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Billy Connolly

A beautiful man

By Samuel MoorePublished 3 years ago 5 min read
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Growing up I always knew the name, ‘Billy Connolly.’ I knew he was a comedian- though I’d never seen his shows. I really just knew him as, ‘that loud Scottish guy who swears a lot and has a purple beard.’

My first real exposure to the man was watching, ‘The Last Samurai’. I was excited to see him in the movie and I still credit his role in the film as one of the reasons why I still love that film.

But really it was later on that year when we saw a little more of the real man that made me pay closer attention.

‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.’ Showed a side of Billy Connolly that we instantly recognized as him. The children has been through a horrid time and for a brief moment, they were with their, Uncle Monty.

A kind hearted man who showed from the very first moment that he loved those children. That he would uproot everything and leave to another country so that they would feel safe. A spirited man who cared about the world he lived in and the animals that he shared the world with.

This was such a brilliant performance by the man because he wasn’t really acting.

Bare in mind, at this time I was still in my mind-teens and hadn’t really watched him in anything other than those two films and a few commercials.

A few years pass and I hear a segment from one of his shows and a story about what he did with his children.

This is what made me fall in love with the great man.

He would head out in the mornings to woodlands that he planned on taking his kids, and then he would prep and area.

This is where the magic comes from and where every single parent should take inspiration from.

Billy would make an area look as if something lived there. A fairy cove or a dragon layer. He would make the area look like mythical creatures lived there- yes I said that twice.

Then he would head home, and when the kids were ready, he would take the kids out on the walk and they would stumble across it.

When I heard this, I sat back in my chair, and with the best- and with the Scottish accent this southern-Englishman can do, I said; “Billy Connolly, you (explosive) beautiful man.”

So why? Very simply, a child’s imagination is the most precious thing on the planet. It’s the foundation to everything creative we have. The best stories ever written the best movies ever made. Even later on in life studies have shown that an encouraging imagination helps problem-solving and other issues that adults have to deal with.

But the simple fact is, Billy saw that a child’s imagination and wonder is so important to who they are and how they develop. He saw the need to let children be children and encouraged it with all that he could.

Parents should read to their kids- and my mum reading Terry Pratchett to me as a kid is what started my love of books and storytelling. She told me that fairies were real and I still believe that.

These of course where just books and stories, I was never lead to the path of one of the creatures and ‘shown’ the magic.

Yet that is exactly what Billy does. He shows you the magic - and later, he shows why it’s magic.

From that, I watched any documentaries that he was in. Any show where he was traveling and giving his thoughts on anything, I wanted to see.

It was only when I reached my 30’s that I read books written by the man and realized how amazing that man was.

I didn’t think he came from money but I did think he came from a similar background as I did- after all, that would explain why he encouraged imagination the way that he does.

But I couldn’t be more wrong.

While I am very much working class, I realize now just how lucky I was a child.

I didn’t have teachers that beat me with sadistic pleasure, nor did I have to tolerate the lashings of religious officials.

My parents never beat me, nor did any other member of my family- even if my Granddad had threatened it once or twice.

When I told my Dad I wanted to learn the guitar he not only bought me one but also took me to a few gigs and even paid for lessons.

Connolly by strict contrast was abused and beaten down- but he never stayed down.

He took the beatings from his teachers for not doing his homework and kept going. School was not for him and the Scottish legend wouldn’t budge. He would be beaten but not broken.

Never broken.

He would wear the bright hippy clothes because it got him attention. He was true to himself at all points. Billy never looked at his life and got defeated by it. He took it as is, and then worked out what he needed in life to make himself happy.

Music, books, comedy, family and magic- in no particular order.

I truly love Billy Connolly and I think he is a great role model for all.

The initial thoughts of the Scottish man that shouts and swears a lot has been replaced by the man that was never broken. That man that did so much more for his kids- not because he went without, but because children need magic in their lives.

He’s honest and kind, not to get anything from people but because why would he be anything else? He cares about people because people are worth caring about.

If you’ve never watched one of his documentaries, I urge you to go out and watch one. If you’ve not read anything written by the man, I urge you to grab a book by him or listen to one.

And of course, if you’ve never watched one of his stand-ups, go treat yourself. I was in stitched by the time I finally watched one of his shows and I can’t for the life of me understand why I waited so long.

The man is a legend.

As with all the greats, Billy will be taken from us far too soon. Since he announced his battle with, Parkinson’s disease, I have dreaded when that day will come. The man has touched so many lives- whether or not he knows it. He has influenced millions of strangers and has told tales and shared stories that everyone should hear.

When that day comes, we will lose another star in the night sky. It is my hope that Scotland will put up statues of the great Billy. So that when kids walk past it, they will turn to their mother and father and ask, “Who is that man with the purple bear?”

And the story of the Scottish legend will be told for as long as the sun is in the sky.

I’ll end this knowing that Billy will never read this poorly written blog, but I still want to say 3 words that I have wanted to say for years.

Thank you, Billy.

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About the Creator

Samuel Moore

Love to write and have more than a few opinions

Social media handle; Bamgibson30

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