DVD REVIEW: Billy Connolly – Live in New York (2010)

BILLY CONNOLLY – Live in New York (2010 Rykodisc DVD)

There are few funnier than singer/comedian Billy Connolly.  My theory is that it’s the Scottish accent.  Live in New York is the funniest comedy DVD that I own. I don’t buy a lot of them, because I find they have a limited lifespan before they get old. I have another Billy as well (Erect For 30 Years), which combines his old standup plus interview and documentary footage. From his Too Old to Die Young tour, Live in New York is the one to get; it’s pure gold.

There isn’t much “standing” in Billy’s stand-up.  He’s mobile, acting out his scenes, rarely stationary.  This was recorded in 2005, before Billy’s Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.  What storytelling ability!  Like a big beast, every story is recreated on stage for your entertainment.

Even though I have seen some of these bits before (Billy scaring his sister is classic), they all come across as if Billy is telling the stories for the first time. Halfway through a story, he will go off on a tangent. He’ll stop his story mid-breath, pause, and then say, “I just have to tell you about something…” Then he’ll tell another story, and come back to his original story 10 minutes later, to much laughter and applause.

Everything’s funny, but some bits here were absolutely hilarious. They include:

  • The afforementioned “sister” story which takes 10 times as much time to set up as the story itself.
  • The stories about his dad who had a stroke. If you have ever had a family member who’s had a severe stroke, then you’ll know. Billy nailed this one on the head, hilariously.
  • The “thistle” tattoo.
  • And best of…opera. You’ll know what I mean when you see it. Billy nails everything I love and hate about opera!

Audio is plain stereo, format is full screen.  No special features; just the show. Billy may be getting old, his hair may be white, but his humour has lost absolutely nothing over the years. This is, in my humble opinion, the very best DVD that Billy has to offer.

5/5 stars and 1 thistle tattoo.

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14 comments

  1. Nice review. I find this man to be hysterical. I haven’t seen a routine in quite awhile, but need to rectify that. I was just laughing thinking about his stuff. And you are right, the way he sets up the jokes is exceptional.

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  2. Saw him live in London, Ontario many years ago (2000?). The best comedy show I ever saw. After about 3 hours he simply stopped the show and said “Get the fuck outta here…”

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Fair enough! Actually Billy was in the original Lemony Snicketts, a good movie.

          Sorry I haven’t been around your site lately. I’ll try to catch up. I find I’m just not having enough hours in the day to do all my own writing and check out everybody’s excellent work. I know I’ve missed good shit too.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Nice. I have a bit of time off still coming, and I’ve been immersed in Star Trek. Episodes and movies. Friday night I did Space Seed. Saturday morning I did The Motion Picture, and last night I did The Wrath of Kahn.

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  3. Hurrah! I love Billy Connolly. One of the very best there has ever been, in my opinion… no bias there at all, either. Comic genius.

    Don’t think I’ve seen this one, so I’ll have a look out for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can you play multi-region? I can look for a cheap copy here!

      You’d probably be amused by a local store we have here called A Touch of Scotland. You walk in, they have all Billy Connolly movies and all sorts of British entertainment on their DVD wall. Then there are all the tartans for sale, and the food items. I always stock up on Jaffa cakes, crab bisque, and mushy peas.

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      1. I rely on the laptop or Xbox for DVD watching since the player chucked it about, eh, many years ago. I don’t know if they support multi-region stuff.

        Sounds like that shop could be any number on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile! Surely you stock up on shortbread!?

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