The Perrier Award-winning stand-up Sean Hughes has died from suspected liver problems, leaving an enormous hole in the comedy fraternity. At 51, Hughes outlived his hero and friend Bill Hicks by almost two decades, but his passing will still feel premature to fellow comics and fans alike.
The Irishman was best known for his appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and his own sitcom, Sean's Show. He was booked to perform in London on Saturday night curating The Blank Book, an innovative storytelling format he helped devise, at the Soho Theatre.
His anecdotal style of comedy is best enjoyed in longer form. But we have picked out a few of his best one-liners for you to enjoy.
- "I failed my driving test for stalling. The instructor said: 'Just get into the f**king car."
- "Everyone grows out of their Morrissey phase... except for Morrissey."
- "I thought when I was 41, I would be married with kids. Well, to be honest I thought I would be married with weekend access.
- "Every year in Finsbury Park they have this festival of Irish culture in London and it was brilliant the first year because they had some Irish acts on."
- "I know that the English always say that Irish pubs are so friendly. Let me tell you something: we don't even know you're there."
- "I went to the hospital with my psoriasis. They gave me a DVD of The Singing Detective and said 'Good luck with your life.'"
Here is a video of Sean performing at the height of his powers in 1990, the year he won stand-ups' biggest prize, the Perrier Award (now known simply as the Edinburgh Award).
Here he is being risque with Boy George and Noddy Holder on Never Mind the Buzzcocks:
British Comedy Award nominated Sean's show:
Fellow comedians and writers also paid tribute the Hughes following his death. Jason Manford said via Twitter: "Very sad to hear about Sean Hughes. A brilliant comic and a lovely bloke. RIP."
Sarah Millican added: "So sad to hear of Sean Hughes death. He was the first comic I ever saw live. A very funny man. Awful news."