Happy Birthday Big Yin!
December 3, 2007 6:52 AM   Subscribe

Billy At 65: I owe it all to Glasgow. But Glasgow and Scots in general owe Billy Connolly for all the laughs at our own expense...Tourism, Economy, Music, Religion, Sport, Social life, Education, Language, Cuisine, History, Transport and Sex. (Rampant YouTubery: All links potentially offensive and NSFW)

For full appreciation and understanding of the Scottish vernacular you may need to refer to the this eg repeated use of the word Jobby.
posted by brautigan (26 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Brilliant! Thanks for this.
posted by psmealey at 7:20 AM on December 3, 2007


"Don't live a little, live a Lotto"

Perhaps I shouldn’t be saying this but aren’t you the same as me, don’t you wish he would get on with it and retire.
posted by seanyboy at 7:26 AM on December 3, 2007


Probably a fair enough point, but the bits from his younger days are still hysterically funny.
posted by psmealey at 7:30 AM on December 3, 2007


And at the end of the day, *nobody* can swear like Billy Connolly. God, I wish I could find the bit about the Big Slipper....
posted by forallmankind at 7:38 AM on December 3, 2007


"Aberdeenshire home" my arse.
posted by fire&wings at 7:44 AM on December 3, 2007


This is great. I needed some Connolly today.
posted by mosessis at 7:54 AM on December 3, 2007


I remember watching this when I was fourteen and laughing as hard as I ever have. Painful, gasping for air, convulsive laughing. Thanks for the clips.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:57 AM on December 3, 2007


Um, I mean "this".
posted by Bookhouse at 7:57 AM on December 3, 2007


From the first article:

"In Washington, some guy threw a pipe and it hit me right between my eyes," he told Michael Parkinson two years later. "They made me feel about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit."

I remember that show! One of the other guests was Angie Dickinson, already a little bemused at the language being used by Billy Connolly on national television, she completely fell apart with laughter at that line.
posted by ceri richard at 7:58 AM on December 3, 2007


I am the same as you. I wish he'd retired years ago.
posted by rhymer at 8:02 AM on December 3, 2007


Great post brautigan. But ye cannae let a BC post go by without a little D.I.V.O.R.C.E. :-)
posted by ceri richard at 8:03 AM on December 3, 2007


One of my clearest and fondest memories of being a child is putting a much-scratched LP of 'Billy Connolly Live at the Tudor Hotel in Coatbridge' on my dad's record player very early one Sunday morning hoping that we wouldn't get caught.

My sister and I sneaked up to the big teak Waltham Record player and sat by a speaker each, listening to the illicit (as it was sweary) record with the volume down really low, hoping that we wouldn't disturb my parents who were still asleep. The revelatory joy of hearing the Jobby Weecha is indescribable. We sat there, in tears, laughing so hard listening to a guy who spoke in the same accent as us (a rarity to hear anyone speak in anything like a Glaswegian accent on either the tv or radio in the early 80s) that I am still unsure why we didn't get caught.

Being children, we couldn't hide our delight at hearing a grown man who go on a surreal flight of the imagination about what happens to all the jobbies on a plane. Connolly's theory about a 'jobby weecha' (basically a ladle on a spring that fired the jobbies from the plane) is still one of the funniest things I can remember and thinking about it now makes me chuckle.

So, aye, I could have a snidey dig about how he's not funny any more, should stop going on about the shipyards (he was there for about a fortnight) and he should have gave up years ago blah blah blah but he has a genius for making people laugh that is truly remarkable. I can think of many comedians who are funny, absurd or whathaveyou but Connolly can make everyone and anyone laugh from the daftest to the smartest person in the room, from weans to pensioners. His early comedy in particular wasn't about being the smartest or sneering at the daftest, it's about the sheer absurdity of life. At it's best, Connolly's comedy is totally life-affirming.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 8:04 AM on December 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


"Don't Live a Little... Live a Lotto!"... Never forget, never forgive.
Oh and crawling up to the Royals and toffs in general at any chance he got, and the god-damn awful US sitcom he made (actually I think there was more than one) and droning on an and on about what a hard life he's had and how he beat alcoholism and how great Scotland and what great salt of the earth people they are from his mansion in California... yes, I wished he retired years ago (or at least was still drinking)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:11 AM on December 3, 2007


So, aye, I could have a snidey dig about how he's not funny any more

OK, I'll do it for you. He really *isn't* funny any more. In his prime, he could make me weep bucketloads with laughter. Today, he's just not funny. And his purple beard makes him look like a cunt.

Living in LA will do that to you though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:22 AM on December 3, 2007


Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. Billy is one of my greatest heroes.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:04 AM on December 3, 2007


fearfulsymmetry writes "and the god-damn awful US sitcom he made (actually I think there was more than one)"

He replaced Howard Hessman on Head of the Class - already not a great sitcom, but it got worse with Connolly.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:13 AM on December 3, 2007


krinklyfig, Head of the Class... yeah, there was also Billy, the one I really remember, which the IMDB tells me was a spin-off.

At one point I thought he had the potential to actually make the move to serious acting - check him out in the The Big Man and he puts in a really good performance - but after that he seemed to settle for novelty roles and camping it up in likes of Mrs Brown.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:28 AM on December 3, 2007


Fact: People who don't like Billy Connolly are pirates, rogues, thieves and ne'erdowells.
posted by Jofus at 9:52 AM on December 3, 2007


novelty roles and camping it up in likes of Mrs Brown

I don't know if we saw the same Mrs Brown, but he was excellent in the one I saw.
posted by psmealey at 10:11 AM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


One of my most enjoyable memories of living in Austin was being over at a friend's house one evening. Said friend was from Edinburgh, was showing me the difference between "proper Whiskey" and the crap they sell in the US, and sat everyone down to watch DVDs of some guy named Billy Connolly.

I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life.
posted by mrbill at 12:39 PM on December 3, 2007


Jofus writes "Fact: People who don't like Billy Connolly are pirates, rogues, thieves and ne'erdowells."

I like him a lot. As others have mentioned, his earlier stand-up was outstanding. I wish he had found a better home on American tv, like Craig Ferguson on the Late, Late Show. That might have been a good role for him ...
posted by krinklyfig at 1:42 PM on December 3, 2007


Fact: People who don't like Billy Connolly are pirates, rogues, thieves and ne'erdowells.
Yarrr!
posted by seanyboy at 4:48 PM on December 3, 2007


Jesus, Bookhouse. That link needs a warning. I cried, I snorted, I laughed so hard I woke up my wife in the next room. Now I'm in trouble but it was worth it.
posted by quite unimportant at 9:46 PM on December 3, 2007


I saw a bit once on the youtubes where he sang a song with Sting. I wish I could find it again, it was priceless.
posted by ericales at 4:41 AM on December 4, 2007


This post has got me searching for a bit he did on learning how to masturbate as a kid -- it isn't the clip of him in the striped jacket that comes up with "billy connolly masturbation."

God, that's a phrase I've never expected to type.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:14 AM on December 4, 2007


Is he still dying his beard? Could someone not jsut repeatly punch him in the face until he stops? Cheers.
posted by Artw at 3:37 PM on December 4, 2007


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