By Stuart Laing Dave Morris was born on 5th July 1896, son of Samuel Morris and Lily Reubens. Samuel, a tailor, lived at 110 Wilson Street, Middlesbrough.
His first stage appearance was on 10th December 1908 at the Oxford Playhouse, Middlesbrough and his first London appearance in 1913 at the London, Shoreditch. He claimed he graduated the hard way and sang and entertained in every public house in Manchester. He started with a juvenile troupe, then as a black-face comic. In 1937 he began a nine-year run of summer seasons at Blackpool's north pier, by now working as a northern comic in his famous straw hat and very thick glasses. He had extremely bad eyesight and was not called up. After nine years, he refused to go on playing matinees and his contract was terminated, but despite predictions that he was finished in Blackpool, he transferred to a long run at the Blackpool Palace for George and Alfred Black. He worked as a sketch comic also doing some stand-up material. In 1950 Joe Gladwin joined him as a 'feed' and stayed with him for twelve years.
He maintained he never had a stroke of luck in his life - except to work hard for any success he may have had. He says he never in his life told a joke on stage that he couldn't tell his children. His ambition was to hole out in one at golf and to join the Agent's Association. He was one of the uncrowned kings of Blackpool and was also a favourite on radio.
In 1948, he toured with 'Paradise on Parade' after a summer season at the South Pier, Blackpool. In January 1950, he was resident comedian of the BBC North Country variety feature, 'Variety Fanfare.' The radio series, 'Club Night' was launched in the BBC's Home Service north region on 7th November 1950 where it ran for 52 editions until 6 June 1955. At that time, five editions were broadcast nationally on the Light programme from 1st to 29th September 1955 with ten more from 5 July to 6 September 1956. There were two series of 'Club Night' on television from 9 July to 27 September and from 23 October to 27 November 1957. The programme was set in a fictitious working men's club 'oop north.' With his trademark cigar, straw hat and glasses, Dave Morris was the somewhat loudmouthed 'know all' club treasurer, ably assisted by comedy actor Joe Gladwin as Cedric and by Liverpool comedian Fred Ferris as 'The Wacker' whose primary ambition seemed to be to scrounge a drink. But Morris was the star - the quintessential Blackpool comedian, he was a veteran of northern pubs and clubs. He returned to television for six programmes of the sitcom 'The Artful Dodger' from 28 September to 2 November 1959. Morris has been largely forgotten since his death on 8th June 1960 - partly because of his relative lack of appeal in the south and also because no recordings seem to have survived of him. He was one of the finest northern comedians. Around 1946, Eric Morecambe worked as a feed to Gus Morris, lesser known brother of comedian Dave Morris. 'I was straight man to Gus,' says Morecambe, 'and he was a very good comic. But very northern, very Middlesbrough. Taught me a hell of a lot about timing.' firstname.lastname@example.org