Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly


11/24/1942, Anderston, Glasgow, Scotland

Birth Name

William Connolly


out of 10
User Rating
24 votes


Billy was born in 1942 in Glasgow to William (an instrument technician) and Mary (a hospital cafeteria worker). Billy attended St. Gerard's Secondary School in Glasgow. He work as a welder and boiler in the Glasgow shipyards before moving into a career in stand-up comedy and folk singing.…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • A portrait of Billy was commissioned to mark his 60th birthday, painted by renowned Scottish painter, John Byrne.

    • As of 2008, Billy lives in New York with his wife and children.

    • Billy features in the Top 100 wealthiest on the Vocational Rich List; the list of people who have made their fortune with only on-the-job qualifications.

    • Billy met with a young fan in Dublin, as a result of the Share a Dream Foundation ... Janice Burke suffers from Cri-du- Chat Syndrome, and came to the National Theatre in Dublin to meet Billy.

    • Billy contributed a Doodle to the National Doodle Campaign (2008), which auctions off celebrity doodles for charity (The Neurofibromatosis Association).

    • In September 2005, Billy announced he was returning to live in his native Scotland, after residing in the United States for some years.

    • American audiences are generally unfamiliar with Billy's musical accomplishments, since he all but eliminated the songs from his act before he became popular in North America. An exception to this was his guest appearance on "Pearl" in which he sang one of his old songs, "I Wish I Was in Glasgow", in a duet with Malcolm McDowell.

    • In a poll conducted by (channel) Five, Billy was voted 'Britain's Favourite Comedian'. He topped the poll ahead of John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, Dawn French and Peter Cook.

    • Awards
      Billy was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the University of Glasgow on 11 July, 2001. This particularly bemused his wife, who noted that she had studied for six years to obtain her Ph.D., whereas Billy merely had to turn up and collect his. 2003 saw him presented with a BAFTA Lifetime Achievement award and a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
      In 1998 he was nominated for a SAG Award for the movie Mrs. Brown. The category was Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.

    • Billy's nickname is "The Big Yin" or "The Big One".

    • Billy loves ballet, but says he finds it's two thirds too long.

  • Quotes

    • Billy: The human race has been set up. Someone, somewhere, is playing a practical joke on us. Apparently, women need to feel loved to have sex. Men need to have sex to feel loved. How do we ever get started?

    • Billy: Pat and Mick went up the stick and couldna get doon for skelfs. Rough translation: Patrick and Michael climbed up a tree, but couldn't get down because of the splinters.

    • Billy: I'm very big in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Canada and America. It's nice. I have a lovely life, and actually it pays better than the movies. Well, it doesn't pay better than Tom Cruise in the movies. But it pays better than I get. I get bus fare compared to these guys.

    • Billy: I don't have wild dogs chasing people with scripts away from my door. I get my share. I've done okay. But I usually do independent stuff because that's mostly what I'm offered.

    • Billy: I loved Japan. I used to read a lot about it when I was a child. And I always wanted to go. And it was delightful. I absolutely loved it. What a smashing place.

    • Billy: Ally MacLeod thinks that tactics are a new kind of mint.

    • Billy: American sex shops are the most bizarre. They sell these inflatable dolls, but they also sell just the head -- supposedly for people to drive along the highway with.

    • Billy: I don't believe in angels, no. . . . But I do have a wee parking angel. It's on my dashboard and you wind it up. The wings flap and it's supposed to give you a parking space. It's worked so far.

    • Billy: I'm famous for my bottom dances, but you'll only see my bum and willy if you raise a million pounds within an hour.

    • Billy: I'd always been scared of people with tertiary education and high intellects in case they found me wanting. I thought they viewed me as just a welder who knew a few jokes.

    • Billy: I'm a citizen of the world. I like it that way. The world's a wonderful. I just think that some people are pretty badly represented. But when you speak to the people themselves they're delightful. They all want so little.

