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Best Man Jokes

Best Man Jokes

The best man speech is a highlight of any wedding, but sadly, far too often the speeches are littered with tired, old recycled jokes and cringey gags. Yes, these might be the easy way out, but resist the urge! As professional comedy writers, we're here to tell you that coming up with original, witty lines isn't as hard as you might think.

(*Of course, if you’re looking for more than ‘advice’, check out all the different ways the Speechy team can help you write & deliver a great speech. Or check out our new AI-powered team member, SpeechyAI.)

The 5 Comedy Rules to Nailing Your Best Man Speech

1 – Know What To Avoid

A best-man speech should be met with laughter, nods of recognition, and maybe even applause. It should not be met with groans. So let’s start with what you need to avoid in your best man’s speech.

If you think a joke sounds familiar, it probably is. To you and to EVERYONE ELSE at the wedding.

Jokes like… ‘My name’s Mike, John’s best man. And John’s told me if I do a good job today I can be best man next time too’.

Sure, it may even raise a giggle, but come on. If a line could be in another best man’s speech it shouldn’t be in yours. It’s as simple as that.

OTHER NO-NOS

  • Anything edgy -Think Chris Rock at the Oscars. It’s just not worth the risk. Some punchlines ain’t worth the punch.
  • A tasteless joke – 74% of people said they want their wedding speeches ‘clean’ in a recent Guides for Brides poll, and that’s a young demographic. A subtle hint of blue humour is fine. But if you’re delving into the intricacies of the groom’s sexlife for a fourteenth time in seven minutes, it’s probably too much.
  • Anything about exes – While you and the groom might find it funny, the in-laws might not think it’s appropriate.  
  • A long lead-up to a punchline – If it takes too long to get to the laugh, drop it. Jokes are funnier the punchier they are.
  • ‘In’ jokes – Do you really want people to feel like they’re not part of the party?
  • Any of the old wedding gags – ‘Let me tell you that is not the first time today I have risen from a warm seat with a bit of paper in my hand.’ And so on . . .  
  • Anything based on outdated assumptions or prejudices – ‘What’s the difference between in-laws and out-laws? Outlaws are wanted.’ Etc, etc.
  • Religious or cultural jokes – Only ever appropriate if they’re yours to make.
  • Politics or contentious issues – You may take it for granted that the people you love feel the same way as you about ‘the big stuff’ but that’s rarely the case. For example, an anti-vax joke may go down well with a portion of your audience but you can’t assume everyone will appreciate it. Avoid playing to your own echo chamber.   
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2 – Say What You See

Courts of law aren’t necessarily the funniest places on earth. But, when writing a speech, ‘the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth’ is a pretty good mantra to stick to.

Most good comedy is based on observation. As Homer (Simpson) quite accurately points out ‘It’s funny cause it’s true’.

Yes, a good gag can be great. But when you’re celebrating someone’s life, the more personal and based in reality something is, the funnier it will be to everyone who knows him.

So get your friends round, chat to his family, interrogate his partner and get as much dirt down on the paper as you can! He collected beanie babies as a child – great. He’s seen Westlife three times – brilliant. He once broke his hand playing Football Manager. ALL gold.

Sure, ‘this ‘observational humour’ is more effort than typing ‘best man jokes’ into Google but on the wedding day, you’ll know it’s been worth it.

HUMOUR-HUNTING PROMPTS

Ask yourself…

  • What are the groom’s passions / hobbies / guilty pleasures?
  • Do they have any unusual habits / party tricks /claims to fame?
  • What are they surprisingly good at?
  • And bad at?
  • Do they have any bad or annoying habits (not responding to texts etc)?
  • Have they taught you anything over the years? (comedy or otherwise)
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3 – Get Story-Hunting

Of course, a good best man speech isn’t just about observations and one-liners, it’s about good storytelling.

