Billy Connolly - tendency of Apr 18

Billy Connolly

Information about Billy Connolly

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In 1974, he sold out the Pavilion Theatre in his home town. In 1975, the rapidity and extent of Connolly's breakthrough was used to secure him a booking on Britain's premier TV chat show, the BBC's Parkinson. Connolly made the most of the opportunity and, ignoring objections from his manager, told a bawdy joke about a man who had murdered his wife and buried her bottom-up so he'd have somewhere to park his bike. This ribald humour was unusually forthright on a primetime Saturday night on British television in the mid-1970s, and his appearance made a great impact. "When I finished that show, I came back to Glasgow, and I was coming through the airport and the whole airport started to applaud. " Connolly became a good friend of the host, Michael Parkinson, and now holds the record for appearances on the programme, having been a guest on fifteen occasions. Referring to that debut appearance, he later said: "That programme changed my entire life. " Parkinson, in the documentary Billy Connolly: Erect for 30 Years, stated that people still remember Connolly telling the punchline to the 'bike joke' three decades after that TV appearance. When asked about the material, Connolly stated, "Yes, it was incredibly edgy for its time. My manager, on the way over, warned me not to do it, but it was a great joke and the interview was going so well, I thought, 'Oh, fuck that!!' I don't know where I got the courage in those days, but Michael did put confidence in me. " Connolly's success spread to other English-speaking countries: Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. However, his broad Scottish accent and British cultural references made success in the US improbable.