    • Billy: I've always liked it here. Part of me is Irish. . . . My family comes from the west coast, so whenever I come to Ireland I get a wee tingling in my heart that I'm where I belong.

    • Billy: My parents used to take me to the pet department and tell me it was a zoo.

    • Billy: I have been made redundant before and it is a terrible blow; redundant is a rotten word because it makes you think you are useless.

    • Billy: The great thing about Glasgow is that if there's a nuclear attack it'll look exactly the same afterwards.

    • Billy: I think my securities far outweigh my insecurities. I am not nearly as afraid of myself and my imagination as I used to be.

    • Billy: If Jesus was a Jew, how come he has a Mexican first name?

    • Billy: I've always wanted to go to Switzerland to see what the army does with those wee red knives.

    • Billy: What always staggers me is that when people blow their noses, they always look into their hankies to see what came out. What do they expect to find?

    • Billy: I don't believe in angels and I have trouble with the whole God thing. I don't want to say I don't believe in God, but I don't think I do. But I believe in people who do.

    • Billy: There are two seasons in Scotland: June and winter.

    • Billy: Marriage is a wonderful invention: then again, so is a bicycle repair kit.

    • Billy: It seems to me that Islam and Christianity and Judaism all have the same god, and he's telling them all different things.

    • Billy: Never trust a man, who when left alone with a tea cosey... Doesn't try it on.

    • Billy: I worry about ridiculous things, you know, how does a guy who drives a snowplough get to work in the morning. . . . That can keep me awake for days...

    • Billy: (In New York, 2005) ...A thought has come into my head...
      (One person claps)
      Billy: Oh, someone bought a seal to the show! what a caring person! You might see a ball bobing up and down, and a faint aroma of fish!

    • Billy: The human race has been set up. Someone, somewhere, is playing a practical joke on us. Apparently, women need to feel loved to have sex. Men need to have sex to feel loved. How do we ever get started?

    • Billy: Some people have a mirror above the bed to watch themselves doing it. But I'm such an ugly bastard, I don't want to see a big white arse moving up and down.

    • Billy: Oh Father would thrash me every now and then. He'd talk while he did it too! He'd hit me and shout, 'Have ye had enough?' Had enough? What kind of question is that? 'Why, Father, would another kick in the balls be out of the question???'

    • Billy: Save the Trees?...Trees are the main cause of forest fires!

    • Billy: Scottish-Americans tell you that if you want to identify tartans, it's easy - you simply look under the kilt, and if it's a quarter-pounder, you know it's a McDonald's.

    • Billy: So, have you heard about the oyster who went to a disco and pulled a mussel?

    • Billy: I'm much bigger in Britain than I am there. I'm well-known, but my name's That Guy in America...People shout: "Hey, I know you! You're That Guy!

    • Billy: Who discovered we could get milk from cows, and what did he think he was doing at the time?

    • Billy: I love Los Angeles. It reinvents itself every two days.

    • Billy: Marriage is a wonderful invention: then again, so is a bicycle repair kit.

    • Billy: The great thing about Glasgow is that if there's a nuclear attack it'll look exactly the same afterwards.

    • Billy: Time is a waste of life
      Life is a waste of time
      Get wasted all the time
      And you'll have the time of your life

  • One of the few comdian's who doesn't work with a script, who just goes out there and talks and some how it's funny.

    The best comdian in the world, I think. This is a man who came from a background of being a welder in Glasgow, and yet it was his love of music that made him get out there and do something different. His music was what made him be who he is today. However he wasn't very good at remembering the lyrics, and wound up telling amusing stories to the audience about what the song was all about. That appears to what made him a comidian; he continued to tour about with his band and the musical score became less important with more people wanting to hear from Billy.

    He's the son of Glasgow, The Big Yin and in a way he's put Glasgow on the map.

    In his own right he has come through the tirbulant times of his past and he's at a brilliant place right now.

    All hail the Big Yin!moreless