Sir Billy Connolly, who shot to fame as a comedian in the 1970s, says he would be shunned by audiences in modern times
Sir Billy Connolly had told how he doesn’t think he wouldn’t be a successful comedian in modern Britain due to “woke culture”.
The 78-year-old comic, who retired from performing stand-up comedy in 2018, believes he would be “cancelled” because his “fearless” material would be deemed too offensive for current audiences.
When Billy found fame as a comic in the 1970s, he sparked controversy with routines such as the Last Supper, where he discussed the last days Jesus.
But the comedian believes in modern times talented comedians are not being given an opportunity to shine due to TV executives not being brave enough to showcase edgier acts.
And he reckons political correctness has now gone too far.
When asked if he would be shunned today, Billy told New Zealand radio network Newstalk ZB: “Absolutely. You can’t decide to be fearless, you’re either fearless or you’re not and you go about it.
“Because of political correctness people have pulled in the horns but I don’t know how I feel about that. I couldn’t have started today with the talent I had then, certainly not.
“There’s a show here in America with all black comedians, men and women, and they are totally ruthless.
“They are totally without political correctness and they have always got me on the floor howling with laughter. It’s just the cheek of them and the bravery of it.
“There was a comedian who had a series on television and the suits involved were going to take it off at the first commercial break.
“They have got no bravery. We need people who give people time and a chance to develop and all that kind of stuff.
“I think things have changed forever [with political correctness] but you never know.”
The film star was promoting his autobiography Windswept & Interesting in his interview.
The book, which is published tomorrow, discusses the abuse Billy suffered from his father and his aunts as a child.
Billy said writing some parts of the book had made him depressed.
He continued: “It was difficult to write, and the trouble with it is when you bring it up it stays for a while and then you get over it and then you bring it up again and you get depressed again.
“I don’t know if it helps or not but you are as well to get it off your shoulder and into the open air. It’s difficult but you get there.”
Sir Billy who is married to former Not the Nine O’Clock News star Pamela Stephenson, 71 ,was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease nine years ago.
The pair moved to Florida from their previous home in New York after doctors recommended he live in a warmer climate.