Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

5 minutes with: Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly is a Scottish comedian, musician and actor. He appears at the National Arts Centre Monday.

Billy Connolly is a Scottish comedian, musician and actor. He appears at the National Arts Centre Monday.

Are Canadian audiences more or less likely to get your jokes?
Oh, more likely. There’s a massive British and Scottish influence in Canada, both from immigration and from television, and so I get the benefit of that. Mind you, I’ve never had a problem anywhere. I just kind of bombard my audience with what I’ve got and they either like it or they don’t. And if they don’t, well, tough, that’s all there is!

You once joked that they could nuke Glasgow and it wouldn’t make any difference. In August, they awarded you the freedom of the city. Did anyone bring that up?
Well, Glasgow can take a joke, thank Christ. You see, in Glasgow, we are blessed by having Edinburgh as our neighbour. Edinburgh is stunningly beautiful and Glasgow is not. We’ve never looked on ourselves as a beautiful place, and the average Glaswegian looks on Glasgow as a funky place. It’s not pretty, but it’s got a certain beauty. I love it, I must say.

Freedom of the city comes with certain ancient privileges, right?
Yes, I can graze my cattle on Glasgow Green, which is a park down the centre of town on the edge of the Clyde. I’m kind of tempted to get a sheep and go and take it there just to see. I have to defend Glasgow if it comes under attack, which I have for many, many years with gay abandon. And if I’m ever put in jail, I’m entitled to a cell of my own. Isn’t that cool?

For your DVD, Journey To The Edge Of The World, you toured Canada’s Far North. What impression did it make on you?

I’ll tell you the most staggering thing about Canada: There’s no bugger there. It’s f---ing empty! We were flying for hours one day over forest and I said to this forest ranger guy, “Finally, I understand what being lost means.” On the fourth hour flying over this forest I thought, holy s---, if you’re lost in there, you’re properly f---ing lost, and he says if you’re lost in there, if we don’t find you in the first 70-odd hours, we’re talking 20 years. By that time your family’s moved away and you’re speaking f---ing wolf.

 
 
Consider AlsoFurther Articles