Hats off to the Big Yin: Billy Connolly’s greatest one-liners!


Sir Billy Connolly, affectionately known in his native Scotland, as the ‘Big Yin’, leads the 2019 New York Tartan Day Parade with his wife, Dr Pamela Stephenson. As a welder, musician, actor, and comedian he was fittingly appointed the Grand Marshal of the parade and marches in the footsteps of fellow knight, Sir Sean Connery.

To celebrate the occasion we have compiled some of his best jokes and one-liners.

“Scottish-Americans tell you that if you want to identify tartans, it’s easy – you simply look under the kilt, and if it’s a quarter-pounder, you know it’s a McDonald’s.”

“I’ve always wanted to go to Switzerland to see what the army does with those wee red knives.”

“Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cosy, doesn’t try it on.”

“There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter.”

“My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.”

“A well-balanced person has a drink in each hand.”

“Why do people say ‘Oh you want to have your cake and eat it too?’ Dead right! What good is a cake if you can’t eat it?”

“Honestly some folk will take offence at anything, I met a bloke with no legs this morning while at the bus stop, all I asked was ‘How are you getting on?”

Billy was knighted – Sir William Connolly CBE, in 2017. (Photo credit: Mike Reilly)

People who ask, ‘can I ask you a question?’ Didn’t really give me a choice there, did you sunshine?”

“A biker goes to the doctor with hearing problems. ‘Can you describe the symptoms to me?’ ‘Yes. Homer is a fat yellow lazy bastard and Marge is a skinny bird with big blue hair!’”

“I always look skint. When I buy a Big Issue, people take it out of my hand and give me a pound.”

“The great thing about Glasgow is that if there’s a nuclear attack it’ll look exactly the same afterwards

“It seems to me that Islam and Christianity and Judaism all have the same god, and he’s telling them all different things.”

“Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that who cares? He’s a mile away and you’ve got his shoes!”

“Did your mother never tell you not to drink on an empty head?”

“I don’t know why I should have to learn algebra… I’m never likely to go there.”

“A lot of people say it’s a lack of vocabulary that makes you swear. Rubbish. I know thousands of words but I still prefer f.”

“Who discovered we could get milk from cows, and what did he think he was doing at the time?”

“What always staggers me is that when people blow their noses, they always look into their hankies to see what came out. What do they expect to find?”

“One sex therapist claims that the most effective way to arouse your man is to spend 10 minutes licking his ears. Personally, I think its bollocks.”

“Apparently, women need to feel loved to have sex and men need to have sex to feel loved, so the basic act of continuing the species requires a lie from one of you.”

“A fart is just your arse applauding”

“I get claustrophobic easily and I don’t get why aeroplane toilets don’t fing have windows. I mean it’s not as if anyone can fing see in. Unless of course you are the most determined pervert in the world.”

“I hate all those weathermen, too, who tell you that rain is bad weather. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing, so get yourself a sexy raincoat and live a little.”

“When people say ‘it’s always the last place you look’. Of course it is. Why would you keep looking after you’ve found it?”

“If women are so bloody perfect at multitasking, how come they can’t have a headache and sex at the same time?”

“When something is ‘new and improved!’ which is it? If it’s new, then there has never been anything before it. If it’s an improvement, then there must have been something before it.”

“Bonnie Prince Charlie was the only man ever named after three sheepdogs.”

“So have you heard about the oyster who went to a club and pulled a mussel?”

“Oh wellies they are wonderful, oh wellies they are swell, cause they keep out the water, and they keep in the smell.”

“Old MacDonald was dyslexic IEIEO.”

“People were saying there’s not enough food and too many people. Cannibalism is the obvious answer.”

“I worry about ridiculous things, you know, how does a guy who drives a snowplough get to work in the morning… that can keep me awake for days.”

“Why on earth do people say things like ‘my eyes aren’t what they used to be.’ So what did they used to be? Ears? Wellington boots?”

“Ally MacLeod (then Scotland football manager) thinks tactics are a new kind of mint.”

“People who point at their wrist while asking for the time. I know where my watch is pal, where the f*** is yours? Do I point at my crotch when I ask where the toilet is?”

“I’m actually pale blue: it takes me a week of sunbathing to turn white.”

“When you are waiting for the bus and someone asks, ‘Has the bus come yet?’ If the bus came would I be standing here, knobhead?”

“When people say while watching a film ‘did you see that? No tosser, I paid ten quid to come to the cinema and stare at the f***ing floor.”

“You know what I want to see just once: a suicide bomber instructor. ‘Right lads, pay attention, I’m only going to show you this once.’”

Billy Connolly – as captured by his friend, John Byrne

[On Partick Thistle FC] “For years I thought the club’s name was Partick Thistle Nil.”

“I know a Scottish guy who loved his wife so much that he told her he loved her one day.”

“I’ve got Parkinson’s disease. I wish he’d f***ing kept it.”

“[On Ronald Reagan] That man, he sits at that desk in the White House, and the button is there that can end the world: BOOM! My father’s younger than him and we don’t give him the controls for the television!”

“Don’t buy one of those baby intercoms. Babies pretend to be dead. They’re bastards, and they do it on purpose.”

[On the failed Glasgow terrorist attack] “I saw the whole thing on the news in New York and I thought I’d need an ambulance. I’ve never laughed liked it. F***ing eejits.”

“Whenever I wear something expensive it looks stolen.”

“I used to have Mad Cow’s disease, but I’m alright nooooooooow.”

“A mate of mine has just told me he’s shagging his girlfriend and her twin. I said how can you tell them apart, he said ‘her brother’s got a moustache!’”

[To heckler] “Shut up, do I come to your work and tell you how to sweep up?”

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