How To Write a Hilarious Best Man Toast Even If You've Never Spoke In Public Or Aren't a Funny Person

Giving a Best Man speech at a wedding can be nerve racking. In fact, public speaking is the number one fear of many people, even more so than dying. The good news, however, is that anyone can give a very memorable toast, even if they've never spoke in public.

How do you make it memorable? Make is funny. Guests at a wedding want to be entertained. Let's be honest - giving a completely serious speech, even if it's sincere, might be nice for the groom or bride, but does the audience want that? Of course not.

I'm not saying don't be sincere at all; that should be a part of it. All I'm saying is that a completely serious speech is boring, and everyone in the audience has heard enough of them. Chances are, the majority of the other speeches at the wedding will be boring - this is your opportunity to stand out!

The guests are taking a full day out of their busy schedules and travelling far distances to be at the wedding - the very least you can do is entertain them.

So, the most important part of this guide will tell you how to be funny.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, "I'm not funny." Well, you're in luck, because comedy can be learned. It's no different than learning how to ride a bike, drive a manual transmission, or read when you were a child.

Once you follow the simple steps of learning how to make a joke, you can be funny. If you're not known as a funny person, you have an advantage in some ways, since people aren't expecting anything from your speech.

If you've left the writing of your Best Man speech to the last minute, these jokes here will help you out. Simply insert the appropriate names where needed and go kill it! Feel free to edit these jokes to make them more relevant to the situation.

Simple Speech Structure: 4 Parts

Let's go over the basic structure of a Best man wedding speech. I recommend using the below structure because it's very simple and includes all the things you need. With many things in life, it's best to keep it simple. Writing and giving a wedding speech is no different. Don't confuse simple with "bad" or "boring."

Here are the four main parts in order:

1. You

2. The person you are giving the speech for (bride or groom)

3. The person they are marrying

4. The bride and groom

Here are the basic things you'll want to talk about for each part:

Part #1: You

-introduce yourself, talk about how great the day is, talk about the guests, say how you're honored to stand up for the groom, etc.

Part #2: The groom

-talk about how you and the groom met, talk about them (this can include funny stories, making fun of them, how great they are, what they do, what they've done, etc.)

Part #3: The bride

-talk about the bride (this can include funny stories, making fun of them, how great they are, what they do, what they've done, etc.)

Part #4: The bride and groom

-talk about how the bride and groom met, how they make a great couple, talk about any funny stories they have, wish them all the best in their new life together, make a toast/raise your glass

The First Element of Comedy: Surprise

Now that we have the four main parts of the speech outlined, it's time to fill them in with jokes. To start making jokes, let's go over one of the most critical elements of humor: surprise. A basic joke sets up an assumption, or puts a picture in the audience's head, and then SMASHES that assumption with a surprise, or the punchline.

Let's look at examples from some jokes from my speech on YouTube (the setting up of the assumption in the guests' head is in italics, and the surprise is underlined):

"Today is about Alan and the love of his life, his MacBook Pro."

When I say, "today is about Alan and the love of his life", I'm setting up the assumption; since Alan is getting married, the guests are picturing Alan and his new bride Michelle, the love of his life. When I say the punchline, "his Macbook Pro," I SMASH this assumption. The guests aren't expecting me to say MacBook Pro instead of Michelle, and are surprised.

Another example:

"Let's raise a toast to the most important people here, the bar staff."

The "most important people" sets the assumption in people's heads that we are talking about the bride and groom. When we deliver the punchline "the bar staff", people don't see if coming and are surprised and therefore will laugh.

Another example:

"You are kind, compassionate, smart, caring, genuine, and most importantly, you make my brother happy in a way that I never could."

You are setting up the assumption in the guests' head that the bride is a great partner for the groom because she has all these great qualities. You are even furthering the assumption when you say "and most importantly." At this point, the guests think are you going to list another quality, just as you've be doing the whole sentence. When you say "you make my brother happy in a way that I never could," you are surprising the crowd as they didn't see it coming.

