A Friends Response To The Bad Reivews Above
It says that the review box isn't a place to have a go at the reviewer of your show. But since this wasn't my show....although I will put my hand up and admit my bias in that Billy is a mate of mine - I would like to challenge what was written about the performance by Helen cloete from the perspective of someone who was at the same show, who laughed and who the reviewer therefore assumes "regard(s) women as fucktoys and little else". It is for the admins to judge whether my being Billy's friend means that my review is completely biased and without objective interest to anyone else. If so they can delete it as they wish.
The other thing is that although it's almost a year since this show took place, I still feel compelled to write a response to it now, this page is one of the first that comes up on google if you type Billy's name and the name of the show in and I think it would be nice in the interests of fairness if someone who enjoyed and appreciated the show (and who therefore Helen Cloete insulted in this review) had his say. Preamble over.
The main point and one that I think was lost on some of the audience members (and at least one other reviewer so I don't blame Helen that much here) was that Billy's whole show was about being completely honest about the things he's done throughout in his life, even if that made him come across looking like a scumbag and a loser at times.
The fact is that he was constantly the butt of his own jokes and that far from boasting about certain activities and celebrating certain attitudes he was exposing how sleazy and disgusting they were and confessing his shame about them, warts and all. Indeed it didn't take much to spot the heavey, heavy current of irony and what felt at times like self- loathing that ran throughout Billy's performance, something that any intelligent audience member would have appreciated and would have taken as an indicitation that the main victim and target of Billy's ire was himself.
The 'choice statements' and lines that the reviewer mentions ("I waited until her sixteenth birthday before I penetrated her") were so crude and absurd in the context of the whole show and Billy's performance and delivery that there was no way that they could have been confused as being endorsements of misogyny or as being celebratory.
In fact it's difficult not to see the transgressive humour in the whole set up where talks at length and extremely candidly about his wie's mental health difficulties and her cancer and then mentions his chat line addiction - like Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor have been writing material like this for decades.
I'm sure if the reviewer had been around in the 60's she would have attacked Lenny Bruce for being a racist for using the N-word. How can anyone miss the point so much? Really, even reading the line about 90½ of Turks being retards because they can't speak English, in the context of a show about a man who moved to Turkey and didn't bother learning any Turkish....you would need a total humour bypass not to see that he was actually ATTACKING racism and the bigotry of Ex-Pats who move abroad and refuse to 'learn the lingo' and most of all attacking himself for being lazy.
The problem might be that Billy doesn't talk in a clipped Oxbridge accent and neither can he bypass conventional British class snobberies by speaking in an American accent like Doug Stanhope (who says things far cruder and sicker than anything Billy did but who is celebrated for it), but that he has a broad Scottish accent...and he hasn't even SHOCK HORROR been to University.
So anyone with certain socio-economic perceptions might assume that such a person is incapable of being clever or ironic or subtle and that being nothing but a foulmouthed simpleton he must be taken at face value, like Bernard Manning or Roy Chubby Brown.
I remember when the reviewer (very rudely) heckled Billy partway through his performance. She had (and permit me a little prejudice here myself) such a conspiciously upper middle class accent that reeked so much of privallege that it almost made you wince.
Whatever else you might want to say such a person has mostly likely led a very sheltered existence and probably hasn't encountered too many people from Billy's background and so its understandable that she should.
By the way, I took my Italian girlfriend to see another performance of the same show. She regards herself as a feminist (and certainly doesn's see women as fucktoys or objects) and is very intelligent - she has Masters degree in Philosophy and a PhD too - and she got it.
She understood that Billy's show was much more of an attack on misogyny than an endorsement of it, that he was actually using irony as a form of self- critique and that he was aiming to put himself in the fine tradition of cutting edge comedians who exploite humour as a mirror to society's and his own preconceptions and bigotness. All that and Billy was really funny too.