The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D. Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers. Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with hard act to follow
hard act to follow
tough act to follow. An outstanding performance or individual. For example, Lucy was a terrific group leader—hers is a hard act to follow, or Bob's record is excellent—it will be a tough act to follow. This expression, dating from about 1900, was originally used for a particularly good vaudeville act that made the next act look poor by comparison. It soon was extended to other enterprises.