Billy Connolly Live: Hammersmith Apollo, London, 2005
Billy Connolly Live: Hammersmith Apollo, London, 2010
Billy Connolly is one of the greatest comic storytellers ever. The Glaswegian comic heavyweight has an imagination that knows no bounds and he can appear at will to make any situation funny. It is a rare gift to have and I can remember listening upstairs in bed to mum and dad laughing loudly downstairs at his first of what has been many now legendary appearances on the Parkinson television chat show in the early seventies.
Over the years I haven’t been able to find anyone who doesn’t find Connolly funny or admire his ability to spin a hilarious yarn at will or craft a comic song. I have managed to see him twice on tour, both times at the Hammersmith Apollo in London in 2005 and 2010. Both shows were crafted magnificently yet simplistic in nature with just a guitar and microphone on stage for company. Connolly is an extraordinarily funny man, a very physical comic and master story teller. At both shows I sat in the audience and actually cried with laughter until I could laugh no more. Connolly seems to appeal to everyone and can say what he likes. He has influenced many great comedians and audience members and makes the art of comedy look effortlessly easy with his philosophical view of life. Because he speaks his mind with rebellious ease, he inspires people through his comic routines. He makes everyone laugh with controversial material about the human condition. He improvises unconventional ad-libs with warmth to challenge the establishment on social and health issues and hypocrisy with wit and above all honesty. His positive outlook on life is inspiring even with recent failing health and never lets it take over his life.
Knighted in 2017, Connolly’s popularity remains enormous, regularly topping lists of favourite comedians and I have been very fortunate to have seen one of the greatest comedians perform live on stage.