Using Sports and Interests for Comic Effect

If you have been a regular reader of our wedding speech articles, you should have plenty of ideas for jokes and themes by now. If not, why haven't you been paying attention? Either way, what you may still be struggling with is actually creating funny, relevant and suitable material. So we thought we'd give you a hand. Aren't we nice?

One of the most common themes seen in many wedding speeches is sport. And there's a good reason for that. Whether through metaphor, anecdotes or topical humour, sports related jokes often employ a broad enough frame of reference that even the most isolated hillbilly family can enjoy. As always, the key is to make sure your theme is at least in some way relevant to the bride and groom, so with that in mind, let's take a look at a few ways you might generate humour suitable for a wedding speech through the use of sports related comedy:

  1. "I often had trouble making a good first impression with the ladies. However, all that changed when I met Louise, because from the moment we met she knew I was a keeper - as I was wearing massive gloves."

  1. "I'll be honest, a lot of us thought Steve would never end up marrying a woman. Well, he never told he was such a keen yachtsman, so it's no surprise we imagined something else entirely when he'd tell of his weekends surrounded by seamen."

These simple jokes lend themselves to a more casual sporting reference, so if you're looking to get a quick gag out the groom's favourite pastime, this is the format you should take. Alternatively, if sports play an important part in their life, they should also take up a prominent role in your speech, and you can allude to this easily though the use of anecdotes:

  1. "Helen and Gary actually met while he was playing a league match for the local bowling club… and he still goes on about that famous moment today. That lovely split, a nice set of pins, and everyone just waiting for Gary to put his fingers in the holes and get on with it. Then when he'd finished the match he got Helen's number."

  1. "Olly and Bridget are both big athletics fans, which means they should enjoy marriage. Just like the 10,000 metres it's a long, hard slog that not everyone is prepared for, although they do both start with a bang."

Sporting tales from a person's childhood can also be used to illustrate their character, even if their athletic days are long gone. Here are a couple of examples of how youthful sporting triumphs can be made into wedding-suitable material to great effect:

  1. "When he was a kid, our Neil never did know when to give in. His cricket team would be 44 for 8 and he'd still be there, geeing everyone up, plugging away. So Terri, at least you know that whatever the circumstances, come rain or shine, he'll never disappoint you at the crease."

  1. "Alex was always a sore loser, but he saw that as a strength. It doesn't matter how he's feeling or who he's up against, he always has to come first - as poor Hannah no doubt knows already."

If your subject's involvement with sport is limited to supporting a particular team, or they're infatuated with a certain sportsman, this can also be used to point out elements of their personality, or to make humorous comparisons between marriage and the sport:

  1. "As a QPR fan, Paul is well equipped for marriage. He's seen highs, he's seen lows, he's seen sloppy starts, slow build-ups, disappointing finishes and plenty of hot young prospects passing through, yet he's always remained loyal. Because with a girl like Amanda, why would you ever want to play away?"

  1. "Jenny's complained that Jake's been forcing her to watch F1 lately, but I think she should give it a shot, as it's preparing her for married life. That frantic start followed by a lull, then, for the most part, you'll feel like you're going round in circles, and if you can smell burnt rubber you might want to slow down."

Of course, there are some people who are simply not sporty in the slightest, but that doesn't necessarily preclude you from referencing athletic pastimes if you're clever about it. Perhaps the whole family is sports mad but the groom is the odd one out, or maybe you've got a funny anecdote from sports day which shows just how much of a couch potato the bride is:

  1. "Eric always says he made a big contribution to the school basketball team, mostly by not playing for them, and I expect him to use the same line when it comes to doing DIY around the house."

Finally, if you're insistent on crowbarring in some kind of sports reference as a quick crowd pleaser, you may want to play it safe and pay homage to a recent sporting event. Topical humour often goes down well with an audience, but your best bet is to keep these jokes brief, so here is one final sports themed line for you to include in your next wedding speech:

  1. "Looking at Jack in his Armani suit, Gucci dress shoes and Rolex watch, he reminds me a lot of Man United. Yes, he's spent a lot of money on some good stuff, but he's still slow, he's still ponderous, and he seriously lacks penetration in the box."