I want to ask you about your -- you're going to be a dwarf in the next Hobbit movie.
Were you excited about that?
Were you fan of the tolken "Hobbit" series?
BILLY CONNELLY: No.
I like the movies very much, but I never read the books.
CONAN: Did Peter Jackson know that?
BILLY CONNELLY: Yes, that's the first thing he asked me.
He said, have you read ""the Hobbit""?
And I said no, and I don't like people who have.
CONAN: You said that to Peter Jackson, the guy who's built his whole life around it.
BILLY CONNELLY: Thankfully he busted out laughing.
CONAN: Was it fun?
It must be a ton of makeup.
BILLY CONNELLY: Oh, three hours a day.
To look like a dwarf, you come down in stature.
CONAN: They shoot you a certain way.
BILLY CONNELLY: And the backgrounds all change.
And you wear this -- it's very, very hot.
So you wear this undershirt with little pipes going through it and you come off sweating.
They plug you in and they squirt freezing water into it.
CONAN: That's the strangest thing I've ever heard.
They have like a cooling system built in, and they shoot you up with cold water when you get off the set.
BILLY CONNELLY: You try not to do it too o because you get hot, cold, hot, cold, it's not good for you.
CONAN: I'm going to bring up something that's serious, and this happened since I talked to you last.
But you were diagnosed with Parkinsons, is that correct?
BILLY CONNELLY: Yeah.
As a matter of fact the last time I did this show you put me up in a hotel in Los Angeles.
I was coming and going in the hotel after the show and there was a lot of people in the lobby.
They had been hanging out.
An Australian dance team.
There was a guy in charge of them and he was a doctor, and he came over to me one day and he said billy, I'm a fan.
I said oh, that's good.
He said listen, I've been catching you walking in and out, and I think you have early onset of parkinson's disease.
Go and see your doctor.
CONAN: So you're here to do a show, you sing at a hotel, you do our show, you're there, and you bump into a doctor who said I have a hunch.
And you went --
BILLY CONNELLY: I went to the doctor and he was right.
CONAN: Are you -- you're obviously on your medications.
BILLY CONNELLY: No, they took me off the medications.
The side effects were stronger than the effects.
Because it's very early days, you know.
And it's that weird medicine.
I said, what are the side effects?
And they said an overriding interest in sex and gambling.
So if you see somebody in Las Vegas with an erection, he's probably got Parkinson's.