Start Writing "Surprising" Jokes

The million dollar tip for writing a joke: Don't look for something funny. Instead, look for something and make it funny.

Think about the most popular stand-up comedians and late night TV talk show hosts in the world. They make jokes about normal, every day occurrences. Are all these occurrences hilarious by themselves? Of course not. Good comedians are able to find humor in anything, and that's what we will teach you to do in your speech.

If there are obvious funny/embarrassing stories you know about the bride or groom that you think people will want to hear and laugh at, of course you should include them in your speech.

However, you can't solely rely on these for four reasons:

1. there simply might not be any funny stories

2. if there are funny stories, they probably won't take up enough time to fill a speech

3. even if there are a lot of funny stories, making jokes out of "non-funny" things will make the speech that much more hilarious

4. some stories might be funny to you and the bride or groom, but either they won't be funny to all the guests, or they are stories that are difficult to explain in a funny way

When something isn't supposed to be funny, it's easier to set up the assumption in the guests' head that you are talking about something serious. Once the surprise or punchline is delivered, they will laugh even harder because they didn't see it coming. So, if you can't think of anything funny about the person you are giving your speech for, you will still be able to make your speech funny.

How To Come Up With Joke Ideas

Here's a method of how we can come up with joke ideas, using non-funny things:

You simply make a list of all the things about the wedding you can think of, with the longest part of your list being about the bride and groom. The list can literally include anything. The longer the list, the better, as it will give you more ideas for jokes. These things don't even have to be remotely funny. When coming up with the list, split it into four parts, each part representing the four main parts of the speech that we talked about earlier.

Here are just some ideas of what the list could include that aren't about the bride and groom:

-the weather of the day and recent celebrity/sports/news events

-things about the guests, other members of the wedding party, friends, and parents

-how you know the bride/groom

-the location of the wedding

-where the guests are from

Here are just some ideas of what the list could include about you and the bride or groom:

-how you met

-where you met

-any stories you shared

-where you went to school together

-what street you grew up on

Here are just some ideas of what the list could include about the bride and groom:

-their physical characteristics

-their non-physical characteristics

-their professions

-where they live

-where they are from

-where they are going on their honeymoon

-how they met

-their hobbies, their pets

-what they like

-what they don't like

-where he proposed to her

-how he proposed

-how they met

-what car they drive

-their nationality

-what color hair they have

-the car they drive

-their university


Now, let's create a hypothetical list for someone (let's call him Bob and say he's marrying a girl named Tina):

-their physical characteristics: Bob is chubby

-their non-physical characteristics: Bob is well-liked and friendly

-their professions: Bob is an insurance salesman

-where they live: Bob lives in Windsor, Ontario

-where they are from: Bob is from New York City

-where they are going on their honeymoon: Bob and Tina are going to Hawaii

-how they met: Bob met Tina at a pub in college

-their hobbies, their pets

-their hobbies, their pets: Bob loves fishing and his dog

-what they like: Bob loves eating at McDonald's

-what they don't like: Bob hates soccer

-where he proposed to her: Bob asked Tina to marry him while camping in Michigan

-what car they drive: Bob drives a Honda Civic

-what color hair they have: Bob has red hair

-how Bob and Tina are together: Bob is whipped, Tina "wears the pants"

-their university: Bob went to Harvard

-stories: Bob pooped his pants on a canoe trip when he was a kid

We would then make our list about Tina.

Go here to read how to write jokes for your Best Man speech>>>

Adding Serious/Sincere Parts To Your Speech

While it's vital that your speech is funny, there is nothing wrong with having sincere parts that are completely serious. Ever heard of the term "comic-relief"? Well, I call this "serious-relief." If the audience has been killing themselves over the last few jokes, there's no harm in letting them take a breather from laughing.

