Lewd Jokes - Pippa Middleton's Wedding

(June 2017)

Picture the scene: You step up to the microphone, and the air is hot with anticipation. The Father-of-the-Bride has just bawled his eyes out, the Groom's speech was syrupy sweet, and the audience is aching for you to split their sides wide open.

And then you make a tired old joke about taking a girl to Bangor, and the room audibly groans.

This is precisely what happened at the wedding between Pippa Middleton and whoever that rich bloke was, and in such poor taste was the Best Man's speech that it even made national headlines.

Here is our summary of the jokes that apparently caused the most offence. Because our advice could help you avoid a similar, if less newsworthy, fate:

"With the wedding shadowed in secrecy, I can reveal, and wish the Bride and Groom a happy honeymoon in North Wales. At least that's where I presume they are going as I heard Spencer saying that after the wedding, he [James] was going to Bangor for two weeks. Enjoy the Welsh coast, guys."

The only thing more old hat than that joke was the front row at the reception, and at a high society event this was hardly the most appropriate tone to take anyway. Nonetheless, a little blue humour can be well received if you judge the situation correctly; just make sure you pick your target with sniper-like precision. Here's a better line:

  1. "I've no doubt that pictures of this great day and the happy couple's honeymoon will be splashed across the front pages come Monday morning. And unfortunately, we all know that the tabloids will be focusing on one person in particular, and specifically their widely admired posterior. But I've worn baggy pants today."

This joke would've gone down a treat, as not only does it reference a well-known story, it also takes sides with the bride and makes her enemies the audience's enemies too. Meanwhile, the Bangor joke made the bride the butt of the gag, transforming her into nothing more than a sex object. It's a relatively decent pun, don't get me wrong; but there are far more satisfying laughs to be had than a joke your grandparents were probably sick of.

Another low-brow joke from Pippa Middleton's wedding was another tired old "classic", whereby the best man uses misdirection to entirely lukewarm effect:

"Now to the love of James' life: beautiful, energetic, loyal, soft-mouthed, comes on command, great behind. But that is enough about James' spaniel, Rafa; I'm here to talk about James' love, Pippa."

This is a joke you might make down the pub, for sure, but would you say this to a man about his daughter if you were alone with him? Here is a great rule of thumb to use when judging the appropriateness of any wedding joke - would the Father-in-law spark you out cold for saying this to his face? In this case, the answer is yes. Because who wants to hear about their little girl "coming on command" as if she was a faithful dog?

Canine comparisons are also a bit unflattering for a day where the bride is supposed to be glamorous and graceful; but once more, with the right treatment even this theme can be made to work without causing offence:

  1. "Before Pippa, the only great love in James' life was his adorable spaniel, Rafa. James dotes on that little fella; feeding him, bathing him, taking him to the salon. To be honest it was getting a bit weird, so Pippa's come along just in time, as any longer he'd be dressing his dog in people clothes. But Pippa, I must ask you sincerely, if at any point he starts tickling under your chin please do call me."

This cleaner version of the joke makes the bride feel good before all else because it implies no other person meant as much to the groom before her. The joke also shows off the groom as a loving, caring individual, and the punchline is cute and inoffensive yet surreal enough to work.

There were plenty of other angles the best man could have played, and yet he chose to fall back on crass and homophobic material. If only he had thought to sit down and write a list of someone's attributes and achievements.

Both Pippa Middleton and James Matthews have more famous siblings - Kate and Spencer - but this goldmine was left untouched. The pair are also both quite sporty, with James being a former race-car driver and Pippa having cycled across the United States; and once more this link went unmentioned.

Imagine you were asked to sum up the last person who texted you right now. I'll bet you could come up with at least five notable things about them without even trying. Even the dullest human beings lead rich and interesting lives, and each person's story contains a wealth of information which, once you've jotted it down, can be easily turned into appropriate wedding speech material.

And look, depending on the audience, a few well-placed swears and the odd filthy reference might be right what the doctor ordered. We aren't saying that lewd humour should never appear in any wedding speech ever; just don't rely on filth to carry a weak speech instead of taking the time to bulk it up with insight and intelligent observation.

Although let's be honest, it could have been worse. The best man could have tried out this joke ( listed in our LINES TO AVOID SECTION) and ended up detained at her Majesty's most sincere pleasure instead:

"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. You may have heard it said that being a best man is like being asked to make love to a queen - since both are such a great honour, but nobody really wants to do it. Well I'm different, and I've actually been looking forward to it. But Liz is up in Balmoral this weekend, so I'm here instead."