Comedy Month: A Q&A with Andrew Shanahan from Men's Wedding Website 'Staggered'

October 05, 2011



Not only is it Comedy Month (A month where we celebrate "things that are funny"), it's also 'Wedding Wednesday' - a day on which we like to discuss Wedding Entertainment to give us a break from all of those Corporate Events. The coming together of Wedding Wednesday and Comedy month offered us a unique opportunity to combine "weddings" and "things that are funny"  by having a quick chat with the Editor of one of our favourite Wedding Website; Andrew from Staggered. 

Andrew was kind enough to answer some questions on what he finds funny, tell us some bad wedding jokes and discuss the role that humour can play in a Wedding.  

Sternberg Clarke: Hello! Who are you and what do you do?

Andrew Shanahan: Hello! I am Andrew Shanahan and I run the UK’s leading men’s wedding website. We know we’re leading because we are the only UK’s men’s wedding website. We’ll take that though.

SC: As someone who works on a rather funny website, what makes you laugh?

AS: Too many to mention but it saddens me that more people haven’t watched every single Laurel and Hardy film. I’m also still mourning the passing of the Police Squad’s Leslie Nielsen

SC: Staggered has a pretty irreverent take on Weddings and Marriage that sets it apart from most other wedding publications or websites. Do you think Brides and Grooms approach their Big Day differently?

AS: Definitely, it’s an emotion-fest – hearts, flowers, tears, sparkly things for the bride all the way through, but it’s only on the day that the emotion reaches up and crushes the groom.

SC: Could Stand-Up ever work at a wedding?

AS: As entertainment? Possibly, but it would have to be done sensitively. Stand-up is a very performer-centric form of entertainment though – for instance people who try and participate are hecklers. That sort of goes against the ethos of the wedding being about the bride and groom.

SC: What’s the best way to incorporate some humour into a Wedding/Wedding Entertainment?

AS: I’ve seen people using the comedy waiters at a wedding which went down well but I personally find those things hugely embarrassing, because I have an overly-developed cringe reflex. You could have a musical comedian, is Tom Lehrer dead? Hope not. He’s amazing.

SC: What are the “No-Go” areas when it comes to Humour at Weddings?

AS: You’ll probably not want to mention anal sex a huge amount. I learned that lesson the hard way.

SC: If you could ask any Comedian (Living or Dead) write your Best Man Speech, who would it be and why?  (Stand-Up or Non)

AS: Bob Monkhouse is sadly seen as something of a light entertainer but he was one of the best comedy writers Britain and possibly the world has ever produced. I’d love to hear a Woody Allen best man speech.

SC: What can a best man learn from watching a great comedian?

AS: Best men should relieve themselves of the burden of trying to be stand-up comedians. To get laughs they just have to talk about the groom. Don’t try and write jokes, don’t steal jokes, tell some stories about the groom and if you have to embarrass him then make yourself the butt of the joke, the audience and the groom will love you for it.

SC: You had a great piece up on the ‘Most Over-Used Wedding Speech Jokes’ on recently. Have you got any favourite jokes from speeches?

AS: I laughed in a cold and hollow way when I read this one: “My Wife Says I Never Listen, Or Something Like That.”

SC: What’s the best way to incorporate Comedy into a Stag Do?

AS: We’re fairly emphatically hateful towards stag-do pranks on Staggered. This is largely because they are mean and don’t really add to the groom’s enjoyment of the do. Stag do in-jokes are awesome though and should be read like a proclamation (but never explained) at the wedding as part of the best man’s speech I think.

SC: Is anything off limits on a Stag Do?

AS: Our rule is no physical or psychological scars. Having said I hate them I really like the imaginative ones that play on a groom’s foibles. We should all have our foibles pushed occasionally.

SC: Should a First Dance ever be funny?

AS: I’m a devotee of the lover’s rubbish shuffle. I film them and have a blog archive of them. Thus people who choreograph their first dance just make my life tougher.

SC: And just one last question that we’re asking a few different people from the event/wedding industry. What’s Your Favourite Funny Song?

AS: Having mentioned him earlier let’s ignore Flight of the Conchord’s Business Time, Monty Python’s Eric the Half a Bee and say it’s Tom Lehrer – Poisoning Pigeons In The Park

SC: Thanks Andrew!