphia likes the Phillies. But it doesn't matter how much the city or its occupants rub you the wrong way, there's no denying that he Phillie Phanatic is one of the best mascots in all of sports.
That tube-nosed green maniac just has a way of making people laugh. It's always an enjoyable experience when some dummy runs onto the field at a baseball game. That's exactly what the Phanatic does in this video—sans jersey.
Family-friendly streaking! Seriously might be the only thing family-friendly in Philadelphia sports.
There are so many videos of these monstrous inflatable mascots eating cheerleaders whole on YouTube that they aren't really funny anymore. It's because they're all the same.
But this video from a UConn/Notre Dame basketball game in 2010 actually has a few things going on that help distinguish it from the many others. First of all, the name of the mascot is "Mackerel Jordan," which is obviously hilarious. At least it is to anyone who appreciates a good pun.
Then there's the fact that Mackerel Jordan employs physical violence to disable his meal before consuming him whole. He lays down a solid head butt on that guy, rendering him incapable of defending himself.
Puns and physical violence! What's not to love about that combination?
The Florida Panthers play in Sunrise, Fla., which is just 30 miles north of Miami. Not exactly your typical hockey town—right? Perhaps that's why they opt for less than conventional mascots.
The Dancing Banana is something they borrow from the Tampa Bay Rays, their (relatively distant) neighbors to the north. According to a 2008 Salon article, the Banana Man is only brought in for critical games to thrill the crowd.
That same year the team was sponsored by the South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center—enter the dancing nose. The two of them once danced at a game and the results were spectacular.
The nose is especially hilarious, with many video commenters pointing out its resemblance to other things. Enjoy!
For some reason throwing sheet cakes at fans is a big thing at NBA games—not that anyone's complaining—and fans seem more than willing to take one on the chin…or the bare belly…or the face.
There may be no mascot in the biz that can deliver a sheet cake to the face of an opposing fan with as much intensity and gusto as Clutch. Dude just has a knack for working the crowd.
The fact that America's Funniest Home Videos has been on the air for approaching 25 years has taught us what? (Seriously, that show has been airing since 1989!)
It's taught us that jumping out and scaring someone, people falling down, and someone getting hit in the crotch are the most enduring and timeless sources of comedy that is universal to all humans.
Show me someone who doesn't think a mascot stumbling onto his bird crotch and falling off a fence is funny and I'll show you a liar!
The Liberty Flames mascot Sparky christened their new park in February 2013 in the best possible way. Stumbling off that railing is 10 times more memorable for the fans in attendance than successfully walking on it would've been.
Chicago's mascot Benny the Bull is one of the more popular on YouTube. He and 'Lil Benny (his inflated counterpart) are always making mischief in and outside the arena.
When either of those two are in havoc mode, nobody who finds themselves in their menacing gaze is safe from their shenanigans—including NBA players!
In early 2012, the Pacers' Danny Granger casually smacked Benny in the head while passing him during pregame warmups and he retaliated by pantsing teammate Lou Amundson.
That wasn't entirely fair to Amundson, but since he's playing for the Bulls now, he should be operating with impunity from Benny's bull.
The title of this video is "Mascot Terrorizes Spring Breakers" and while it may sound hyperbolic, it's actually quite accurate.
Those inflated mascots by their very nature are ridiculous—most stand well over 7-foot in height.
In 2007, the Tampa Bay Lightning let their inflated Thunder Bug mascot loose during spring break and the results were predictably hilarious.
The Thunder Bug hits the beach to head butt, kick sand on, chase, and otherwise menace everyone in sight. It's a beautiful thing.
The Raptors mascot is generally the biggest attraction at the Air Canada Centre in a given year. Kind of a bummer for Toronto fans—but at least the Raptor is one of the greatest mascots in professional sports!
Maybe the Maple Leafs should bring him in to cheer up their fans? They are normally in the same boat these days.
Normally the Raptor dazzles the home crowd with acrobatic dunks, goofy dance numbers, and all that other good stuff mascots are known for. But even the greatest men performing in dinosaur costumes have the occasional off day.
The fact that the Raptor bites it trying to perform a cartwheel on a crowd divider isn't nearly as amazing as the fact that he attempts it at all! And he was so close to nailing it, too!
The world of mascots is pretty straight forward. The comedy is obvious and often physical. The energy and enthusiasm are over-the-top, bordering on deranged.
And the social politics we all deal with in the real world are checked at the door. Let he is without an oversized animal head in his closet cast the first stone. At least that's normally how things operate.
The Saint Louis' mascot the Billiken broke the code by sarcastically mocking the St. Joe's Hawk at a game in February 2013. The Hawk could sense something was amiss and kept whipping his oversized head around, trying to catch the Billiken in the act.
You can't see the face of the person in the Hawk, but it probably resembles the disapproving stare of the costume head. The Billiken seems positively pleased with himself, also on display via the menacing grin of the costume head, and eventually wanders off to cabbage-patch dance…like a boss.
