OPINION: Billy Connolly saw more than New Zealand than most New Zealanders.
He must be seen more than what I have, to my shame and envy.
Not only did he stop in the city halls and audiences from the island of Stuart to the far north, he made several films (The last samurai and Hobbit) and took three wheels during a thunder from one end of the earth to the other for the documentary World Tour of New Zealand.
He even married one of us – a psychologist, comedian and writer Pamela Stephenson who was born in Takapuna – who technically makes Kiwi.
I think that's why the news that he thinks is "close to the end" of his extraordinary life struck Kevis so hard. We made the 76-year-old musician from Slovenia one of ours.
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I remember that I felt surprised and intensely proud when I first heard that the then 63-year-old comedy legend made a television show about the little old New Zea, and forgetting that we were well and really published in the world as a destination resting place of our Hobbity announces by then.
When the documentary 14-part, aired in 2004, I still lived in the United Kingdom and I see my home through Connolly's eyes – glossy, strange and unexpectedly exciting – made me almost like nostalgia, as Frodo hit Mordor.
At home, Kivis – and with the love of the former colony of ridicule of the institution, as much as they themselves along with the desperate need for attention of the youngest child – wanted someone to grow up from us as a fisherman.
"Billy Connolly stepped into a small town in New Zealand" could easily have been the title of the day. "Billy Connolly talks to New Zealand as an ordinary man" another.
(Even though we did not always love his language in live shows, the letters to the editor complaining about his over-use on a certain robust Anglo-Saxon word abound. "It's a pity that he laughs in such a language on the stage," wrote a fan in 2005 "His interesting and intelligent comments in his journals – with a barely curved word – shows that he has a taste. On the stage, he probably plays the ordinary element of the edge, which seems to like such things." charged, colleague.)
Writing inside Timaru Herald In 2005, the reporter Gordon Brown described the residence of Connolly for filming The last samurai as some kind of blessing.
Connolly will appear in local bars, playing his own bath, watching a rugby match, and was relaxed and happy to mix "despite the order of local" plonkers "who want to tell him jokes.
"He was not over taking a proverbial", writes Brown. "I remember in his show he was not hesitant to take the writing of an event sponsored by Daily newspapers Taranaki, half marathon.
"" Do not be bloody stupid, "he said." Or they have a marathon, or they do not have one. Whatever is next? It was all delivered with a lot of laughter and was nothing more than good-natured ribbing. "
Furthermore, the good sleigh is a sure fire for the heart of Kiwi.
The prospect for Connolly that changed the way the world saw us was also a popular topic.
After shooting World Tourthe icon is the final scene, jumping jumping jumps, Connolly said Southland Times journalist Sue Fea that "New Zealand should be" immensely proud "of bungee jumping."
"This country is used to create pictures of sheep and green grass, the Queen received a nice welcome when she is here and good blacks drink beer," writes Fea.
"Maybe beats jumping on television around the world will change all that?" No, I think The Lord of the Rings has done a better job than that from me, "said Connolly."
(In the end, he will go to another Kivi cult, which will appear as a rough neck, Daine II Iron, in the debut of Hobbit Sir Peter Jackson)
Connolly was deeply taken with naked bungalows, calling the experience "exalted".
"Bounce at the bottom was unbelievable," he told Fea.
The Big Yin charming offensive continued southwards on Stuart Island, where a local resident said: "It was a special treatment that he saw eating oysters" as a normal human being, Shirley White reported.
Slipped from Dominion post Reporter Sue Allen in Wellington, Connolly said he was in the air during his World Tour the journey has changed its perspective on the country.
"I never knew New Zealand looked that way," he said. "There are no people."
The same joke did not fall so well in the south.
In 2003, an unnamed writer in Southland Times was left deeply not impressed by the description of Connolly on Gore to the inspirational Invercargill audience: "There is something here."
"Then he stuck his hands as if pushing through the streets of the medieval village plague, chanting" Take your dead, "the writer sniffed.
"If Connolly's schedules allowed him to relinquish his curious nature, he could find that Gore was stronger than he meant."
I can almost see that Connolly runs through the Southland phase, shouting, "Bring my curious nature, should I?" in response.
Perhaps it is something we love the most about Connolly, his two fingers shouting, "There are no gods, no masters and absolutely no bartender," which is always delivered with a tablespoon of sugar.
It's not a bad way to live.
Years ago World Tour of New Zealand, I saw an interview with him, explaining that he never worked on his birthday, even when he was a calm student in a bronze bone in Linthouse. He always took that day as an absence, because if he did not care for himself, "another enemy would be".
"What a bloody good idea," I thought, and since then I have not had a single birthday.
PERIOD BEST ONE LINEERS OF AFFILIATES:
According to the Scotsman, Big Yin – as it is known Connolly – has 75 excellent liners, these are just my five favorites:
"You never trust a man who, when you're alone in a tea room, do not try it."
"I always wanted to go to Switzerland to see what the army does with those red knives."
"It's a big deal in Glasgow that if there is a nuclear attack, it will look exactly the same afterwards."
"Has your mother ever told you not to drink on an empty head?"
"The princess is just yours … applauding."