Best man speeches have always been comedy minefields...there is so much that can go wrong when Dave from IT support turns into a stand up for the afternoon, in fact so much so, that the entertainment becomes just how wrong he can get it. The best man speeches landscape is littered with the smoking corpses of guys who went for it, and ruined their lives in the process.
I have been told so many stories about best man speeches that went wonky, I'm almost losing count, but there are some I will never forget...like the guy who drank all afternoon, got up to make a non existent speech, knocked a full bottle of red wine over the mother in law...and after insulting a few people was asked to leave...the wedding. What about the best man who thought it was a good idea to ask the wedding guests to guess the weight of the bride in profiteroles...a bride who wasn't the smallest in the world. And let's not forget the well oiled young man who ended his speech by asking if the bridesmaids would like to pleasure him...guess what? They didn't.
So, what's changed for 2021? Well, it doesn't matter how far we travel from the very first best man speech that was written, the usual cliched 'jokes' are never very far away. So, as we're vaccinating ourselves against COVID, why don't we agree to vaccinate ourselves against genuinely shit best man gags?
Ok, so if you're thinking of using the line 'it's an emotional wedding, even the cake is in tiers'...stop...if you've sketched out a speech that includes 'this isn't the first time today I've stood up from a warm seat with a piece of paper in my hand'...cease...if you're tempted to deploy 'the groom's life changed forever that day when he met the very special person he was going to share his life with: me'...enough already! 2021 is going to provide us with a year of reinvention and empower radical thinking like never before, so let's embrace that. There were the best man speeches before COVID, and there are the best man speeches after COVID.
If you've included in your speech something you've heard before then that's not good enough. If you look at it only from the principle that if you've heard it so will others, and therefore laughing at it is going to be challenging, then that's enough of a reason. If you're honest with yourself and admit it wasn't funny to start with, then that's all the reasoning you need.
Also forget talking about COVID. So many people are asking me to put 'funny' lines in their speeches referencing COVID, and I'm not that keen. Chances are the room will be full of people that have had their lives smashed against the rock of the pandemic, and at the very least this wedding offers some form of escape and entertainment that's been all too lacking in their lives. Forget the Coronavirus and forget best man speeches cliches, and the world will be a better place.