My buddy Erik got hitched last month, and I was his best man (See: I Think My Mother is Trying to Tell Me Something).

Photo of Daniel J. Hogan's Prince lyrics rickroll best man speech.

Ah, editing. Photo by me.

Since Erik’s wedding was my first outing as a ‘hand of the groom,’ I was nervous. Not only did I have the Frodoian task of guarding the rings, I had the Cosbyian task of delivering an entertaining, yet PG rated speech at the reception.

This didn’t mean I couldn’t be funny. Erik expected nothing less. I jotted down ideas, but the idea I ended up using came to me, as my best ideas usually do, in the shower a few days before the wedding: I would use Prince lyrics. I would stitch together random phrases from different songs to make something resembling a heartfelt toast.¹

Then, on the eve of the rehearsal dinner, another idea struck me, thanks to my muse, Stephanie. She was handling DJ duties on my iPod while I drove to (gasp) Ann Arbor. As Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up thundered out of my car’s speakers, I became inspired: put a Rickroll in my best man speech.

As the photo above shows, I wrote the changes in by hand (and made several other time-saving edits).

The full text of the speech is below (behind the cut). To play along at home, I didn’t sing the lyrics, I spoke them aloud as if I were reading a regular, serious speech.

Prince Lyrics Rick Roll Best Man Speech
by Daniel J. Hogan

(With apologies to Prince and Rick Astley

I met Erik in the frozen wastes of the west side of Michigan. Our paths, along with fellow groomsdude, George, crossed due to our hunger for rebellion while attending college in a snow-swept, ultra-conservative, dry county. And by rebellion, I mean playing cartoon theme songs on the college radio station.

Having about three more minutes of experience than Erik and George, it was my duty to teach these budding DJs how to press Play on a CD player.

Our lives, and the standard of Grand Valley State University’s radio programming, were never the same.

Years later, Erik and I are still close. One does not forget a friend who shares a passion for Rachel Leigh Cook movie marathons, quoting The Godfather, or celebrating the oeuvre of singer-songwritter, Glenn Danzig.

Which is why I finally understand why the traditional compliment for a new bride is, ‘best wishes.’ Emily, best wishes.

When it came time to write this speech, I needed inspiration. But, Where to turn for help?

Then it hit me.

I would draw inspiration from the greatest romantic poet of any generation, or even the New Power Generation: Prince.

Now, I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, so forgive me if it goes astray.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, to celebrate as Erik and Emily get through this thing called life. Electric word, life, it means forever and that’s a mighty long time. But I’m here to tell you, they can do it. They’ll live in a world of never ending happiness, in California, where you can always see the sun, day or night—except when it’s raining. Which almost never happens in San Francisco. Although, sometimes it snows in April.

Emily: Erik could see you’re the reason that God made a girl. When the day turns into the last day of all time, Erik wants you in those arms of his. That’s why he didn’t want to just pretend you were married, and why he gave you gave you a,

D, to the I, to the A to the M,
O to the N to the D, ring.²

 Emily: Erik knows Nothing compares 2 you. Until the end of time, he’ll be there for you. You own his heart and mind. He truly adores you, and your toleration of his encyclopedic knowledge of Iron Maiden.
If God one day struck him blind, Your beauty he’d still see. Love is too weak to define just what you mean to him.

With one more verse to this story, I need another piece of your ear, I wanna hip you all to the reason, Erik will be husband of the year.

Emily: You know the rules, and so does Erik. A full commitment is what he’s thinking of, you wouldn’t get this from any other guy. I just wanna tell you how Erik’s feeling, gotta make you, understand. Erik’s never gonna give you up, he’s never gonna let you down, he’s never gonna run around and desert you. He’s never gonna make you cry. He’s never gonna say goodbye. And, he’s never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.

My love to both of you, and may your first child, be a masculine child.³

#

Everyone loved the speech, and most importantly, everyone laughed when they were suppose to (although the ‘Sometimes It Snows in April’ reference was maybe too obscure).

From the start I didn’t want to do a typical long-winded, rambling ‘bro-mance’ best man speech. Instead, I did a long-winded, rambling speech filled with obscure pop-culture references and inside jokes (just like this blog post). Yes, it was a gamble. But, it was a gamble that paid off.

Besides, I was writing with my audience in mind: Erik and Emily. They were the only audience I wanted to please, and thankfully everyone else loved it just as much.

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¹ Erik and I are both huge Prince fans, so I knew this would be a home run.
² If I could go back, I would have sang this part, and only this part.
³ The parents of the couple loved this Godfather reference.

 

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Daniel J. Hogan is a geeky cartoonist and writer living in Michigan. Daniel is available for freelance writing and cartooning commissions (Contact Daniel). This post contains affiliate links, unless it doesn't.

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