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Before pontificating on the rights and wrongs of what Connolly may or may not have said, let’s remember what a special comedy case Scotland’s best stand-up comedian actually is. The actor, comedian and transvestite Eddie Izzard is a master of it, and one cannot help but be impressed by the way he makes tried and tested material sound as if it had literally just occurred to him.Personally, I like prepared material and have a huge admiration for the beautifully constructed routines of Victoria Wood, Reginald D Hunter or Glasgow’s own Arnold Brown.
The sickest, stupidest and most inexcusable ones are already being made by you, the public, privately, to each other, drunk, in bars, or via emails at work, whilst you simultaneously maintain a high moral tone in judging a professional comic’s attempt to cover the same ground in a more intelligent and responsible fashion. I believe that Connolly’s lines, as reported in the press, allude to both these areas. aren’t you the same as me, don’t you wish they would just get on with it?
Remember, it is not Billy Connolly’s fault that Ken Bigley may be dead.
Don’t make The Big Yin the receptacle for your misplaced anger.
I directed Richard Thomas’ Olivier-award winning, blasphemy-musical Jerry Springer The Opera, which was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2002.
At the moment, Las Vegas hotels want to stage it but are caught in an unprecedented legal loop.
Whenever I am working up a new routine, especially if it involves controversial subjects, I try it out in small venues, within the context of new material nights.