My tribute to Sean Lock…

Since Sean managed to do what all comics dream of – to leave the circuit behind them – I did not know Sean as well as many comedians, never appearing on any TV shows with him. But I do go back to his very early career and I would like to share a fond memory of him which I hope people will enjoy and relate to.

1994 at the start of the Edinburgh Festival. The previous year had been my big year and I was something of a name in the Scottish capital about to begin my show at the Pleasance. So too was Bill Bailey and Sean Lock in their show called Rock. I admired them both very much – both well ahead of me in any comedy race and having worked at The Comedy Store with them I was excited to see their collaboration.

But it seemed that I was alone. By which I mean I was the only person at their first show and I hadn’t paid. They could have cancelled the show of course and I would have understood. It’s what I would have done. But not these two. They saw the humour in their apparent lack of popularity and since Dom Holland had made the effort, maybe they could run it for me and get my feedback.

To see Sean and Bill do such a thing was thrilling and also humbling. In my head, they were both already big stars and I felt a sense of grievance that no one else thought to come along.

Of course, what lay ahead for them both was glaringly apparent, with Sean and Bill outgrowing the comedy circuit and filling the country’s biggest rooms on their own. And good for them.

My encounters with Sean during his famous days were confined to appearances on charity bills together where I was always excited to see what he had for the audience. I think the best comedians are often the bravest. The comics who don’t compromise their intentions and dare not to ingratiate themselves to an audience. Such comedians can miss on seldom occasions but it means that when they hit, their gigs are special.

Sean was one of these rare comics.

Of all the weekends that I have done at The Comedy Store – Sean is the only comedian I have ever worked with where a bunch of people saw him on the Friday night and came to see him again on the Saturday.

Right there, that’s a plaudit and is testament to Sean’s funny and how much he will be missed by comedians and audiences alike.




7 thoughts on “My tribute to Sean Lock…

  1. Raj says:

    Lovely tribute Dom. For the record I used to come to see both you and Sean at the comedy store on Friday nights and I’d often drag people along to see both of you again on Saturday.

    He was an absolutely brilliant comic though – amazing style and personality. I was remembering his pin-striped suit and how brilliantly he dealt with people who heckled him about it (it looked great but had flared trousers from what I remember) and then read Harry Hill’s tribute where he described giving him that suit.

    A sad loss for us all. He’s gone far to soon but we’ll never forget him.

    Stay well!

  2. Derek Shakespeare says:

    I kind of knew that you’d be posting a tribute to Sean Lock,Dominic. Having seen you all,and so many other comedians, in the earlier stages of your respective careers,it was very encouraging, across the years, to see many of you thrive and come to prominence in the comedy world,if I can so describe it. Certainly I saw some earlier shows from Sean, before he achieved the success of later years,as I also did with yourself. An obvious comedic talent,enjoyed several shows where he wasn’t the headline act,but was certainly a comic to watch out for,at venues around London. It’s truly sad that he’s passed,far too early,leaving behind a family,including three children,as I’ve read elsewhere. R.I.P Sean Lock ?

  3. Sydnee Coleman says:

    This saddens my heart I’m glad that you knew him well enough to make a tribute, especially one so simple and eloquently put, no one writes quite like you. Thank you for sharing Mr. H, and I’m sorry for your friend

  4. Judi Stafford says:

    This is such a lovely tribute. I didn’t meet Sean but I did see him live once and I wasn’t disappointed, very much the opposite. I feel so very lucky to have had that opportunity. I am feeling very sad for his family and friends but it’s wonderful to see the outpouring of love for Sean. Sleep well Sean, you’ve definitely left your mark and won’t be forgotten.

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