Sean Hughes, who has died aged 51, was one of the most important figures in the evolution of modern long-form standup comedy. Until his 1990 Edinburgh festival fringe show, A One Night Stand With Sean Hughes, won the Perrier award for best show, most alternative comedy shows at the fringe were little more than extended comedy club sets, gags shamelessly stitched together. Hughes did something different, weaving a narrative into his performance, which was set in an imaginary bedsit.
Today we think nothing of comedy shows having an emotional arc regarding some personal grief or loss. There is even a joke about it. Comics talk about doing a “dead dad” show. We might not have had these shows without Hughes. His former promoter Richard Bucknall has rightly called him “a pioneering,