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Why the embarrassing, NSFW best man’s speech is never a good idea

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Dave Fawbert
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Best man. It’s a tough gig.

Not only have you got to organise the stag do while everyone, bar none, moans that they could have done it better, forlornly try to get money from all the people on the stag, and take charge of banter on the WhatsApp group, you’ve then got to deal with the actual wedding itself.

Yet another admin nightmare, you’ve got to get the groom there on time, calm any last-minute nerves and then try not to drop the rings.

And then you’ve got to follow all the other speeches, which have no doubt been uproariously hilarious, with everyone expecting you to be the funniest act of the day. Despite there being every chance that you’ve never spoken in public before.

So I have a lot of sympathy for the guy that decided to get Pornhub to do it for him.

In footage that was posted up on groom Danny Hodgett’s Twitter page, it showed his best man Thom enlisting the help of Pornhub to make a video for ‘frequent user’ Danny, featuring a map of all the places around the world where Danny had logged on and, presumably, got off. It even showed the titles of a few of his favourite videos.

You can tell from the clip that Thom is a funny guy, and the clip just – just – skirts the right side of being inappropriate. It seems to go down reasonably well with the crowd.

But, honestly, trust me, from my experience, it’s just not a risk worth taking.

Growing up, you assume that the great best man’s speeches – the ones that go down in the annals of history – are those that document, in full, glorious detail, all of the various debauched sins of the groom. The night in Magaluf he led an orgy, the time he was sick off the balcony all over a group of schoolchildren, the time he pleasured a cow, just for a laugh. That time he made an ex-girlfriend cry, the time he had a fight in a Yates’ Wine Lodge, the time he spent a night in the cells for drunk and disorderly, the time… hang on, none of this is actually funny is it?

Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s often legendarily funny at the time, as you think to yourself ‘we’ll have so much material on this guy when he finally ties the knot’, but the second you encounter the actual reality, the actual in-the-moment feeling of a wedding, it suddenly becomes achingly obvious, as soberingly enormous quantities of clarity descend upon you that this is not in any way going to be funny. It’s just going to be toe-curling. Because you’ve got grandmas looking at you, looking adoringly at their all-grown-up grandson. Aunts and uncles deliriously proud of their sweet, innocent nephew who they took on days out to the seaside when they were little. The groom’s mum and dad, desperately hoping that their precious daughter has made the right decision in teaming up with this guy, desperately hoping that they’ve done their best in the thankless task of being good parents.

And it hits you. None of them need to know the truth. None of them need to know about that night in Ayia Napa. It took you a year to fully forgive yourself for that. What chance do they have? What good would it do to lay out all the stories? Ignorance is bliss: the most true statement on human nature there is.

And what, when it boils down to it, is this moment for? It’s your best mate. What do you really love about him? Yes, obviously, you love his banter. We all love the banter. But really, if it was just banter, then he’d be on the same level as that lad in the group who you like because he can wiggle his ears. He’s not a mate, he’s your best mate. And that’s because you share the same outlook, because, to you, if you stripped away everything, he’s simply the best guy you know, and probably ever will know.

And weddings are great – really great – because they are, totally, entirely, happy, positive events. Is Trump going to start World War III? For today, you don’t care – you don’t even think about it for a second – because you’re too busy getting smashed with all of your friends and some lovely relatives in a lovely picturesque setting where, after the speeches, you’re going to tear up the dancefloor like never before and get ties round your heads the second you hear the first note of Haddaway’s ‘What Is Love’. They are little oases of happiness. An island of innocence and good vibes in the ocean of negativity, sarcasm and cynicism we encounter in the world on a day-to-day-basis. 

Of course, you’ve got your doubts as to whether they’ll even last out the year – it was a miracle they even got down the aisle. 

But for one day – just one day – everything is great. Everything is perfect. Talk about what a legend your best mate is – of course – put in some great gags, a bit of gentle ribbing, poke some fun, enjoy yourself. Everyone’s on your side, everyone wants to laugh at your jokes – and they willl. But they’ll love the sentimental stuff too. It’s important.

Don’t go there, no matter how tempting it might seem.

No to Not Safe For Work.

Yes to Safe For Grandma.

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Dave Fawbert

ShortList.com staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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