Stag Nights | David Mitchell’s Soapbox

Stag Nights | David Mitchell’s Soapbox


Stag nights. Now the stag night is a totally invented tradition. But that’s ok, so are lots of basically good things like Christmas cards and Scottish tartans. And I suppose come to that, so ultimately are weddings, Christmas and Scotland. Every tradition having to start somewhere after all. So I’ve nothing against the non-traditional traditional stag night. The groom and some men he knows getting either joyfully or maudlinly drunk in a pub together, depending on the coldness of the groom’s feet. But of course that’s not how stag nights are anymore. Nowadays there’s always an activity involved. Generally paint-balling, quad biking or something else in which the groom has had absolutely no prior interest. And indeed has probably never done before, except at other people’s stag nights. And it’s not an evening anymore, it’s a weekend. And it’s certainly not in the local pub, or the place nearest to the middle of where all the invitees live. It’s in bloody Tallinn. I have nothing against Tallinn, and nothing for Tallinn. I barely know where Tallinn is. But if I wanted to go on holiday there, or to Prague, or Las Vegas, or wherever else, I’d organize it for myself and probably, lovely chaps though I’m sure they are, I wouldn’t elect to go with ten other men, two of whom I know quite well, three of whom are acquaintances, and five of whom I’ve never met, but are old friends of one of the ones I know quite well. That’s a weird holiday dynamic. When you invite people to a stag or hen night like that, unless I suppose you’re offering to pay for everyone, you’re essentially asking for everyone to take and pay for a not particularly bargain break in celebration of you. And we’re already coming to your wedding. The problem lies in the arrogance of trying to be unique. Now that not everyone simply goes to the pub, the pressure is on each new groom to prove his wedding, and by extension he himself, are so special that only ten days white water rafting in a paddle steamer crewed by strippers can adequately reflect it. Whereas, of course it doesn’t work like that. If you’re boring, no amount of high-speed water prostitution will save you. If you’re not, then a night in the pub with your friends will be great. This is only a brief personal note to my friends Mike, Peter, Chris and Robert Webb. Obviously, I’m not talking about your dos, they were the exceptions that proved the rule I had a brilliant time, Tallinn’s great.

100 Replies to “Stag Nights | David Mitchell’s Soapbox”

  1. Wouldn't the female equivalent of a "stag night" be a "doe night"? I mean, if it's a "hen night" wouldn't the male equivalent then be a , "cock night"? Maybe that would be too apropos or something.

  2. Surely britons partying in the admirable Tallinn's Old Town will eventually notice that besides cheap beer, we also have nice, educated, intelligent people here. They must if they are intelligent themselves!

  3. I recently took part in a stag night for a good friend of mine.We went to a disco club,which did a burlesque show,all dressed like sharp dandies of the victorian era and had a blast.Nice,simple,fun.Even the non-nerds among us had fun

  4. @richardcadbury I actually like the bulldog products though. Their moisturiser smells pleasant and is soothing after a shave.

  5. Forgot an N! But having lived there for 4 years I can see why, granted there are MANY much worse places in the world.

  6. Holy shit, did the mention Tallinn? The Estonian in me got kind of excited for some reason. Probably because I haven't really heard anyone outside my country ever say it.

  7. Why do american's think the whole of Europe can be categorised as if it is all one big place? Almost every country in Europe is entirely different from another.

  8. HA! I am going on a stag weekend this weekend and I am one of the people that the groom has never met but I'm a friend of one of the people who he knows quite well. What David has outlined here is essentially the experience we will have, except I am confident that it will be thoroughly awesome.

  9. I've read that us Finns aren't the worst behaved tourists in Tallinn since the Brits discovered the place. Cheers to that.

  10. Nope because I didn't say south americans. I'll just say yanks in future to avoid confusion.
    I checked out your channel and noticed some dayz videos. I play dayz too. Do you play with someone from liverpool? Or is that you with the scouse accent?

  11. Feck i didn't think i'd ever speak to another scouse dayz player haha. All my mates are console players. You wana play together some time? We could steal some cars and live up the the scouser stereotype 🙂

  12. Worst one I went to there was 3 of us. The groom. Me (a friend of the bride). And another bloke (husband of another friend of the bride). He was so boring even his 'best man' didn't turn up for the do. 3 Blokes who never hung out together desperately trying to make it to 11pm so it didn't look like the worst night out ever.

  13. I hate the Brits when they are out on their stag nights. I've seen them in Slovakia screaming, vomiting, being lewd and completely disrespectful of everyone around them (especially the women). Running around naked, pissing in historic fountains, and being arrogant douchebags in general. Sometime justice is served, after having harassed someones girlfriend for too long they land up getting their soft overweight asses flattened. I wish people could just be polite in society.

  14. On behalf of Britain I'd like to apologise for the amount of drunken arseholes we have in our country. We're not all like that, and I'd even go as far as to say those of us who aren't like that also look at these douchebags with contempt (as they give us a bad name).

