Losing a parent or grandparent is a really sad time in life. Along with the arrangements, one of the things you may have to do is speak at their funeral. If your dad or grandpa had a great sense of humor, consider writing a funny eulogy.
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It might seem strange to fill a eulogy with laughter and jokes during such a sad time, but humor can actually be very healing. If you think your dad or grandpa would have loved a funny eulogy, this is a great way to honor their spirit.
Because this can be an overwhelming time, we’ve created a step-by-step guide and included a few examples to help get you started.
Writing a eulogy might be just one of your responsibilities following a death. For help through the entire process, check out our post-loss checklist.
Steps for Writing a Funny Eulogy for Dad or Grandpa
Here are some steps to guide you through the whole process of writing and delivering a funny eulogy for your dad or grandpa.
1. Set the tone
When we say ‘set the tone,’ we mean both getting yourself in a good headspace and setting the tone for your eulogy.
Get in a good headspace.
Writing a eulogy when you are grief-stricken can be challenging. Think about the kinds of things you can do to get yourself feeling calm and centered. Perhaps it’s going for a jog or taking a warm bath.
Maybe for you, it’s having a nourishing meal or even zoning out to a funny TV show. Once you feel clear-headed, pour yourself a mug or glass of your favorite comfort-beverage. Then, find a spot where you won’t be interrupted and where you can channel your dad or grandpa.
Consider your audience.
Given that you have decided to go the comedic route, it’s important that you consider who’s going to be in the audience. If Great Aunt Ethel will be deeply offended by dirty jokes, it’s probably wise to leave them out, or at the very least, preface the joke with a warning.
Reflect on why you are choosing to go the funny route.
Give some thought to why you are choosing to write a funny eulogy. Is it what your dad or grandpa would have wanted? Consider what would make them feel happy and loved if they could be in the room.
Choose your brand of humor (or his!)
Once you make sure that a funny eulogy is how you want to proceed, you can choose the type of humor you want to use. If your dad or grandpa loved ‘dad jokes,’ we’ve got a great one in the examples.
If they had a dry sense of humor or loved slapstick comedy, think about how you can incorporate that into your eulogy. You might not need any jokes at all. If you have some hilarious stories from your dad or grandpa’s life, those make for the best, funny eulogy content.
2. Gather info
Now that you’ve put some thought into the tone of your eulogy, you can do a bit of research. This could include gathering some favorite jokes or funny stories from other family members and friends or even finding some inspiration on the internet.
This is also a good opportunity to look for poetry, prayers, quotes, or other readings that you think exemplify your dad or your grandpa and his life.
Pro-tip: Make sure you jot down all of the stories and jokes you’re collecting. Once you feel like you have enough to craft your eulogy, you can input your notes into an outline.
3. Make an outline
Think about how you want to structure your eulogy and what kinds of things you want to include. Will the whole thing be funny? Will parts be more serious or somber? Do you want it to be short and sweet, or do you want to include as much as possible?
Here’s a sample outline to get you started:
- Start with a quote
- Let everyone know this is going to be funny and why
- Funny childhood stories
- Education, work, awards, and accolades
- Favorite hilarious college story
- Dad’s qualities we admire most
- His amazing sense of humor, of course!
- His legacy
- The impact he had on the world and his family
- He’ll keep us laughing forever
- Thank you to everyone—with a sarcastic dad joke here!
- One final joke
As you begin writing, fill in your outline with stories, anecdotes, jokes, quotes, and anything else that best illustrates your dad or grandpa’s life. Follow the different sections of the outline to ensure good flow and smooth transitions. Use the notes you took as you gathered stories from family and friends, and weave them in.
Make sure the font is big enough, easily readable, and that there’s space between lines and paragraphs. This will help you recite it smoothly.
5. Proofread and practice
First things first, pat yourself on the back for completing a really difficult life task. We imagine your dad or grandpa would be grateful and proud.
Here are some steps you can take to make sure it is ready to go.
- Scan through it once or twice to find any errors.
- Read through it once out loud to yourself. Catch any errors you missed on the first go-around. Add some symbols where you want to pause for impact or laughs.
- Once you have your final draft completed, get some feedback from a trustworthy family member or friend. Try reading out loud to them. Not only will this help you get some practice for the funeral, but it can also help you catch some errors you may have missed while you were proofreading. Ask them for some honest feedback. The last thing you’d want to do is rub anyone the wrong way with your humor at the funeral.
Pro tip: Ask your trusted friend or family member if you can make eye contact with them during your eulogy. Tell them what you need from them. Should they laugh at the funny parts? Should they smile and nod when you make eye contact? Let them know if you get emotional and might want them to tap in.
Examples of Funny Eulogies for Dad or Grandpa
Here are three samples from funny eulogies for a bit of inspiration!
Example One: A Funny Story About Dad
My dad was the most patient, kind, and loving man I’ve ever known. He fearlessly and calmly taught all of us wild kids how to drive. Meanwhile, my mom didn’t even want to know about it.
After my first few lessons, he threw me the keys and told me to practice pulling the car into the garage. The whole family watched from the deck as I proceeded to slowly scrape the entire right side of the car against the garage door, the mirror coming clean off as I panicked and backed it out in the exact same manner I had pulled it in—doubling down on the damage. [Pause for reaction].
I went upstairs with my head hung low, my mom pale as a ghost, and my dad said: “Guess you need more lessons, Toots!” He was the best. Don’t worry, nobody else in the family has ever let me live it down.
Example Two: A Funny Story About Grandpa
My grandpa had an unbelievably successful education and career. He made an enormous impact on environmental engineering before caring about the environment was cool. Caring about his office environment—well, that’s a different story. When he was teaching at Cornell while receiving his doctorate, he left Camembert cheese in his desk drawer over winter break.
When he returned, his mentor was waiting for him in his office, and in his thick German accent, he said, “Harry vee had to break down zee door to your office. Vee thought something had died in there.” [Pause for laughter]. He really did tell the best stories, and boy did he love his stinky cheese. We will miss him so much.
Example Three: Dad Joke
My dad was hilarious. He was the king of dad jokes. It made writing this eulogy super easy. All I needed was the intro and conclusion. The body’s already here.
Other Ways to Have a Happy Funeral
It might seem counterintuitive to have a happy funeral when you are grieving the loss of someone you love. A happy funeral can be a wonderful way to celebrate your dad or grandpa’s life and begin the healing process. Happy feelings and sad feelings can coexist harmoniously. It’s completely okay to feel both!
Many cultures have happy and joyful traditions as part of funeral arrangements. There are Irish Wakes, death celebrations in Africa, and celebration of life events in the US and all around the world. Consider a happy funeral if your dad or grandpa would have wanted people to be jovial rather than somber.