The Tampa Bay Rays mascot Raymond looks like something Dr. Seuss would've dreamt up on mushrooms. He would be the type of thing that would haunt your dreams if he wasn't so darn entertaining!
Mascots have been known to instigate dance-offs and usually they hold their own, but Raymond definitely met his match with this security guard.
He gets beaten down so bad by the guard's Carlton Banks-inspired dance moves that he won't even return a high five before slinking off. Sore loser!
The Ray's mascot Raymond has got the personality, but the Dancing Banana has definitely got the moves. For an 8-foot tall partially inflatable banana, that thing is shockingly agile and light on its feet.
If anyone in Tampa could seriously challenge the magical moves of the swagtastic security guard, it's the bombastic bounce of the Dancing Banana as he shakes his trademark maracas.
Different mascot. Same story! The security guard once again proves that he should be doing a lot more in life than picking up those nachos you threw on the field after the umpire blew a call.
You would think that certain mascots would be required to have certain talents to even qualify for the job. NBA mascots need to be able to dunk off a trampoline. MLB mascots need to be able to do the running man on the dugout. NFL mascots just need to have a sex offender vibe.
NHL/AHL mascots should presumably be able to ice skate—right? Wrong! There's at least one hockey mascot out there that couldn't skate across the ice to save his life and the lives of his furry family. In 2008, the Carolina Hurricanes had a group of mascots skate around with hockey sticks during an intermission.
Well, all of them skated except for the goofy blue one; he spent most of the time trying to peel himself off the ice. Almost everyone on the ice attempts to help him out, but his butt is to the ice like a moth is to a flame. Total. Mascot. Roadkill.
Part of what makes the Phillie Phanatic so hilarious is his complete lack of respect for personal boundaries. You can get away with murder if you're dressed like a Muppet.
Thankfully, he hasn't murdered anyone yet, but everything else is fair game. Standing next to some old dude working for the Phillies in some type of official capacity is in his job description.
Spitting. Hip thrusting. Butt Scratching. Attempting to dry hump. That's all part of the dramatic flair he brings to the position—gotta love how he leaves the first guy and immediately gropes the next employee he sees.
Anyone who watches college sports regularly has likely had the urge to flatten the opposing mascot—or any mascot in general—at one point or another.
They're just really good targets. They're large, colorful, soft, and usually doing really irritating things—which are particularly irritating if your team is losing.
But there's obviously some unwritten rule about it because someone legitimately throwing down with a mascot is pretty rare.
West Virginia's Darwin Cook turned convention on its ear at the 2012 Orange Bowl when he celebrated a 99-yard touchdown run by absolutely leveling the orange mascot.
It was unquestionably a lame move and undeniably hilarious. No mascots were harmed in the making of this video.
The San Diego Chicken isn't actually a mascot of any specific team, but rather a man who dresses in a chicken costume for a living who is willing to make appearances anywhere if you throw a few bucks at him.
The dude is an absolute pro, though! The Chicken's most famous documented caper was a dance-off against beloved (by children) purple dinosaur known as Barney—he may have lost the dance-off, but he definitely won the fight he started after.
Over a million more people may have preferred the Barney beat down video on YouTube, but the subtle humor of The Chicken teaching a brood of little chicks how to casually pee on an umpire? That's like comparing Dane Cook to Bill Hicks.
Think Ohio State's Brutus is the most badass mascot in The Buckeye State? Think again! The Cincinnati Bearcat officially claimed that crown when he was arrested for throwing snowballs in December 2010.
Prior to a game against conference rival Pitt, the Bearcat got the crowd excited by throwing snowballs from a roof outside the stadium. Apparently he was asked politely by the local police to stop throwing aforementioned snowballs, but graciously declined.
The police respected his decision to disobey their orders and the Bearcat respected their decision to arrest him for it. Everyone knows that you're not truly a badass until you get arrested…for throwing snow.
Warning: Sexual Innuendo
Okay, you've been warned.
In 2009 the Kansas City Royals mascot Sluggerrr (not making that spelling up—that's what the back of his jersey says) wowed the hometown crowd in the upper decks by showing off hot-dog cannon.
Sluggerrr really built up expectations before firing the oversized hot dog by stroking it a bit for the captivated fans. It never hurts to create a buzz, as long as it lives up to the hype.
Unfortunately Sluggerrr's hotdog cannon didn't have the power people expected. When he finally pulls the trigger, a hot dog shoots out and travels all of a few inches before falling to the crowd below.
The eight minutes of footage Western Kentucky's Big Red shot is substantially longer than all the other videos on this list—but it was just too good to leave off entirely.
So offering it up as a bonus slide for anyone hankering for more madcap mascots busting a move seemed like the best option. You really haven't lived until you've seen Big Red grinding up behind everyone in Kentucky.
**You also haven't lived until you followed me on Twitter. Follow @blamberr