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Besides rock stars, sitar players, race car drivers, and members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, George Harrison was friends with many comedians, including the Monty Python guys and Billy Connolly.

George had an interesting sense of humor and always liked hanging around some of the best comedians. They kept things interesting. So, as you can imagine, George and Connolly got up to all sorts of shenanigans.

George Harrison in a dark jacket at the 1992 Billboard Music Awards, and Billy Connolly in a dark jacket at the National Television Awards in 2016.
George Harrison and Billy Connolly | Chris Walter/David M. Benett/Getty Images

George Harrison and Billy Connolly tricked their waiter into thinking George was a football player for Manchester United

In 2019, Connolly spoke on The Adam Buxton Podcast (per Express) about his relationship with The Beatles. He said he’d been friendly with all of The Beatles except John Lennon but mostly hung out with George. They got on well because they had similar senses of humor. Connolly told a hilarious story about when they tricked their waiter at dinner one night.

“I like George Harrison,” Connolly said. “He’s not my favourite, none of them is my favourite. I treasure my friendship with them. George was a lovely man. I spent a lot of time with him. A lot more than the other ones.

“I remember we went for Chinese food in the East End of London and a waiter came out and served us. And then he came back all shuffly footed, and he said, ‘I believe there’s somebody here I should know.’ One of the guys who was with us pointed to George and said, ‘He used to play for Manchester United.’

“[The waiter] said, ‘Great can I have your autograph?’ George signed it. He went away quite happy. And the waiter came back and he asked me something. And I said, ‘That’s okay man.’ And I turned to George and I said, ‘I love man, you don’t have to learn anybody’s name. Just call them man.'”

George then revealed something interesting about The Beatles. Connolly continued, “George said, ‘It’s good to be a man.’ And I said, ‘I suppose it is, it’s very nice.’ He said, ‘We were the boys for so long.’ It was funny to see his side of it. He wasn’t allowed to be a man.”

Besides tricking their waiter and getting up to all sorts of shenanigans, Connolly liked to question George on his songs. “They didn’t realise he was a writer,” he said.

George and Connolly briefly shared the screen in 1985’s ‘Water’

In 1985, George’s production company, Handmade Films, produced the comedy Water. It stars Michael Caine as Baxter Thwaites, the governor of a quiet fictional British colony called Cascara. Connolly plays a local biracial activist Delgado.

Delgado plays a song on live TV in one scene, and George, Eric Clapton, and Ringo Starr join him on stage to everyone’s surprise. It’s as if it’s another Concert for Bangladesh.

So, George and Connolly were more than friends; they were collaborators.


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Connolly has a long-standing joke with Paul McCartney

George wasn’t the only ex-Beatle Connolly was close to. He and Paul McCartney have had a long-standing joke for years.

The joke started when Connolly realized he hadn’t sent Paul a Christmas card one year. He asked his daughter to send one for him, but it didn’t get sent until three months later. According to the Scotsman, the pair try to outdo each other by sending late Christmas cards now.

“I have got a funny thing going just now with Paul McCartney,” Connolly said. “My daughter was in charge of sending all the Christmas cards away and she hid them in a cupboard and did something else and forgot about them. Then my wife came back in February and discovered them and sent them all.

“I got a lovely letter from Paul McCartney saying ‘Thanks for the Christmas card, it’s made March such a nice month.’ And so I got one from him this year in March. So I sent his three days ago.”

There’s always a joke with Connolly, and that’s the reason why George loved hanging out with him.