The stage is decorated with Billy Connolly’s trademark image of himself as Leonardo da Vinci’s ideal man, so it’s a bit of a shock when he shows up, wearing the same striped jester’s pants as in the image but looking so . . . old. At 68, the Scottish comic has earned his sags, creaks, and unruly nose hairs and embraces them with a great, profane glee. On the first night of this five-show stand he spent a good part of two-and-a-half hours onstage discussing those nose hairs and their incredible growth rate. His storytelling was as digressive as that of any codger, too. Starting with an anecdote from his first visit to Chicago in 1976, he drifted into far-off associative regions, piling on bits about Hillary Clinton and shopping at Barney’s with Robin Williams, letting each fragment hang as he picked up on the next. But this was a sly sort of forgetfulness: Connolly came back round to finish all of them before he was done. And more, he offered a few marvelous set pieces, including one about the symphony of horrors that greeted him on visiting his stroke-ravaged dad in the hospital. Maybe it’s his age or maybe it’s the Scots bard in him, but Connolly finds a gorgeous humor in death.
Through 10/9: Tue-Sat 8 PM, Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted, 312-988-9000, ticketmaster.com, $45.
Note: Added performances Thu 10/14-Sat 10/16, 8 PM.