It takes great skill to write a funny novel, play, or poem. It takes even greater skill and finesse to write a funny eulogy. If you are tasked with writing a eulogy for someone who was the life of the party, it may feel right to include funny stories in the text of your speech. However, using humor during someone’s end-of-life event may feel a bit disrespectful and might make your audience uncomfortable.
If you plan to use humor in your speech, make sure you first practice your delivery with a few close family members or friends. Ask for feedback to make sure the humor feels appropriate.
We’ve included a few funny eulogy quotes to inspire you as you write. Even though some of these quotes about death are funny, context is everything. A safer way to use humor in your loved one’s eulogy is to pepper your speech with some of the deceased’s favorite one-liners.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Funny Eulogy Quotes for a Grandparent
- Funny Eulogy Quotes for a Parent
- Funny Eulogy Quotes for a Sibling
- Funny Eulogy Quotes for a Friend
Funny Eulogy Quotes for a Grandparent
Did your grandma or grandpa keep everyone in stitches? Consider using humor during his or her eulogy. If you plan to use humor in your speech, be careful not to mock your family’s matriarch or patriarch. You may laugh at Grandpa's lousy dye job or Grandma’s horrible cooking in private, but mentioning it during the funeral is a bad idea.
1. “Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” — Mark Twain
Consider using this quote by American author Mark Twain for a grandparent who was beloved by all. Use this quote at the beginning of your eulogy to set the tone for your talk.
2. “Death: Nature’s way of making you slow down.” — Evan Esar
This definition of death would make everyone chuckle if your grandparent was known for always being on the move. If your grandparent had many hobbies and energy during his or her later years, this quote would resonate well with the audience.
3. “If my doctor told me I only had six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.” — Isaac Asimov
This quote by author Isaac Asimov is similar to the previous one in theme. Again, consider using this quote if your grandparent always seemed to have a big to-do list.
4. “If life must not be taken too seriously, then so neither must death.” — Samuel Butler
Perhaps your loved one lived life with a laissez-faire attitude. If your grandparent didn’t seem to worry much over the small or big things in life, this quote might be appropriate to use during the eulogy.
5. “Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” — George Bernard Shaw
Do you want to mentally prepare your audience for a funny eulogy? Begin it with this quote, by George Bernard Shaw, whose most famous work was “Pygmalion.” This will begin the speech with just the right tone.
Funny Eulogy Quotes for a Parent
Are you thinking about adding humor to your mom or dad’s eulogy? Here are some funny eulogy poems to use. You may also consider using one of these eulogy quotes for your speech.
If you plan to write about the idiosyncrasies of either your mom or dad, make sure you can do it in a loving, respectful manner. You may use exaggeration in the text of your speech to lighten the mood. For example, you may be able to kindly remark about your mother’s “gift of gab.” You may also want to mention your dad’s penchant for “dad jokes.”
6. “They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad to realize that I’m going to miss mine by just a few days.” — Garrison Keillor
Does this sound like something your mom or dad would say? (Or was this a favorite quote of your mom or dad?) Consider using it during the eulogy. Garrison Keillor is known for his long-time radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion.”
7. “No matter how great a man is, the size of his funeral usually depends on the weather.” — Rosemary Clooney
Did you end up with a crummy day for your mom’s or dad’s funeral? You may begin the eulogy with this quote. Saying something funny about the weather is appropriate in most situations.
8. “No matter who you are, you only get a little slice of the world. Have you ever seen a hearse followed by a U-Haul?” — Billy Graham
Was your parent not into having “stuff?” Explain this philosophy with those attending the funeral.
9. “The sight of a gravestone, weighty not only in its granite, allows us perspective on problems as pressing as burnt toast, taxes, and hay fever.” — Unknown
There’s a lot that can get you down about life. Remind those attending the funeral that life is too short to worry about the little annoyances in life. Many people think about their own mortality when attending a funeral.
10. “Of all the escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient.” — H.L. Mencken
Other escape mechanisms include daydreaming or repression. H.L. Mencken was an American journalist who covered the Scopes Monkey Trial.
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Funny Eulogy Quotes for a Sibling
Sibling relationships are sometimes complicated, and you may need advice online on how to write a eulogy for a brother or a sister.
If you had a positive relationship with your sibling, you might consider using humor when writing the eulogy. Here are some funny quotes to inspire your writing.
11. “I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” — Winston Churchill
Some siblings love ribbing each other. A similar sentiment could be used after your sibling’s death as long as it was presented lovingly.
12. “Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.” — Brendan Gill
Preface your funny eulogy with a statement about the ridiculousness surrounding life. Brendan Gill wrote for “The New Yorker.”
13. “Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint on it you can.” — Danny Kaye
Did your brother or sister live life with gusto? Why not use this quote by Danny Kaye?
14. “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.” — Mark Twain
You can always count on a quote from Mark Twain to get a new perspective on life and death.
15. “According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two! Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” — Jerry Seinfeld
This is a great bit by Jerry Seinfeld, but it may not be appropriate to use during a funeral.
Funny Eulogy Quotes for a Friend
If you are lucky enough to have a friend who shares your same sense of humor, you are truly blessed. Here are some funny eulogy quotes to consider using at a funeral for a friend.
16. “If you are looking for a friend who has no faults, you will have no friends.” — Unknown
A funeral is not usually a time to discuss a person’s faults, but it may be appropriate if you can do it in a loving, comedic manner.
17. “A good belly laugh is like taking your liver for a horseback ride.” — Bonny Clark
Did your friend have the gift for always making people laugh? We love this description of laughter by Bonny Clark.
18. “Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” — Groucho Marx
A skilled writer may work this classic line by Groucho Marx into a friend’s eulogy.
19. “I bet you a hundred bucks he ain’t in here.” — Charles Bancroft Dillingham
Charles Bancroft Dillingham was quoted as saying this line when carrying Harry Houdini’s coffin at the escape artist’s funeral.
20. “Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes.” — Benjamin Franklin
Although you may not think of Benjamin Franklin as a funny person, this quote proves his ready wit. Perhaps you can work this quote into the eulogy of a friend who was an accountant.
Plan Your Own Funeral
Even if you tell your family that you want a “big party” after your death occurs, they will feel odd hosting the event because others may feel it is inappropriate. If you want your send-off to be a lighthearted affair, you need to plan it yourself.
If you are serious that you don’t want a solemn funeral, make your own arrangements. Choose a whimsical casket or urn. Write your own lighthearted obituary. Leave instructions on how you want people to dress for your funeral and pick music with a good dance beat.
If you want to emphasize the “fun” in your funeral, complete an end-of-life plan and share it with those you love.
- Klein, Allen. Winning Words. Portland House. 2002.