Billy Connolly: Journey To The Edge Of The World

Billy Connolly: Journey To The Edge Of The World
Legendary Scottish comedian Billy Connolly has a little-known side career as a travel documentarian. It began with his World Tour Of Scotland series on the BBC and expanded to include tours of Australia and Ireland. The shows are typically pretty entertaining, combining footage of Connolly performing on stage with him visiting the places and people he's fallen in love with through a lifetime of touring the world as a comedian. They're typically very funny and oddly personal portraits of unique cultures. Now, he's turned his attention to the farthest reaches of Canada with Journey To The Edge Of The World, a four-part series chronicling a trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, along the North West Passage. Unfortunately, while the other specials felt like an intriguing extension of his observational humour, this is a depressingly generic travelogue that has more than a whiff of "vanity project" about it. The problem is that Billy Connolly isn't a person who specializes in educating audiences about the farthest reaches of the world. He's a comedian whose love of people and places informs his humour. Sadly, there aren't many laughs in Journey To The Edge Of The World. Connolly has no personal connection to his subject and therefore isn't having much of a laugh. He's just touring around talking about how amazing everything is and it soon gets very tiring. It certainly doesn't help that he didn't do any stand-up during this trip, so the clips of his hilarious material that normally spice up these specials are completely absent. This feels like little more than a vanity project for Connolly, who clearly wanted to go on this trip and brought along a camera crew to make some money off it. If there was even a little bit of his comedy included this might have warranted a mild recommendation for Connolly fans. As it stands, this is a forgettable side-project cranked out between his real work as a comic. (E1)