In my speech on YouTube, I tried very hard to make a joke about the fact that my brother is an engineer but couldn't come up with anything. Upon graduating, engineers receive a ring, which my brother wears. I then tried to come up with a joke about that, but still couldn't think of anything. I knew there was an obvious connection there - the engineering ring and the wedding ring. Still, I couldn't come up with anything. So, instead I simply turned it into something sincere:

"I always tease Alan about how he shows off his engineering ring on his pinkie finger. Well, today I can safely say Alan is much more proud of his new ring, and even more proud to show off his new wife."

Was the above sentence funny? Not really. Was it nice for the bride to hear? Of course. Was it constructed by using items from my list? Yes. This proves that you don't have to turn all list items into jokes. There is nothing wrong with having 100% serious lines that are sincere, and a great source of ideas is to look at the list you made.

Using the Bob and Tina example, let's come up with something serious using that list.

"Tina is a great girl. It's no wonder Bob moved here all the way from New York to be with her."

Is this funny? Nope. But, it's sincere, heartfelt, and is a sentence that is constructed using items from your list.

Another example:

"Bob moved from the borough of Queens to be with his Queen."

Is this funny? Nope. But, it's clever, and again constructed using items from your list. When writing your speech, make your writing as descriptive and beautiful as possible!

The Second Element of Comedy: Specificity

This now leads us to another important element of comedy: specificity.

Let me give you an example of why it's important to be specific as possible when writing a Best Man speech. Below you will see five jokes, each with an Option A and an Option B. Which option is funnier to you?

Option A: "Today is about Alan and the love of his life, his computer."

Option B: "Today is about Alan and the love of his life, his MacBook Pro."

Option A: "When we were younger, Alan was muscular and I was skinny."

Option B: "When we were younger, Alan kind of looked like a child bodybuilder, and I looked like Janet (our mom) never fed me."

Option A: "Alan is athletic. He had more trophies than me."

Option B: "Alan is athletic. His trophy collection was huge, always bigger than my seventh place ribbon collection."

Option A: "Today is about Bob and the love of his life, his dog."

Option B: "Today is about Bob and the love of his life, his Golden Retriever Sparky."

Option A: "I always knew Bob and Tina were meant to be together upon the moment of meeting her. Bob, she's a great catch, almost better than that fish you caught on vacation."

Option B: "I always knew Bob and Tina were meant to be together upon the moment of meeting her. Bob, she's a great catch, almost better than that 10 foot marlin you caught in Florida."

I'm sure you will agree that the Option B's are much funnier. If you don't, well you might want to give up on comedy :P.

So what makes specificity funny? Well, comedy is all about painting a picture in the audience's mind. Saying "his Golden Retriever Sparky" has much more impact than "his dog" because the audience is actually picturing Sparky running around the backyard, chasing a drool-covered tennis ball with his smooth, golden locks flowing in the wind. Saying "that 10 foot marlin you caught in Florida" has much more impact than "that fish you caught on vacation," because the audience is picturing Bob off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, hauling a huge marlin into the boat.

Even for your 100% serious parts, it's important to use specificity as well.

The Third Element of Comedy: Repetition

Using repetition is another way to make your wedding speech hilarious. This basically means saying a joke or thing you've already said later on in the speech one or even multiples times more. Repetition works so well, in my opinion, because the audience isn't expecting the joke again, which adds to the "surprise" element of comedy that we talked about earlier.

I'll give you some examples of repetition I used in the speech for my brother.

For this example, I repeated the joke only once:

1. Earlier in the speech, I joked about how Alan and I didn't get along too well when we were younger: "I remember receiving an email on my birthday from Alan one year. It said, 'Happy Birthday, mom made me send this.'"

2. Then, to finish the speech off, I said: "Alan and Michelle, I wish you two the best in your new life together. I love you both. Mom made me say that."

For the below example, I didn't repeat the exact same joke, but brought up the item two more times:

1. I joked about Alan having kidney stones a few days before the wedding: "Only a few short days ago Alan had kidney stones. However, I knew Alan would not let anything get in the way of him marrying Michelle. That and the fact we are Dutch family and everything had already been paid for."

