If you missed the series when it aired on television recently, never fear! The DVD came out earlier this week so you can catch up on all the beauty and bizarreness that Billy explored on his trike.
Billy recently spoke to reporters at a screening of the show, so read on to find out what he had to say about his trip, Nazis, breaking a rib, and smoking the Bible...
So where was the best place you went on your journey?
"Oh, that's a hard one. I liked the little town with one woman in it. I could deal with a town like that! There were so many in a row but it's kind of boring. But I liked the ones with nobody in them. I loved when we would drive past a gas station and motel, empty with broken windows with no-one in them. They were my favourites. You can always hear music as you go through them. They all had a quality, but the empty ones I think were my favourites."
Why is that?
"I don't know. I love that windblown look and it's exactly what I expected it to be. Before we went I thought, 'This could be difficult'. You think 'Route 66' and you've got all the names of the towns and it's going to be good, and then when you get there there's nothing much there - it's kind of beige.
"There's this place called Shamrock, Texas and it should just be hoovered. There's just nothing. It's the kind of place you'd hate to live, and you have to scramble around finding something interesting to say about it without insulting the people or hurting their feelings which is quite difficult. So when you come to the empty ones they actually make a bigger statement than a beige one with people all sitting looking at the wall."
Route 66 is so linked to a lot of music, too - did you find yourself singing as you drove?
"Yeah, but that happens all over America. I was singing all the time. There's no songs about Falkirk! There were quite a few towns with songs attached to them but that's all part of the joy of it I think."
How did you find driving down Route 66?
"It was the nothing of it and the space between towns - the huge nothing. That was nice. The trains seemed to always be going at the same speed as me and there were a couple of times we got the 'woo-woo' and I would wave at them. There was one moment where I was driving along and there was a truck on my left and a train on my right and we were all going along at the same time. It was smashing - such Americana. That's all I really wanted to show - that Americana of your dreams."
Do you think you mock the people you meet in your shows?
"A lot of people have said, 'God, I love the way you take the p*ss out of those people you meet', and I don't. I never have done and I never will. Because it's light, people think I'm taking the p*ss, but I love to show people at their best. Just give them plenty of rope and let them speak for themselves.
"I've never taken the p*ss. I'm not bright enough! There's an Italian saying - it translates as 'staircase thoughts'. It's that line you get when you leave a party in a huff - you've just fallen out with someone, you slam the door, 'Well, I'm f**king out of here' - and when you're on the staircase you go, 'I should have said that!' The thing you tell people you did say. That happens a lot when you're doing these films. The barbed wire museum - when we left I said, 'S**t! Goodness gracious great balls of wire!' Well, I've said it now."
How did you deal with the practicalities of travelling on the trike?
"I'm quite used to it. The weather and all that, it's a big adventure and it doesn't really bother me. I've been on the road most of my adult life and I was a motorcyclist when I was young. I've got a trike of my own so having a wet crotch doesn't bother me. I actually quite like it. Someone took over for me - I was freezing one day and after I hurt myself he would take little shots, but it was pretty much OK. It was part of the deal - you're mentally ready for it before you go."
How did you hurt yourself?
"It was my own fault. You keep coming to the end of Route 66 - you'll be going along and it will just suddenly stop. The road just ended and it slooped up and it was hard with gravel on it and a fence. The camera car was in front of me and he took it - he went up and round. And I went up and round - I had a thing on my trike's throttle because my hand was getting sore, kind of cruise control for a motorcycle.
"As I came up to replicate what the truck had done, it jammed on and I slipped the clutch and the trike came over on top of me and broke my rib and hurt my fingers and my knee. I've got a rather glamorous purple patch on my knee which you'll only see when I wear my kilt! Which I shall lie about - 'Goddam those Germans and their shrapnel..'."
You must have spent a long time with the crew - did you all get on well?
"We got on extremely well, which was kind of disconcerting because usually when I'm making a programme I'm delighted to find somebody I hate. You get a certain energy from that - 'Yeah, yeah, that b**tard'. There wasn't one, and I thought, 'This might be difficult'. We got on like a bloody house on fire. I think I actually thank my crew towards the end.
"Actually, if I ever do another [travelogue] I'm going to include the crew more. We only did it once - it was in New Zealand and we were filming whales on a tourist boat. We hit a wave and I was talking to the camera and the sound man went flying! I thought, 'I must do that more'."
You're not a particularly religious person - how did you find visiting a church in Chicago?
"It was a gas. From the first second. A man gave me a big hug going into the aisle. I had no Bible. The last time I had a Bible I was smoking it. It's true! Me and Jerry Rafferty. It was Revelations!"
"I'd seen it in a jail movie. We'd no skins - we were in Thurso, right in the north of Scotland. It isn't like skin-o-rama up there. You ask for a skin and they give you a f**king sheep skin. And I said, 'I saw a movie and they smoked pages of a Bible - apparently they're very good'. A drunk guy whose house it was, he was putting us up for the night, he was up in bed - I'll never forget, he was reading a planespotter book.
