From the Archives: Unmasked with Billy Connolly

Interviews for Unmasked

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“The worst thing about comedy is you have to do it tomorrow, again. You get a standing ovation, you go hooray! Let me die now. This is the moment, strike me with lightning. Cause if you don’t, you have to look for it tomorrow, again. And it becomes addictive, searching for that thing.”

Ron Bennington sat down with Billy Connolly to tape an hour episode of Unmasked back in 2012 in front of a live studio audience. Billy is just an absolutely brilliant stand-up comedian, an international treasure and one of the greatest living storytellers. He’s the kind of comedian that other comedians are in awe of, and what’s amazing about Billy is that he somehow gives off a shaman-like vibe while at the same time being a dirty talking street-wise, no bullshit, very un-PC guy. It’s a compelling episode and one of our absolute favorites. Billy was on tour at the time, performing at New York City’s Beacon Theatre that weekend and came into SiriusXM to promote the tour.


The episode has everything you could want from a comedy legend. First up, it’s hilariously funny. Billy’s stories are unforgettable, and you can hear the in-studio audience rolling whether Billy is telling a story about his friend Didje, a joke about a fellow named Donkey, or sharing true Sean Connery stories while doing a Sean Connery impression. You’ll also hear many “hold your breath” moments, as Billy talks openly about his childhood, one that included all kinds of abuse including being sexually abused by his father. But rather than talk about the difficulty, Connolly explains that he doesn’t look back with sadness. He calls his childhood happy, and explains what inspired him to forgive his father. And there’s also more wisdom and comedy advice, and philosophy and perspective than maybe any other Unmasked interview. Through it all, Connolly shares his own comedy story, including what inspired him to start doing stand up,  stories from the road, and how he developed his signature style.

Connolly is hypnotic in the interview, and this is one of our absolute favorite Unmasked episodes ever. If you’re going to listen to only one, this is a great choice. A genuine living legend, Billy Connolly’s episode of Unmasked was taped on December 4, 2012 in the Fishbowl studio at SiriusXM in New York City.


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