Although slightly inappropriate for a boy of that age, I grew up watching his stand-up routines with my dad, howling on the floor as he delivered one of his countless intensely funny anecdotes.
He’s got that innate ability to make things that aren’t even funny, hilarious, and his musings on the word ‘c*nt’ and ‘f*ck’ remain some of my favourite comedy bits to this day.
Sadly, the funnyman has been battling with Parkinson’s disease since his diagnosis in 2013, which has seen him take a step back from public appearances.
And now, in an interview with Sky News, he’s confirmed his retirement from stand-up.
Connolly said: “I’m finished with stand-up – it was lovely and it was lovely being good at it. It was the first thing I was ever good at and I’m delighted and grateful to it.”
He went on to explain: “The Parkinson’s has made my brain work differently and you need a good brain for comedy. Everything you say should have five or six alternatives behind it.
“You’d say something then attack it from behind and let the story make itself up. It’s a madly exciting thing to do, this story is taking place and you don’t know where it’s going. It’s a delight, it’s a privileged to be part of it.”
When he was asked how he is, he responded: “I’m on good drugs. I take six pills a day,” but he is very confident that he won’t let his diagnosis define him.
“I’m always being asked to go to Parkinson’s things and spend time with Parkinson’s people,” he went on. “Having lunch or something like that. And I don’t approve of it.
“I don’t think you should let Parkinson’s define you and all your pals be Parkinson’s people. I don’t think it’s particularly good for you. So I don’t do it.”
He did touch on the difficult side of the disease, adding: “I get upset, because certain things go wrong, your brain goes adrift and affects your body, and so you walk differently, you walk like a drunk man sometimes. And you’re frightened you’ll be judged on it. And you shake sometimes.
“Sometimes you can’t get your money into your wallet… your change, and, the waiter has to take it from you and put it in.”
The term ‘legend’ really does get bandied around too often these days.
But this man is a true comedy legend.
Enjoy your retirement Big Yin.
Images via Getty