Review: Connolly not at his best but still a hit

The Big Yin made a big din in Dunedin last night.

Billy Connolly
Dunedin Town Hall
February 4

The audience was hoping Scottish comedian Billy Connolly would be at his comedic best at his "New Zealand Tour '09" concert in the Dunedin Town Hall.

He wasn't really, but the crowd adored him anyway.

Despite complaining of jet-lag and a mere hour's sleep, the veteran comic gamely led the crowd through a two-hour Scottish jig which featured many very funny moments.

Connolly had the crowd eating out of his hand from the moment he hit the stage.

A 10-second ovation greeted him before he had a chance to say a word. Nice work if you can get it.

The concert was an after-dinner ramble, littered with anecdotes and jokes, and with Connolly pacing about in front of a large graffiti-strewn backdrop, emblazoned with "Too Old to Die Young".

The last time Connolly was in New Zealand he launched himself into a nude bungy jump from the Kawarau bridge near Queenstown.

Last night, he was dressed all in black but for bright red and yellow shoelaces.

Connolly is at his funniest with his observational humour and self-deprecating anecdotes and he was genuinely funny talking about how exciting it was being a teenager when rock'n'roll arrived and the asininity of 1950s advertising jingles.

Dunedin didn't escape his notice, either, and he took the proverbial out of everything from the brass penguin in the Exchange, gay whales, Moeraki boulders and the "plastic cross" in St Paul's Cathedral to Dunedin's constant drizzle.

Bureaucracy, short people, fat people and people who wear beige also bore the brunt of the comedian's wicked humour.

Connolly is married to Auckland-born sex psychologist Pamela Stephenson and the couple mark 20 years of marriage this year.

One of the biggest laughs of the night came when he talked about "how terrifying it is being married to a sex expert".

Overall, the show was amusing rather than hilarious, with a belly laugh every 10 minutes or so.

And the 2700 crowd at the Dunedin Town Hall last night loved every minute of it.

•Billy Connolly plays at the Queenstown Events Centre on Saturday and winds up his 2009 New Zealand tour in Auckland on March 2.



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