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.