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Heck yes! 'Napoleon Dynamite' settles a bet with BYU students

BYU professor dances as Napoleon Dynamite and nails it

Scott Bradford, an associate professor in the economics department at BYU, danced as Napoleon Dynamite after his students raised money for the LDS Humanitarian Aid Fund.
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Scott Bradford, an associate professor in the economics department at BYU, danced as Napoleon Dynamite after his students raised money for the LDS Humanitarian Aid Fund.

It’s almost as rare as a leap year, and the only people lucky enough to see it are the students in an American Heritage class at Brigham Young University.

Until it gets posted on social media, of course.

Every three years, Scott Bradford, an associate professor in the economics department at BYU, dresses as a character from "Napoleon Dynamite" and puts on a show for his American Heritage class.

Bradford sets a wager with his students: If they raise money for an organization of Bradford’s choosing, he will hold a performance in class.

This year, students had to raise $600 for the LDS Humanitarian Aid Fund — that's roughly $1 per student.

“We try to teach the students the need for helping others,” Bradford said in an email interview with the Idaho Statesman. “This fundraiser, one student called it a ‘fun-raiser,’ gives them a chance to do that.”

The students nearly doubled the goal this year, raising $1,100 and ensuring a performance of a lifetime on April 11. Bradford and his teaching assistants also promised to match 25 percent of the money the students raised.

“This year was by far the most successful, and I attribute that to Venmo. About 70 percent of the contributions came through Venmo,” Bradford said. “They (Venmo) make it fun to donate — lots of funny comments and emojis accompany the Venmo donations.”

To Bradford, the students have the better end of the deal. “For them, it takes less than a minute each (to donate). For me, well, I had to spend time training for the dance.”

Reviews from students, alumni and staff suggest that Bradford’s training paid off. BYU Magazine even called the professor’s performance “a real hoot” on Twitter.

“I heard that I got standing ovations, but I did not see them because, as you may know, the dance ends with running off the stage when the music cuts abruptly,” jokes Bradford.

Bradford also performed as Napoleon Dynamite, a fictional character from the comedy that follows the life of a socially awkward teen in Preston, Idaho, in 2011 and 2014.

You can see his performance from 2011 here:

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