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Billy Connolly: Live In New York

Rykodisc // Unrated // May 30, 2006
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted May 26, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

Spend more than, say, three minutes in the virtual company of Mr. Billy Connolly, and I bet you'll grow to really like the guy. The outspoken and enthusiastic Scottish comedian has become a well-admired character actor (The Last Samurai, Lemony Snicket, etc.) over the past several years, but that doesn't prevent the white-maned wildman from touring the entire globe while doling out a whole lot of chuckles.

As a stand-up, Connolly is most definitely from the "anecdotal" school of comedy. His concerts consist mainly of long and entertainingly rambling stories, ones that are frequently interrupted by different mini-stories, only to be picked up once the digressions are filed away.

Connolly can be raunchy, but he doesn't seem like a "blue-based" comic; he comes off as friendly and effusive, but also quite humorously impatient most of the time. Onstage he's got a lot of nervous energy, which leads to punchlines that have the veteran comedian laughing as readily as his appreciative audience.

The guy's been at the comedy game for more years than I've been alive (and I'm fairly old), and while Billy Connolly: Live in New York might not be the Scot's very finest concert ... it's certainly funny enough for old-school fans and newcomers alike.

The animated Mr. Connolly goes through a wide variety of topics -- aging ("I recently turned 60. And even more recently I turned 61."), drinking, urinating, vomiting, and the social inconveniences that inevitably arise when a loved one suffers a stroke. And the guy's certainly not stingy with the material, either; Live in New York runs a healthy 91 minutes, most of which are very amusing indeed.

The DVD

Video: Full-frame and no-frills, but hey, it's 91 minutes of a Scotsman roaming a stage.

Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0, and heavy on the Sco-ish accent.

Extras: Nada.

Final Thoughts

I doubt that Live in New York represent the very best of Billy Connolly's stand-up material, but the guy's still a whole lot funnier than most of the comics we're introduced to these days.

Plus he's just so damn likable.

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