Sir Billy Connolly thinks a group of ageing “black comedians” are holding out against the so-called wokery he believes is destroying comedy.
The 80-year-old former stand-up comedian, who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, said he believes watching non-politically correct comics is “fantastically good” for the world – as he branded the woke movement “vomit-inducing”.
He made the remarks in a joint interview with his psychologist wife Pamela Stephenson, 73, for The Guardian when asked what he made of modern showbusiness and who makes him laugh.
Pamela said: “What about that TV show – you’re always talking about loving the people who are so unpolitically correct?”
Billy replied: “Oh yeah – there’s a school of black comedians who are generally in their 50s or 60s, and they are so politically incorrect it almost doesn’t bear watching. It’s fantastically good for you.
“They just say it like it is – it’s breathtaking. That’s wonderful and I’m glad they exist, because the social worker-ation that has passed through comedy is vomit-inducing.
“Comedians never used to worry about what was correct to say. You said it, and you soon found out whether it was correct or not. And then you got on with it.
“And that was a good enough rule for me.”
Billy appeared to be referring to the likes of Dave Chappelle, 50, who has been at the centre of a series of controversies about his jokes about the trans community.
The comedian also revealed he now wears hearing aids to the cinema and Pamela said they recently loved seeing the drama ‘Passages’ – which tells of a gay couple whose relationship is strained when one of them starts an affair with a woman – with one of their homosexual friends.
She added: “We were with a gay man at the time, a friend of ours. I had been politically incorrect with him on the occasion when I mistook his husband for his brother.
“He forgave me and still finds it very funny. And there was a lovely bit during the film when one of the people involved said, ‘We’re all brothers!’”
Billy added in the interview he had noticed how he is deteriorating amid his Parkinson’s battle.
He was diagnosed with the brain disorder, which causes uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with coordination, in 2013 and has been forced to retire from stand-up as a result.
He said: “It’s very difficult to see the progression exactly, because a lot of things come and go. Recently I’ve noticed a deterioration in my balance. That was never such a problem before, but in the last year that has come and it has stayed.”