My Comedy Hero: Martin Mor on Hovis Presley
Martin Mor praises the late Hovis Presly, the 'only genuis comic' he has ever worked with
My comedy hero is the late great Hovis Presley. Now I realise that a lot of people reading this won’t know who he is, but I would say of all the acts that I have worked with during my career (and I have worked with most of the UK’s big names), Hovis was the only one that could be described as a genius.
He performed poetry that was at once heartbreakingly sad, and hilariously funny, and became a bit of a cult figure in the early days of the Manchester comedy scene. I was lucky to become good friends with him. In those early days we would be performing in rooms above pubs, often to audiences who had never seen live comedy before. Never a natural performer, and often plagued by nerves, Hovis’ brilliant material would steal any show. Even when the chance came for him to move on to bigger things, he still stayed true to his roots and kept performing in the small venues that he loved.
Hovis died tragically in 2005 at the age of 45 leaving behind only a couple of clips on YouTube, and a great little book of his poetry, Poetic Off Licence. I often re-read my very dog-eared copy just to remind myself that this is the height that the bar was raised to. The biggest compliment that comedians can pay another comedian is to say that they would pay to see them (we get into gigs for free). I would pay anything to see Hovis Presley again.
The Stand, Edinburgh, Thu 13-Sat 15 Jun; The Stand, Glasgow, Thu 11-Sat 13 Jul