Tall Tales and Wee Stories : The Best of Billy Connolly
About the book
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Connolly's raucous run through his life is as furious, funny and foul-mouthed as you'd expect' Sunday Times In December 2018, after fifty years of belly-laughs, energy and outrage, Billy Connolly announced his retirement from live stand-up comedy. It had been an extraordinary career. When he first started out in the late sixties, Billy played the banjo in the folk clubs of Scotland. Between songs, he would improvise a bit, telling anecdotes from the Clyde shipyard where he'd worked. In the process, he made all kinds of discoveries about what audiences found funny, from his own brilliant mimes to the power of speaking irreverently about politics or explicitly about sex. He began to understand the craft of great storytelling. Soon the songs became shorter and the monologues longer, and Billy quickly became recognised as one of the most exciting comedians of his generation. Billy's routines always felt spontaneous. He never wrote scripts, always creating his comedy freshly on stage in the presence of a live audience. A brilliant comic story might be subsequently discarded, adapted or embellished. A quick observation or short anecdote one night, could become a twenty-minute segment by the next night of a tour. Billy always brought a beautiful sense of the absurd to his shows as he riffed on his family, hecklers, swimming in the North Sea or naked bungee jumping. But his comedy can be laced with anger too. He hates pretentiousness and calls out hypocrisy wherever he sees it. His insights about the human condition have shocked many people, while his unique talent and startling appearance on stage gave him license to say anything he damn well pleased about sex, politics or religion. Billy got away with it because he has always had the popular touch. His comedy spans generations and different social tribes in a way that few others have ever managed. Tall Tales and Wee Stories brings together the very best of Billy's storytelling for the first time and includes his most famous routines including, The Last Supper, Jojoba Shampoo, Incontinence Pants and Shouting at Wildebeest. With an introduction and original illustrations by Billy throughout, it is an inspirational, energetic and riotously funny read, and a fitting celebration of our greatest ever comedian.
A read that entirely fits the personality of the extreme personality who wrote it, Connolly's raucous run through his life is as furious, funny and foul-mouthed as you'd expect. His stand-up knack for easy storytelling shines through * Sunday Times * Wild and whirling . . . it reads like a talking book * Observer * Connolly's writing is so much like his speech you can hear him as you read. * Evening Standard * A glorious memoir full of insights into the funnyman's life and career. Hilarious. * Prima * The Big Yin Bible * The List * A very humorous read * Daily Stock Dish * One of stand-up's great naturals. No one told a story better. * Guardian * Raucous and side-splitting * Yours * Wry, sometimes sacrilegious, often absurd and outrageously funny * The Senior AU * Gloriously, unashamedly peppered with swearing, bodily functions and drunken behaviour . . . you will laugh, guffaw and snort your way through this remarkable book * The Wee Review * Bracingly sweary, robustly rude and brilliantly original, this is essential reading for fans of the Big Yin. * Daily Mail * This book brings together the best of his stories...and offers something of a potted history of a life of spontaneous performance on stage. * Irish Independent Review *
Billy Connolly Biography
Sir William Connolly (born 24 November 1942) is a Scottish actor, retired comedian, artist, writer, musician, and presenter. He is sometimes known, especially in his homeland, by the Scots nickname the Big Yin ("the Big One"). Known for his idiosyncratic and often improvised observational comedy, frequently including strong language, Connolly has topped many UK polls as the greatest stand-up comedian of all time. In 2022 he received the BAFTA Fellowship for lifetime achievement from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Connolly's trade, in the early 1960s, was that of a welder (specifically a boilermaker) in the Glasgow shipyards, but he gave it up towards the end of the decade to pursue a career as a folk singer. He first sang in the folk rock band The Humblebums with Gerry Rafferty and Tam Harvey, with whom he stayed until 1974, before beginning singing as a solo artist. In the early 1970s, Connolly made the transition from folk singer with a comedic persona to fully-fledged comedian, for which he is now best known. In 1972, he made his theatrical debut, at the Cottage Theatre in Cumbernauld, with a revue called Connolly's Glasgow Flourish. He also played the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In 1972, Connolly's first solo album, Billy Connolly Live!, was produced, with a mixture of comedic songs and short monologues. In 1975 he topped the UK Singles Chart with "D.I.V.O.R.C.E."As an actor, Connolly has appeared in various films, including Indecent Proposal (1993), Pocahontas (1995), Muppet Treasure Island (1996), Mrs Brown (1997) (for which he was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role), The Boondock Saints (1999), The Last Samurai (2003), Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008), Brave (2012), and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014). On his 75th birthday in 2017, three portraits of Connolly were made by leading artists Jack Vettriano, John Byrne, and Rachel Maclean. These were later turned into part of Glasgow's official mural trail. In October that year, he was knighted at Buckingham Palace by Prince William, for services to entertainment and charity. Connolly announced his retirement from comedy in 2018, and in recent years he has established himself as an artist. In 2020, he unveiled the fifth release from his Born On A Rainy Day collection in London, followed by another installment later that year. During the filming of the ITV documentary Billy Connolly: It's Been a Pleasure, he described how art had given him "a new lease of life".
Early lifeConnolly was born on 24 November 1942 at 69 Dover Street, "on the linoleum, three floors up", in Anderston, Glasgow. This section of Dover Street, between Breadalbane and Claremont streets, was demolished in the 1970s. Connolly refers to this in his 1983 song "I Wish I Was in Glasgow" with the lines "I would take you there and show you but they've pulled the building down" and "they bulldozed ... Read full biography
|Publisher:||John Murray Press|
|Languages:||| English ||
|Illustrations:||Original illustrations by Billy Connolly|
|Publication date:||Nov. 17, 2020|
|First Publication Date:||None|
|Publication City/Country:||United Kingdom|