Billy Connolly: ‘Memory Trouble Won’t Stop My Stand-up’

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December 12, 2013 | 11:31am EST

Scottish funnyman Billy Connolly has vowed to continue performing live stand-up comedy shows despite struggling with his memory following his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.
It was revealed in September that the actor and comedian is suffering from the early onset of Parkinson’s disease, and the funnyman admits he is having trouble with his memory, a symptom which can often be linked to the condition.
However, Connolly, 70, is determined not to give up his live shows, and just hopes audiences will forgive him if he forgets the punchlines to his jokes during a stand-up routine.
He tells Ireland’s TV Now magazine, “I’m starting to have problems with remembering things but who doesn’t when they get to my age… I get blanks all the time now, the curtains fall down in front of your eyes so you just keep talking till you remember your material that you were going to say. When you’re nervous, you forget everything you were supposed to do and you just think, ‘What am I going to say to these people?’… I’m not getting any younger. It’s something that comes with age. I’ve had a pretty good run of it, to get to me (my) 70s and still be standing upright is half the battle. You just take it all as it comes, don’t you?”
Connolly, who has also been given the all-clear after a prostate cancer diagnosis, is hoping to schedule a comedy tour of New Zealand next year after falling in love with the country while filming The Hobbit sequel.
He previously hit headlines prior to his diagnosis announcement when he forgot his lines during a stand-up show in Ireland earlier this year.

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