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Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly, (born November 24, 1942 in Glasgow, Scotland) is a comedian, musician and actor.

Connolly was brought up in the Anderston[?] and later, Partick districts of Glasgow and attended Saint Gerards Secondary School. He started his working life as a welder in a Glasgow shipyard but left that trade to become a folk singer. Together with Tam Harvey[?] he started a group called the Humblebums. Connolly sang played banjo and guitar and entertained the audience with his humorous introductions to the songs. Eventually the duo broke up and Billy went solo. His first solo album in 1972, Billy Connolly Live! on Transatlantic[?] records, features Billy as a singer, songwriter and musician. But all subsequent albums have been comedy performances with the occasional musical interlude.

It is as a comedian that Billy Connolly has contributed to the human race. His humour is idiosyncratic. It is about him, who he is where he's been, what he thinks and how he reacts to the world around him. Nobody can attend a Connolly concert and remain untouched by his personality. He has outraged audiences with his free use of "four letter' words. He has used masturbation, blasphemy, shitting, farting, shagging, his father's illness and his aunts' cruelty to entertain. By exploring these subjects with humour, Connolly has done much to strip away the taboos surrounding these subjects. After a while, "fuck it" sounds like a natural reaction to an insoluble problem. Yet he does not tell jokes in the conventional way. At the end of a concert the audience can be convulsed with laughter but few can remember a specific "funny" line.

Billy's second wife Pamela Stephenson has written a biography Billy which outlines his career and life including the sexual abuse by his father that lasted from his tenth to his fourteenth year. Much of the book is about Billy Connollly the celebrity but the account of his early years provides a context for his humour and point of view.

Table of contents


Billy Connolly was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by the University of Glasgow on July 11, 2002.

Further reading


  • The Man Who Sued God, 2001
  • Still Crazy, 1998
  • Beverly Hills Ninja, 1997
  • Mrs. Brown, 1997
  • Muppet Treasure Island, 1996
  • Deacon Brodie, 1996
  • Down Amongst the Big Boys, 1995
  • Pocahontas, 1995
  • Indecent Proposal, 1993
  • The Big Man, 1991
  • Crossing the Line, 1991
  • The Return of the Musketeers, 1989
  • Water, 1985
  • Blue Money, 1984
  • Bullshot, 1983
  • The Secret Policeman's Other Ball, 1982
  • Absolution, 1981
  • The Elephant's Graveyard, 1976
  • Just Another Saturday, 1975

External links

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