R.I.P. Sean Hughes (1965-2017)

Irish comedian Sean Hughes was only 24 when he won the Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s top prize for his 1990 showcase, “A One Night Stand with Sean Hughes.” Hughes returned to Edinburgh this past August with friends for an improvised showcase, “Sean Hughes’s Blank Book.”

Hughes broke through young, and he has died far too young, at only 51. His last Tweet from a week ago told friends and fans he was “In hospital.” He reportedly died Monday from cirrhosis of the liver.

Hughes was a fixture of screens big and small during the 1990s, from a supporting role as a record producer in the film, The Commitments, to his recurring role on the panel of the game show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

He starred in his own sitcom, Sean’s Show, in the early 1990s on Channel 4, and followed that up with a travel series for the BBC called Sean’s Shorts. His other credits included The Last Detective, Coronation Street and Puckoon.

Here are some questions he answered for people who found his page online:

QUESTION: Did you interview Bon Jovi once & get him to kiss you at the end saying “everyone does it” ? ANSWER: No, but I did it to Kylie during an MTV gig I was hosting.
QUESTION: Is that sock dry yet? Did i get the scrambled egg off the saucepan? ANSWER: These are still very much on going questions I ask myself every single day.
QUESTION: Is Sean’s Show available? ANSWER: The first series is available on dvd and on 4od, the second can be found on the site here.
QUESTION: Do you remember me when you nursed in Barnsley as you looked after me?
QUESTION: Why did you stop touring after ‘Alibis for Life’? ANSWER: I ran out of things to say and wanted to write books.
QUESTION: Why do you support Crystal Palace? ANSWER: Because they are by far the greatest team the world has ever seen.
QUESTION: Did you enjoy your acting role in Miss Marple?ANSWER: I enjoyed growing a moustache.
QUESTION: What was your character Pat’s job in Coronation Street? ANSWER: Salesman

Back in 1990, Hughes wrote a guest piece for The Guardian about having just won the Perrier award in Edinburgh. Here’s an excerpt:

I was told that I had won the Perrier award as I walked off stage after another sweaty performance. The judging panel rushed on to the stage to congratulate me. “Will it go to his head?” I doubt it: if the panel had made it 10 minutes earlier they would have seen two people walking out of my award-winning show.

Hughes posted several episodes from his TV shows on his own YouTube page, as well as one of his complete stand-up specials.

His first filmed stand-up special, Live & Seriously Funny!, debuted in 1992:

This episode of Sean’s Show aired originally on Dec. 22, 1993:

The folks at Never Mind the Buzzcocks today put together a tribute reel to Hughes…enjoy!

Hughes also wrote poetry. Here, fittingly, is his poem, “Death.”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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