Returning for the first time in 3-and-a-half years (this is only his second tour stop here ever), Connolly has broken box office records from the U.K. to New Zealand. He's absolutely idolized on planet Earth (yes, that's our planet).
He may be best known in the U.S. as the guy who replaced Howard Hesseman on the popular '80s sitcom “Head of the Class,” yet he's even more remembered than his predecessor. He co-starred with Dame Judi Dench in the acclaimed film Mrs. Brown , and he made quite a stir for his part in the hit documentary The Aristocrats .
Connolly's other credits include Uncle Monty in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events with Jim Carrey, The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise and White Oleander with Michelle Pfeiffer. He recently completed roles in two additional films: Lord Dargis in Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties and the title role in Fido , in which he plays a boy's pet zombie.
What many Americans don't know, however, is that Connolly is the best-selling comedian in the world. His recent tour of Australia and New Zealand sold out in just minutes .
An incredible ten percent of the population of New Zealand has seen him perform live. London's Avenue of the Stars (the UK's version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame) recently immortalized him along with Sir Laurence Olivier, John Cleese and the Rolling Stones, and he was voted Britain's Favorite Comedian in 2003.
Connolly chose to play the 500-seat Brentwood Theatre in Los Angeles because he had a remarkable experience last spring playing New York's 500-seat 37 Arts Theatre. Usually playing 3,000-seat venues, Billy enjoyed the intimacy with his fans, and they, thusly, enjoyed their once in a lifetime opportunity.
His audience is a diverse crowd: blue-collar men and rich celebrities pack halls across the world to see him. Michael Caine, Elton John, Bob Hoskins, George Michael, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Twiggy all attended his two-week SRO run at London's Palladium for “An Audience with Billy Connolly,” an hour-long special for London Weekend TV. Dustin Hoffman, Steve Buscemi and Lorraine Bracco were all part of the audience in New York at 37 Arts.
Over the years, many DVDs of Connolly's stand-up have been released, some of which won Gold Discs and went triple platinum. His latest DVD, Billy Connolly Live in New York was released in Europe in November 2005 and has sold 750,000 copies to date; it's available in the U.S. on Rykodisc.
The Brentwood Theatre is located on the Veterans Administration grounds at 11301 Wilshire Boulevard. Show schedule: Tues-Thurs: 8 p.m. ($53); Fri-Sat: 8 p.m. ($58). Tickets are available from Ticketmaster and the theater's box office. For more information, call (310) 479-3003 or visit www.richmarkent.com .