My Comedy Hero: Susie McCabe on Billy Connolly
- Brian Donaldson
- 2 October 2019
As she takes her Born Believer tour across Scotland, the Glasgow comic picks the Big Yin as her comic idol
Growing up In Glasgow, you are very much aware of The Big Yin: he is as ingrained in the fabric of this city as much as its football teams, shipyards and Irn-Bru. We might have given the world penicillin, but we also gave it the godfather of modern-day stand-up. My dad had all the Billy Connolly live LPs and videos; he would put them on and I probably shouldn't have been listening to them at such a young age. But this was a different time before people got uptight about the word jobbie.
When you're a kid and you hear a story it interests you; when you're a kid and you hear a story with naughty words, it captivates you and you laugh not at the joke but at the naughtiness of it. Then as an adult you understand all the subjects and you laugh harder, tears running down your face; you have watched the routines so many times you could recite them word for word.
Then as a comic you watch and you listen and you see the story, the facial expressions, the inflection in the voice, and the alliteration, while he dances round the stage telling you this wonderfully funny story that keeps going off in tangents only to come back 20 minutes later to the opening joke, putting a massive bow on a stellar punchline. And you laugh as hard as you did when you were eight or 18.
Making stand-up look effortless, he allowed us to become raconteurs. I will never ever be as wonderful a storyteller and stand-up as Billy Connolly, but I get to do what I do because of him.
Susie McCabe: Born Believer is on tour Thursday 3 October–Saturday 23 November.