Ask Ed & Tom (the comedy speechwriting duo who work @ Speechy) say The first thing we do when writing a best man speech is hunt out the best stories. Three or four ideally. We literally just bash them out, whack them on the page, and go from there. Once you have a basis to work with you can work on the finesse and discover the overall speech narrative’.

STORY DON’TS

Don’t bother with…

  • The stag / bachelor party – Sure, thank your teams for organizing them, and feel free to allude to any bad behaviour but do not consider this an ‘anecdote’. Stag dos often involve drinking too much and someone embarrassing themselves.
  • Long or complicated stories – Generally (and there are exceptions), you need to be able to tell the story within about 100 words

STORY DO’S

Look for stories that…

  • Illustrate one of the groom’s core characteristics in action
  • Are funny or poignant and thought-provoking 
  • Are easy to follow
  • Have a point. A good story needs a clear, central message that fits with the theme of the rest of the speech
best man double act

4 – Use Self-Deprecation

Self-deprecation is a brilliant tool to utilise. Arguably, the strongest, most powerful form of comedy. It’s also the safest.

Sometimes, the people who you think will be good sports aren’t.  The only thing that’s 100% safe for you to take the piss out of, is yourself.

Not only is it safe, it’s sensible. Studies have shown that people who use self-deprecating humour are seen as more humble and consequently more emotional intelligent and attractive. Yes, physically attractive.

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5 – Deliver Like A Pro

Take your time with the material. Let it breathe. Don’t rush it. Timing is everything in comedy, but as a general tip, slow your delivery a little so you don’t rush your set-up into your punchline.

You don’t need to memorise your speech, but make sure you’re familiar with the flow of it so you only need to glance at your notes, rather than read them word-for-word. This gives you more space for gesticulations and eye contact – two big weapons in the performer’s armour.

Just like all stand-ups, keep a glass of water next to you, for tactical sips as the audience are cracking up.

The most important thing though is to look like you’re enjoying it. Smile throughtout. It’s literally infectious.

The Speechwriting Experts

The Speechy team are TV-trained scriptwriters/comedians by trade & we’ve helped 1,000s of speakers around the world deliver their dream speech.

Our advice has been quoted everywhere from The New York Times to Grazia and from Forbes to The Observer. Our founder has also featured on the BBC Sounds’ Best Men podcast with Jason Manford and written ‘The Modern Couple’s Guide to Wedding Speeches’, published by Little, Brown.

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''I had an unbelievable experience working with Speechy. From the moment I got in touch with them I felt supported and come the day of my best mans speech, it went down a storm with a standing ovation.''
''Speechy deserves more than 5 stars. (They) produced a factual, funny Mother of the Bride speech with just the right amount of emotion..... it was ingenious. Thank you so much for the wonderful & priceless memory of having delivered my speech at my daughter’s wedding and nailed it ... and got a standing ovation too. My children were very proud of me, including my new son-in-law! ''
''These Guys are tremendous! One main point is that its not their speech - its yours! This is because it is based totally around what you would like to say, but its the spin that Speechy puts on it, that is the magical bit... Ordinary words become a hilariously entertaining event. There were giggles, applauds, laughs, tears, cheers and standing ovation – all in that order!''
''Feeling anxious or stressed about an upcoming speech? Look no further than Speechy... I just delivered my Best Man speech this past weekend and absolutely crushed it. I was nervous leading up to the moment, but while delivering my speech, I didn't want the experience to end, the room was hooked, and laughing at every joke. Worth every penny... Thank you!''
''Navigating through the wedding industry often feels like you’re stuck on a conveyer belt....Speechy is the complete opposite. They treat you and your wedding like you’re the one and only. I couldn’t recommend them more.''
''Heidi and the whole team at Speechy are an absolute gem! In addition to their talent and extensive experience in speech writing, Heidi had an impressive way of listening to me talk about mine and my partners personal anecdotes, before putting it in such a funny and beautiful way that it felt as though she’d known us for years.''
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