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NPR Arts & Life

Billy Connolly's Funny, But Not Clever, Comedy

Comedian Billy Connolly received that Outstanding Contribution to Television and Film Award at the 2012 BAFTA Awards in Scotland.
Comedian Billy Connolly received that Outstanding Contribution to Television and Film Award at the 2012 BAFTA Awards in Scotland.

Scottish comedian and actor Billy Connolly has been performing for over 50 years, and says he has no plans of stopping.

He starred in the '80s TV sitcom Head of the Class, co-starred with Judy Dench in the 1997 film Mrs. Brownand the 1999 film The Boondock Saints. More recently, he stars in Dustin Hoffman's film Quartet and he plays a dwarf king in The Hobbit.

What he loves to do most, is stand-up comedy. He summed up his style of comedy to the San Francisco Chronicle: "I believe in funny, not clever.... If I hear someone described as clever, I won't buy a ticket."

He talks with NPR's Neal Conan about his signature style and the aspects of humor that don't translate between Scotland and the United States.

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