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Tall Tales and Wee Stories: The Best of Billy Connolly Paperback – Illustrated, 17 Sept. 2020
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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.
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
Outrageously funny story-telling from the nation's favourite comedian.
Tall Tales and Wee Stories brings together the 'Best of Billy Connolly'.
'One of stand-up's great naturals. No one told a story better.' Guardian
- Publisher : Two Roads; Illustrated edition (17 Sept. 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1529361362
- ISBN-13 : 978-1529361360
- Dimensions : 12.7 x 2.22 x 19.69 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I remember rolling in agony on the floor,listening to those albums,and even when he appeared on TV,it was the same.He made me laugh,sometimes without him even speaking.
HOWEVER,when you see these jokes and stories in print,complete with written down vocal sound effects,it loses all it effect .Billy,you cant write a fart down on paper.Its not funny.
I was disappointed to see a large part of 'An Audience with Billy Connolly'which I've long regarded as a masterpiece of comedy included,especially the 'Incontinence Trousers' sketch.To see it written down,in words,on paper is not the same.Billy is a visual comic.The effect of all this is that I literally know whats coming next,and if I'd known what the content was,I definitely would not have bought this book.Sorry,Big Yin.
Edit: Just finished the book and was disappointed to read the entire 'Crucifixion' sketch written down.Raised not a titter from yours truly.Billys material does not transfer to text very well.AND,I'm aware that he's been known to swear just a bit,but to see every single expletive written down? WellI found it boring,if I'm honest.
The stories are just the right length and i love how Billy, unapologetically, just drifts, seamlessly, from subject to subject and off on tangents during a story. It had me in fits of giggles. You have his voice in your head, throughot the whole book, telling a wee story or a tall tale just for you.
You HAVE to buy this book. I just hope at some point, he agrees to recording the audio version.
Thanks to yourself and Pamela for bringing this gem into being.The sex life of bandages was magic and this book has ensured my laughing muscles will be aching a good few days more.A legend (and not a bad welder either) all the best to you and yours.