"And I said, 'You wouldn't happen to have a Bible handy?' and he says, 'Well yes, I do, would you like it?' And I said, 'Just a couple of pages!' And I don't know where it came from, I said Revelations. My idea was to read a verse and smoke it. I think I'm going to hell."
Anyway, back to the church...
"I didn't mind not having a Bible because the woman sounded like Aretha Franklin. I was blown away. Our cameraman was boogying in the aisle - it was one of the highlights for the film for me. The man next to me said, 'Do you want a Bible?' and I said sure, and he went away and came back with a Bible and he found me the place that the guy was reading from. It was such a kindness.
"Until the minister wanted people who haven't been saved yet to come up and be saved. I haven't been saved! The guy on my right said, 'Do you want to be saved?' and I said, 'Not particularly'. It was really nice - he went, 'Yeah, that's cool'.
"Although its history is dark - it's embedded in slavery and escaping from the South and all that - it was amazingly comfortable being a hairy white guy without Sunday clothes on. They made me incredibly welcome. The manners and the attentiveness, everything about it was right. The kindness. It was all absolutely genuine, nothing was fitted up. I was very, very happy."
Was there anyone you didn't like?
"A guy with a swastika - the second hand dealer, the car boot guy. He had no qualms about the swastika but was all shifty and dodgy about an Obama car sticker. I thought, 'F**k have you got it wrong'. He said, 'You might not like this', sliding the cover away from an Obama car sticker, but he showed me with pride an SS dagger and a swastika. I didn't like him, I didn't trust him. I've never met a Nazi I liked. And they say they're such nice people!
"But I liked most of the people. I can't remember anybody I disliked except him. He's probably got a good side as well - if you didn't know what he did for a living and you met him in a bar he might be a good laugh, because that often happens. But I'm kind of ruthless - I don't give them a chance to dislike me. I get in right away with the nice act, the nice big hairy boy."
Did anything surprise you during your trip?
"Like most of the people who travel across America, it was the distance between things. And the fact that most Americans don't care about Route 66. They like the song and that's fine, but nobody really wants to do anything. There are occasionally people like Angel the hairdresser who's tried very hard for his town to have it remapped.
"But the biggest surprise was that nobody gave a s**t about it. I found that kind of sad. If you think of the West Highland Way, it's a walk up the west of Scotland - it's just a path and it's got no history, but people guard it with their lives and volunteer to keep it in shape. But Route 66, Nat King Cole and Chuck Berry and everybody..."
Do you get as much of a kick from something like this as you do from standup?
"Oh, you get every bit as much of a kick. Because you get a rapport from the people around. If we had one problem, it was the director laughing. It was a great encouragement to me. It's a bad thing to do for me because I'll just go for more. In my life's work, if there's a person out of control they're f**ked because I zone in on them.
"I always remember Swindon - there was a kind of overweight man sitting beside his wife, and I don't know what I'd said but he'd lost it. She's pulling him up and he's sliding back down, so I hit him with another couple of blinders and he turned and he was in pain. His wife's going, 'George, George' and he's going, 'I'm OK!'
"And I hit him with a final one and he slid down. he's hanging out of the chair and she's trying to get him back in and by now he's like a stranded whale going, 'Ooh, ooh'. The people behind me had no idea - 'Look at that b**tard Connolly - he's just carrying on and there's a man having a coronary!'"
Are you proud of the show?
"Aye. Well, yes and no. It's very difficult to be objective, but I think it's OK. It's better than anybody else's! It's got balls. You know, it's got mistakes inasmuch as I laugh too much. Some people disapprove of that - f**k them. Usually people who disapprove of stuff like that don't know anything about it. I remember when I first started, old people - who are mostly dead now - would say things like, 'Never turn your back on an audience'. They never had any reason for it, so you jut have to do it the way you think is the most real."
Do you watch everything you do?
"I don't watch much of my own stuff. There's several movies I've made I've never seen. I even bought one the other day but I haven't watched it - I can't get myself to watch it. But when I do watch them I watch them alone and I'm not a very good judge. I don't think you're supposed to be.
"Film is so odd because you see yourself from behind. Now, I don't think you're supposed to see that. You're not supposed to see yourself with your eyes closed! I'm not sure if you can truly be judgemental and objective when you're watching it because of that - watching yourself laughing is weird as well. But it's nice to see it's all there."
Are there any other big journeys you'd like to do?
"I don't know. I think I'd like to do small journeys. I'd like to bring it down. I don't think big is necessarily good. When we do Comic Relief and we go to Mozambique or Nairobi or any of these places... the last time we were in Nairobi we were in a big slum and we never left it, and it was immensely powerful. I don't think distance adds anything to it. It can if distance is a thing - if you're going to the moon or something - but I think you can contain it and make it just as good. The smallness can be amazing."
When you were a little boy, what did you imagine when you thought of Route 66?
"I thought it was all full of jukeboxes and cowboys and guys on motorbikes. And it is!"
Billy Connolly's Route 66 is out on DVD now.