Billy Connolly, (born November 24, 1942 in Glasgow, Scotland) is a comedian, musician and actor.
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3 Further reading
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Connolly was brought up in the Anderston and later, Partick districts of Glasgow and attended Saint Gerards Secondary School.
He started his working life as a welder in a Glasgow shipyard but left that trade to become a folk singer. Together with Tam Harvey he started a group called the Humblebums. Connolly sang played banjo and guitar and entertained the audience with his humorous introductions to the songs. Eventually the duo broke up and Billy went solo. His first solo album in 1972, Billy Connolly Live! on Transatlantic Records, features Billy as a singer, songwriter and musician. All subsequent albums have been comedy performances with the occasional musical interlude.
It is as a comedian that Billy Connolly is best known. His observational humour is idiosyncratic. He talks about himself, who he is, where he's been, what he thinks and how he reacts to the world around him. He has outraged audiences, crtics and, of course the media, with his free use of the word "fuck". He has used masturbation, blasphemy, defecation, flatulence, sex, his father's illness and his aunts' cruelty to entertain. By exploring these subjects with humour, Connolly has done much to strip away the taboos surrounding them. Yet he does not tell jokes in the conventional way. At the end of a concert the audience can be convulsed with laughter but few can remember a specific "funny" line.
Billy's second wife Pamela Stephenson, has written a biography Billy which outlines his career and life including the sexual abuse by his father that lasted from his tenth to his fourteenth year. Much of the book is about Billy Connolly the celebrity but the account of his early years provides a context for his humour and point of view. A follow-up, Bravemouth, was published in 2003.