Being a best man is a tricky business. Most best men are elected to that exulted position in the busiest time of their adult lives; I like to think you’re not really a best man unless you’re changing jobs, moving house, expecting a baby, and planning a new set of teeth in Turkey, all at the same time. So, it’s little wonder that most candidates try to minimise the impact on their lives by relying on a quick internet search of wedding gags, pasting them in and hoping for the best. This is about as sensible and realistic as playing hopscotch in a minefield, and just as likely to end in disaster. There’s an expectation for you to be funny in some measure, and the only thing that worse than not being funny…is trying to funny and not being funny. In order to survive you need to know your enemy, and so here are the top 10 least funny jokes which you should avoid at all costs
Table of contents
- It’s an emotional wedding…
- Toilet humour
- Second time round
- Credit Card
- Good husband
- Bar staff
- The Queen
- Aisle, altar, hymn
- It’s an emotional wedding even the cake is in tiers…
This is such an oldie, it’s almost becoming like a cherished friend. At some point in history, probably after they had just discovered fire, man would have found this reasonably amusing. Now of course, it’s just annoying, a bland and meaningless filler, for someone desperate for material. However, in its defence, it’s not the worst culprit, and in some cases will evoke a stir of nostalgic groans, as older guests welcome back a very absent friend. Like petrol on a fire: use with extreme caution.
- I must admit to feeling a little nervous. In fact, it’s not the first time today I’ve stood up from a warm seat with a piece of paper in my hand.
There’s no need to feel nervous with this ‘gag, because feeling nervous would suggest that you’re anxious about the outcome, uncertain if it’s going to land. Well, let’s remove the jeopardy from the situation right from the start, because this ‘joke’ is so old and so unfunny, it gives Frank Skinner a run for his money. This is usually the preserve of lazy, normally expensively educated individuals, who are too sheltered from normal life to misinterpret shit comedy as some kind of observational genius. Nobody wants to think about you on the toilet, and now you’ve given them a mental image they can’t lose, and the payoff is seeing your laugh index in negative equity. Running away is a serious option.
- “Fornication!... Oh, I’m sorry… For an occasion such as this…”
Having completed extensive research on this ‘gag’, I was able to confirm it first appeared in the Bible…somewhere near the back. There are several things wrong with this beauty, and the main one is, nobody under the age of 65 is going to have ever heard the word ‘fornication’. This is usually the stock in trade for lay preachers, so if you have any of them coming to the wedding, you’re laughing…well, they’re laughing…alone. It also requires you to shout the word ‘fornication’ at the start of the speech which will seem to many like you’re just having some kind of breakdown. This will certainly be alarming for many of the younger guests, however, on the plus side, realising that you’ve just cracked a really bad joke and are not medically compromised, might come as a huge relief.
- I did feel a little nervous at first but John’s assured me, if I do a good job, I can be best man at his next wedding.
Beyond any of the really bad jokes and ice breakers, this is the one that really gets my goat, the fact that I don’t own a goat, is just testament to how much it’s been taken. It’s crass, unfunny, and makes you the subject of the conceit, when you are really just another guest with a speech to say. It feels far too glib and a not a little chauvinistic, and as you can tell I’m struggling to see any positives. If you think this is funny, you should maybe hand the best man baton to someone a little more enlightened. Good luck with either.
- A man said his credit card was stolen but he decided not to report it because the thief was spending less than his wife did.
This was written in the days when men did all the work, and women relied heavily on the men in their life to bankroll it. Well, considering the Second World War brought about a revolution in relationships, and women’s financial independence, this makes that joke at least 120 years old. This then begins to make sense, because it would be like cracking a gag about apple bobbing, and expecting the guests it be rolling on the floor. It could happen but it would probably need you, an armalite and a discharge of ammunition to achieve it. The jury’s out on which it the two solutions would be the lest permanently damaging.
- She’s a lovely girl and deserves a good husband. Thank God you married her before she found one.
This is harmless, and in that respect, it’s very dangerous. The last thing you want to be is ineffectual, and this will achieve that quality in spades. It’s not funny, but then it’s not particularly offensive either, so you think you’ll deploy it as a gentle warm up gag, and what you receive is the kind of ripple of laughter that lecturers get when they make a joke about DNA. At least if you’re completely inappropriate and offensive, someone might try to help you get the full time care you need.
- Now it gives me great pleasure to ask you all to raise your glasses for some very important people, without whom today would not be the same. Would you please raise your glasses to toast.. The bar staff.
Yep, I can see what you’re trying to achieve here, but in my opinion there’s much easier ways to make people hate you. The problem is, it’s all so predictable and just not funny. It’s like the most dangerous type of human, the one that thinks they’re super intelligent, but are really just incredibly thick and deluded. Those individuals try to make an impact on the world in the misguided belief that they’re a big brain, and the result is war, famine and X Factor. Obviously, this ‘joke’ won’t be quite so dangerous, but if you want to wake up 20 years from now in a cold sweat, remembering that time you made a bunch of wedding guests look at you with sympathy, then go right ahead.
- I’ve been told to keep my speech to the same amount of time it takes for John to make love. (Pause for a moment, and sit down).
Aaah! The reason I’m struggling to comment on this howler, is because I’ve just been sick in my mouth. It’s crass, crap, vulgar, boring and tediously unfunny, in fact, so much so, if you asked AI to come up with a line involving all those ‘qualities’ its cloud based circuit boards would blow up. There’s nothing either sets of parents want to think about less, than their children making love. Broadcast that thought to a wider audience and it’s like chucking Sarin about on a Tokyo subway. Just like capital punishment, this should have been banned years ago, and only brought out for really awful people who deserves the worst treatment.
- Being asked to be the Best Man is like being asked to sleep with the Queen. It’s a great honour but nobody really wants to do it.
It says everything you need to know about the legacy of this sentence, that when I first heard it, it involved the Queen Mother. Not only does that date it significantly, but it also suggests that sleeping with the Queen at the time, wasn’t actually that bad a proposition. It was. Obviously having any kind of physical relationship with any member of the Royal family, is something you need to think very carefully about, and given that both of these leading protagonists are dead, you need to think even longer about it. Clearly this ‘joke’ needs updating, and I’d like to think that there’s a team somewhere trying to work out who the next least attractive member of the Royal family is, before inserting and pushing it back into circulation. My money’s on Andrew.
- Aisle, altar, hymn…
You get the picture, in fact it’s such a clumsy attempt to be clever, there are toddlers with crayons who achieve a greater sense if subtlety.
In summary, there is no mileage in using any of the awful wedding jokes that have been doing the rounds longer than anyone cares to think about. You might get lucky and be a best man for a wedding in North Korea, and let's just hope if you are the members of Kim Jon-Il's Comedy Club are there. However, my guess is that even if the guests haven’t heard them before, humour and tastes have moved on a lot since the 1970’s, so the chances that these will land is right up there with alien lifeform doing exactly the same thing.
If you’re resorting to lines like these, it’s probably because you don’t feel you have much to go on. This could be for a variety of reasons, but the net result is that you’re short on material, and the deadline is looming. In this case, think about his character traits, his job, his hobbies or even his football team to find the humour. It’s always there, you just have to dig a little and get creative.