Billy Connolly Tells Just About the Funniest Story Ever

One of the most perfect moments, and biggest laughs, in the history of TV talk shows. From ‘The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder’ in 1998. More info below –
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Back story, for those who are interested:

I was a fan of Tom Snyder all through his stint on ‘The Late Late Show’ on CBS in the 1990s, and even back when he did NBC’s ‘Tomorrow Show’ in the 1970s. The context here is that, during all that stretch of time (and even today), flatulence was a subject well beyond the bounds of acceptable taste for mainstream American TV, even in late night — most shows and most performers, even lowbrow types, are too leery of being pegged as grossly sophomoric to ever touch it. Notice that at no time does Tom ever let the word ‘fart’ slip his own lips — this is not normally something you’d see brought up on TV at all, let alone with the bluntness in play in this clip.

But Tom did have a soft spot for fart humor, and he was unusual in having the self-confidence and trust in his audience to let it be revealed now and then. Very occasionally, he might make an amused reference to backstage happenings involving a crew member ‘breaking wind’ — or to his appreciation for the now-little-remembered Belle-Epoque ‘fartiste’ Le Petomane — but he always did so with the extra dollop of caution you might affect when touching on such a hugely unclassy subject.

Then on this particular night, along came Billy Connolly, and with his total lack of inhibition, he blew the lid off this guilty pleasure.

Tom’s stage manager was a guy named Mark Kennedy, who is the dude you can hear cracking up in the background. His off-camera cackles and interactions with Tom were part of the show’s charm. As Billy strolls so offhandedly and fearlessly into this subject, you can see Tom sharing sideways glances again and again with Kennedy — as if acknowledging that this is something they’ve always had fun joking about crudely between themselves, but never with such disregard for decorum on network TV.

In the course of these magical three minutes, Tom winds up momentarily casting aside his concern for decorum (Ah, the hell with it, this is just too much fun!) — and by the end, he’s telling a fart joke himself, and leaning forward in anticipation as Billy tells the coronation story.

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20 Responses

  1. AUSSIEDAVEROCKS says:

    The Fart Game – Fun the whole family can enjoy.

  2. William Cole says:

    …….TF did I just watch

  3. neil mac says:

    Did Jesus Hold in a FfffAaaRrrrt?!!

  4. pete wright says:

    why are we here roll the bones ha ha ha

  5. Christopher Arts says:

    Turn On Caption At 2:39

  6. Barbara Brindley says:

    Brilliant, but you'll be jealous of me Billy,  I can lift one eyebrow and fart at the same time 😀

  7. k ok says:

    so farting is ok/funny .. but burping is rude … smh .. what's this world heading to 🤔

  8. bkzlab says:

    I love his accent

  9. chalk farm car squad so16 says:

    farting is so fucking funny

  10. LootFragg says:

    I liked the joke about the woman farting in the restaurant blaming the waiter. That was a good one.

  11. fAkAKiNa39 says:

    Queen Mother and the king of Tonga….and the horse too lol

  12. pbaylis1 says:

    This old couple are sitting in Church together, when Mavis leans over and whispers to Fred "Honey, I just let out one of those "silent-but-violent" farts. What should I do?" Fred replies "First thing you should do is change the battery in your hearing aid"

  13. pbaylis1 says:

    Here's another funny Billy Connolly inspired joke: These two guys are having a beer discussing the end of the world. Bill says "Hey Fred, if the world was going to end in 24 hours, what would you do?" Fred replies "I'd shag everything that moved. What about you?" Bill, eyebrows raised, responds "I'll be standing absolutely still!"

  14. pbaylis1 says:

    Men + toilet humour = the best fun to be had

  15. lena fan says:

    That scream at 02:39

  16. EgoShredder says:

    Anyone from England of a certain age remember Saint & Greavsie? Tom Snyder the host looks a bit like Saint and smiles and laughs like him!

  17. Adam Tomkins says:

    Ahahaha! Five hundred and fifty six people don't like this! Ahahahaha haaaa! What's wrong with those people? Cheer up and appreciate the silliness in life you miserable monkeys.

  18. Logan Queen says:

    im laughing but could only understand about 10 words

  19. Gordon M. says:

    In the 80s why best chum got a leather couch.

    So we took our clothes off and FARTED on the leather.

    Great acoustics.

  20. Gordon M. says:

    I lost my fart machine. I hope it's gone to great use…

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