2. I then joked about the kidney stones again: "Because Alan is such a good guy and has a ton of great qualities, it was actually hard to come up with material for this speech. If it wasn't for the kidney stones, I'd be screwed."

3. Then, one more time when going through Alan's qualities: "Whether it's Alan's toughness. The guy just peed out a rock, enough said."

The fact that my brother had kidney stones was a comedic gold mine. We were all worried for him at the time, but everything turned out fine, so the kidney stones turned out to be a blessing in disguise for my speech. Try to incorporate the use of repetition with things that you can make fun of the bride or groom with - a hobby they are obsessed with, a funny trait, etc.

I'll give you another example of repetition I used in a speech I did at my friend's wedding. The target of my repetition - rollerblading. Our group of friends always made fun of this particular friend about rollerblading, so I kept repeating it in the speech (maybe too much :P). I actually repeated the joke 4 more times:

1. I joked about the rollerblading when I talked about how we met in high school: "I knew from the start that Jake was a good guy because two years later when I was relegated to the short bus, he remained my friend. Jake once told me that he would never judge me by my form of transportation. Because Jake rollerblades, I couldn't say the same thing back."

2. I then joked about the rollerblading when making fun of him being cheap: "I'm sure Jake didn't want an open bar at his wedding. Every time he sees one of us having a drink, I'm sure he'll cringe and think about the 2 dollars he's just lost - 2 dollars that could go towards a new pair of rollerblades."

3. I then made another rollerblading/cheapness joke: "I've always made fun of Jake about the rollerblading, but in Jake's defence, at least he's not polluting the environment, and as he's always sure to tell me, 'at least it's not roller skating.' I was going to say that I felt bad about making fun of him, until I found out a couple hours ago that Jake actually roller bladed from the church to the reception. Last week Jake was telling me that renting a luxury car for his wedding would be way too expensive. I didn't know that meant he was actually considering taping a 'just married' sign to the back of his inline skates."

4. I used another rollerblading joke in a similar manner as I did with my brother's kidney stones: "Jake is one of the funniest people I know. Jake is smart. Jake is wise. And Jake rarely makes mistakes. Because of this, it was hard for me to come up with material for this speech. If it wasn't for the rollerblading, I'd be screwed."

5. I then joked about the rollerblading when talking about how he met his wife: "Jake told me he and Samantha were officially dating - we were talking on MSN Messenger. He's like 'remember that girl from my birthday?' I'm like 'no, I was hammered.' He's like 'we are now official.' I'm like 'does she know about the rollerblading?' He's like 'yes.' I'm like 'is she okay with it?' He's like 'yes.' I'm like 'you'd be a fool if you let her go.'"

Along with repeating a joke later on in a speech, you can also repeat multiple jokes about the same thing right in a row. I call this method the "jackhammer", because you are being relentless and hitting the audience again and again with jokes about the same thing.

Here's an example of me carrying out the "jackhammer" in the speech I gave for my brother:

"(Joke #1) Alan - I am honoured to be part of this small army that you call a wedding party. (Joke #2) That's the biggest table I've ever seen. (Joke #3) When Alan said today would include a "big party," I thought he was talking about the reception. (Joke #4) I don't know which group is larger: Alan's groomsmen or Rita McNeil's pall bearers."

In this instance, I'm making jokes about the size of Alan's wedding party. As you can see above, I have the jokes numbered. In total, I make four jokes about the same topic, all in a row. If you are going to carry out the "jackhammer" in your speech, delivering your best/strongest joke at the end of the sequence works best. The first jokes are a "warm-up" before the final hammer is dropped.

Framing You And The Groom As The Couple

When you talk about relationships, love, or two people meeting at a wedding, the guests automatically assume you are talking about the groom and bride because it's their special day. These types of jokes work so well because you are setting up an easy assumption; when you surprise everyone with you being the punchline, surprise and then laughter will be no doubt follow. Below are some examples of these types of jokes:

If you share a lot of similarities with the groom: "They say for a relationship to last, two people must have many things in common. It's (insert groom's name) and my similarities that have kept us together for over 13 years."