  15. No apology needed, I don't mean to generalize for the entire country. I've visited Britain, lovely place! However, the guys that go out on stag nights are really a problem.

  16. NOOOOOO. Stag night is the last chance you will ever have to hang out with your friends that your new wife hates. Trust that.

  17. Poor choice of wife or severe loss of balls can lead to what you described. Although feminism claims to want equal rights it's really about female supremacy so stay away from one that pretends to want equal rights.

  18. Went to a stag night a month or so ago, was pretty decent at the dog races but we weren't allowed in any clubs uptown in Wimbledon without bringing women as well… what

  19. I've looked at at Slovakia on google maps and it looks great. So tidy! Can I as an EU person go to live there? I promise not to piss in any historic fountains.

  20. What a pleasant surprise! Yes it lovely, lots of castles, palaces and mountains. Yes you can, Slovakia has been a member of the EU since 2004, so you have full rights to live and work there. I would recommend visiting first, just to check the place out. I live in Denmark now, but plan on moving back to Slovakia, there seems to be a lot more opportunity for a foreigner there.

  21. That's because you're still stuck at school having geography pushed down your throat. Hang on, don't you have some homework to finish? 😛

  22. Ditto on bachelorette's! If you haven't got money to burn, weddings are shocking budgetary impositions- doubly, or even triply, so if they "ask" you to be in the wedding party. And then the bride doesn't get what she wants, because her family are jerks, etc., etc. but she can't blame them so she gets angry at you and in the end you've spent a lot of money on a terrible party and don't even want to see that person anymore because she blames you for nonsense. It's an awful, meaningless fantasy.

  23. Watching this from Tallinn. Everybody here hates the British and their loud and annoying stag parties. Please stop coming here to get drunk and act like idiots.

  24. Clubs often don't let in large groups of men without accompanying women, because they want to keep the ratio good. The trick is, if you are a large group of men, to pretend not to be. They won't ban several groups of 2 or 3 guys. Just split up for the getting in part.

  25. I found on a recent trip to York for a stag do you can use this in reverse to your advantage – every time some idiot wants us all to go into an awful nightclub ensure you're as large and rowdy a group as possible then the bouncers won't let you in. No Yates' Wine Lodge for us lads, what a tragedy.

  26. Haha! Genius. Yeah, I don't really like clubs at all either. And I go so infrequently, that I forget how much I dislike them, so that in the odd occasion that one of my less reserved friends says, "Hey, let's go clubbing this Saturday!" I say, "Yeah, all right." And then hate myself all night.

  27. I find that as a rule it's a good plan to only go to nightclubs that have a band or DJ on you would specifically pay to see live. Otherwise it's Bill Hicks time, sat in the corner like a camel, filling up his hump of hate.

  28. I'm from Tallinn…. just gotta say this cause I freaked out seeing this.For some weird reason I'm just so happy that my city was mentioned And Tallinn is in Estonia. There is Finland in the North, Russia in East and Latvia in South…

  29. It is possible for different people to accumulate varying areas of knowledge. I expect I definitely knew about things at 14 that you will never know, and others will learn further nuggets of information that I shall always be ignorant of. It's down to the person and where their interests lie, and also down to luck of the draw. Knowledge is NOT a measurement of intelligence, and certainly not to be bragged about. I do know however, that you are an especially stupid and boastful 14 year old.

  30. It's part of the joke you absolute idiot! He's making a joke about the fact that Tallinn is a very unknown place or something similar to that. He does this alot. Don't watch David Mitchell videos if you don't understand them you cretin. Your 14 year old brain can't handle Mitchell's knowledge.

  31. I'm ashamed of you David…
    'the exception which proved the rule' means 'the exception which tested the rule' as in 'proving grounds'

  32. Nope. The real saying is "exception that proves the rule, in cases not excepted." It is a legal phrase, not a logical one. If there is a rule which says "media with a gold badge are allowed backstage", then this exception offers support to the idea (proves) that in the general case the media is not allowed backstage – otherwise, you wouldn't need the exception. David still used it incorrectly, but your interpretation is wrong.

  33. "Totally invented tradition"
    Uh… All traditions were invented at some point. The tons of international days of whatever, the saturday D&D gathering, the sunday mass, the Halloween…
    Everything is totally invented. You're just an annoying guy bitching about random stuff that people are entirely free to do and are none of your fucking business.

    Shut the fuck up.

  34. And all the bridal party spats because one girl can't spend thousands of dollars to go to Las Vegas for the bachelorette and take 2 weeks off work for the whole wedding deal! It's okay to just drive downtown with your best friends and have a perfectly normal night.

  35. Since when are grooms planning those themselves? Around here the groom doesnt even know it's coming until his friends are at his doorstep. Only his fiancé is in on this so he doesnt have something to do on that day.

  36. I like David Mitchell, and continue on to do so, but you don't shit-mouth the medieval fantasy wonderland of Tallinn without losing points in my mind. How dare he!

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