Billy Connolly makes a joke about a tragic and true story of the killing of a domestic cat

Billy Connolly has been cleared by Ofcom after complaints by the public because he recited a joke based upon a true story told to him by Liam Neeson during the documentary Billy Connolly: My Absolute Pleasure which aired on ITV over the holidays.

Billy Connolly loves the story because it was originally meant to be a sad tale of the killing of a domestic cat. But he couldn't resist taking this sad reality and dressing it up and "making people fall about laughing". I'm not sure everybody will fall about laughing. I am one of those people. I don't see anything fun in it at all.

Billy Connolly didn't see the story as a 'sad tale'.
Billy Connolly didn't see the story as a 'sad tale'. Photo in the public domain.

I see the way it might be funny to some people but it is frankly too horrible to be funny.

This is the story. It goes back to when Liam Neeson was filming Rob Roy. It's a film about the 18th-century Scottish clan chief who became a folk hero. Neeson was being driven by the film's armourer in a van through a small village when a domestic cat ran in front of the vehicle.

The armourer stamped on the brakes but it was too late. He got out of the van to check on the cat. He found the cat in the gutter twitching, Neeson said. The armourer, the driver, said "Oh sh*t".

He decided to put the cat out of his misery by taking a hammer from his toolbox and hitting the cat with it. At this point a woman came running out of a nearby cottage shouting at him because she was furious that he had just kill her cat.

He explained that he had hit the cat with his van because it had run in front of it. But she did not believe him. She accused him of lying and of being a psychopath. She screamed at him and called the police

'No it wasn't, that's a lie! Ya animal, ya psychopath!' she screamed at the driver.
The armourer explained what had happened to the police officer. He was more receptive. The police officer asked to go down to look at the road and check for the skid marks.

The policeman then checked under the rear wheel of the van to discover the dead cat. The cat that he had killed was dreaming about chasing a mouse and twitching as they do.

I've not told it like a joke. Billy Connolly would have and to some people it would have been funny because of the shock value. It is the surprise of the ending. But the upshot is that a cat unnecessarily died in a brutal way.

I've now got to get serious. The armourer committed a crime because he deliberately killed someone else's cat. It was a mistake but he deliberately killed the cat. He should have been prosecuted for criminal damage and animal cruelty under the relevant law at that time in the country. But of course, it never happened.


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