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Best Man Speech - the cake isn't just in tears, it's got PTSD

Best man speech jokes go back a long way. Ever since people decided it was a great idea to get married, there has been somebody, usually a disenfranchised man in his later youthful years, that wants to celebrate the occasion with ‘comedy’. I use that last term so loosely, it’s in danger of flying off and hitting us all in the face. Quite literally.

Some people may argue that comedy and/or a sense of humour is subjective. A teacher in my sixth form always argued that this was a cop out position to take, and it didn't really exist. I never understood that argument, mainly because I couldn’t take my eyes off the fact his head was way too small for his body, but when it comes to comedy, he’s bang on. As I’ve said before: something is either funny or it’s not. The only way humour changes is with age and experience; if you’re 5 you’re going to find basic humour entertaining, by the time you get to 11, that kind of stuff isn’t doing it for you any more. Some people will always enjoy a more sophisticated brand of humour, and I don't say that with any kind of superiority. I like funny ideas that someone has clearly taken time to think about. I don't find inuendo funny, or anything crass – for me it’s lazy, boring and often very inappropriate. However, it’s traditional wedding ‘jokes’, that have redefined just how low the comedy bar can be set.

I know I’ve written about this before, but I’ve just read a speech where the best man has shoe horned in every single crap joke from the 70’s, into what can only be viewed as a comedy disaster megamix. If it was pitched as an exercise in post-modern irony, it would be the bravest comedy routine I’ve ever witnessed. But it’s not. It’s just unbelievably shit.

I cannot see how fake messages from famous people you’ve never met and have no relevance, will ever make anyone outside of a secure residential facility laugh. I will never understand why getting the groom to place his hand on top of the bride’s and doing that horrendous ‘upper hand gag’ will result in anything other than a well deserved head butt. Let’s not forget the old set up of referencing those near and dear to him…and the pay off…is the bar staff…the bride deserves a good husband, unfortunately she married the groom before she found one. It was an endless tsunami of lines so old and tired, they make Mary Berry look like an Olympic pole vaulter.

However, the problem isn’t their age. It’s not the fact that they were created in a pre digital world with different comedic expectations. No, the main problem is that they were never funny in the first place. Whoever came up with something quite so weak as the ‘upper hand’ ‘gag’, just saw a connection there, but were so happy with themselves didn’t actually stop to think if it was funny. Just like Noel Fielding, it’s not and never has been.

There is little worse for a best man speech than being met with silence, or a polite ripple of laughter. It’s humiliating. Don’t be lazy, have a think about how to come up with something originally funny about your groom, because being lazy is what created those original ideas in the first place, and look what that led to.

Written By
Adrian Simpson
14 Mar, 2024

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