When talking about the groom's spouse: "(insert name), I couldn't have asked for a better (sister in law, friend in law, etc.). You are (insert good quality), (insert good quality), (insert good quality), and most importantly, you make my brother/best friend happy in a way that I never could."

The soul-mate punchline: "There comes a time in everyone's life when they meet the love of their love of their life, their soul mate, the one person that's going to love them the rest of their life. That moment came from (insert groom's name) 10 years ago when he met me."

If the groom is very friendly: "(insert name)'s very well-liked. In fact, he's the type of person that can become your best friend within two minutes of meeting you. When I met (insert name), however, I played hard to get - it took us two weeks."

If you and your sibling/friend were both born in the same decade: "Let me tell you a bit about my relationship with (insert name). We met in the 80's."

The Beginning and The End

For your speech to be as funny as possible, you must have a strong opening and closing. Pick two of your best/favorite jokes, and put them at the beginning and the end. Starting your speech strong works wonders because you get the guests into a "habit" of laughing, and they'll be more likely to laugh at all your jokes throughout the speech. Not only that, but laughing is contagious, and the more people you can get laughing right off the bat will translate into more laughs overall.

Another benefit of having a hilarious opening is that it will help with any anxiety you may have of speaking in front of a large group of people. Once you get your first joke over with and see that your material is generating laughs, your anxiety will be lessened and the rest of the speech will be much easier (and actually fun) for you to deliver.

It's also important to have a strong close. Delivering a great speech with a weak close is like flying in Donald Trump's private, million dollar luxury jet, drinking a thousand dollar bottle of champagne and then landing in... Windsor (see the repetition I did there? ;). A great way to end your speech is with a repetition joke, much like what I did for my brother's wedding speech: "Alan and Michelle, I wish you two the best in your new life together. I love you both. Mom made me say that."

The italicized text sets up the assumption in your audience's head that you are closing with a heartfelt toast, when in reality you are just setting them up to SMASH them over the head with a punchline they had no idea was coming because I had already used it previously in the speech (the text underlined).


I hope you have found this article beneficial. I would recommend starting your speech as early as possible - the more time you spend on it, the better chance you have of coming up with more jokes. You don't have to spend hours on it every night, but I'd keep around a piece of paper to jot down your "list items" and "associations" and joke ideas when you think of them (or put them in your phone) so you don't forget them later on. Obviously, I know a lot of you will leave your speech to the last minute (as I usually do when speaking at a wedding), so you are still fine. The 40 time-tested proven jokes here will definitely help you if your time is limited.

The biggest tip I can give is: learn the basic fundamentals of comedy and practice it. Besides giving a better Best Man speech, doing this has many benefits such as: you exercise your brain when trying to come up with joke ideas, you become naturally funnier (who doesn't want to make people laugh?), and you will be better prepared for more speeches (both wedding or nonwedding) in the future.

To recap everything in this guide:

1. Keep your speech structure simple and only 4 parts: (1) you (2) the groom (3) the bride (4) the groom and bride together

2. To create comedy and jokes, don't look for funny things - instead, look for things and make them funny

3. Know the different comedy elements such as surprise, specificity, and repetition

4. Know that surprise involves setting up an assumption about something unfunny in the audience's head, and then smashing that assumption with a surprise / punchline

5. Specificity in humor is powerful. Being specific will always get more laughs than being general

6. Repeat jokes and ideas throughout your speech. Use the "jackhammer" method when you have a ton of jokes about the same topic, and always deliver your strongest joke at the end of the sequence

7. Make a list of as many things (they do not have to be funny things!) you can think of about the wedding day, the guests, the bride, the groom, etc.

8. For each item on your list, come up with as many associations as you can think of. Stereotypes are encouraged!

9. Know that a joke is a combination of two or more ideas, and using the items and associations on your list will help you create your jokes

10. Feel free to add in sincere / serious parts to your speech to give the guests a breather from laughing

11. Make sure your speech includes a very strong / funny beginning and very strong / funny end

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