Billy Connolly describes retirement as 'obscene'
Tim Clark19 November 2012
Billy Connolly has vowed to keep working in live comedy for the rest of his life and described the idea of retirement as ‘obscene’ at an awards ceremony last night.
70-year-old Connolly, who was in Scotland to pick up a lifetime achievement award at the Scottish BAFTAs, said: “The Chinese says that death seeks the hands that have nothing to do.
“I think we do ourselves great damage as a society by discarding the wisest people among us. In the shipyards, they would retire guys at 65. ‘Here you are Willie, here’s your wallet and watch’.
“Then after a few months you’d hear Willie wasn’t very well, then after six months he’d be dead because he had nothing to do.”
Connolly has certainly kept himself busy in recent years, and is appearing in the forthcoming Peter Jackson film The Hobbit as the dwarf Dain Ironfoot, as well as a new film with Dustin Hoffman, called Quartet.
Though he has a number of film roles, his main love is still for stand-up: “Stand-up is what I do, it’s my job. People say to me, ‘You’ve enough money now, you can stop any time’. But that’s like asking a painter to put down his brushes.”