Interview with Bill Bellamy
Bill Bellamy is one of America’s best known standup comics. After bursting
onto the national scene on Showtime at the Apollo, he became a star after
appearances on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and his own special on Showtime. Bellamy
next enjoyed a five-year run as host of the series MTV Jams and went onto a
movie career. Events Insider caught up with Bellamy walking his dog while on
hiatus for the “Ladies Night Out” tour that will visit Providence and
Chicopee, MA before landing at the Wilbur Theater on Saturday, January 10th.
I’m giving away a pair of tickets to each of the three shows! Email
firstname.lastname@example.org to win!
Events Insider: So you’re resuming the “Ladies Night Out” tour in
January in the Northeast?
Bellamy: Yeah. These will be our first shows in 2015, and (sings) ‘We’re coming
back to the cold, brother!’ I’ve never brought the whole team to Boston before,
so I’m bringing all of the guys (Ali Siddiq, Jay Reid and D’Lai) from the
comedy special to the Wilbur, and you’ll be getting the full force show, you’ll
be getting the real deal.
Events Insider: You’ve been doing the “Ladies Night Out” tour for
a few years now. Is it still fun being together with these guys?
Bellamy: It was really cool for me to find these young comedians and to
sort of help to mentor and groom them to become really good comedians, and
we’ve really bonded over these past two years. They don’t so all my shows but
they’ve been doing some of the big ones. It’s been a lot of fun. We’ve been
getting a really good turnout of mixed crowds and we get a lot of ladies who
just really love comedy.
Events Insider: I was watching the “Ladies Night Out” video and
noticed that the front rows were all women. Did you do that intentionally?
Bellamy: No (laughs). You thought we stacked the deck? No, that just how it
Events Insider: So how do you guys all get along? I know it’s sort of a
mentoring thing, but…
Bellamy: We get along really good. We’re always punching up jokes and it’s almost
like being in a comedy camp, because we’re always helping each other out by
seeing different angles on jokes. And funny stuff happens all the time when
we’re all together. So it’s non-stop laughter, dog.
Events Insider: Does the material change from night to night or is it guys
doing their act?
Bellamy: All of the stuff that you would have seen on stage (previously) or
that you saw in the special – we’re ahead of that. We already wrote like a
whole nuther show, so we’ve got all new jokes now.
Events Insider: But do you find that your audience is looking for classic
bits that they expect from you?
Bellamy: Yeah. That’s the weirdest thing about comedy. People really want
to hear a joke that they heard on TV and I’m like, “But you know it
already!” But sometimes they just like (the material) that much.
Events Insider: I always wondered about that. Because I sometimes watch
comedians that still do comedy bits from twenty years ago and I wonder how they
can still do the same stuff without getting tired of it.
Bellamy: Yeah, that’s ridiculous. I know a lot of guys who do that and you
just go, “Really? You can’t think of one more joke?
Events Insider: I must admit though, I would like to see you do
“Phyllis Got Game” (a hilarious bit about older women chasing younger
men) one more time. I do notice that you stay away from a lot of controversial
or (racially charged) topics though.
Bellamy: To me, politics and religion always separate the crowd. I don’t
know if it’s just a personal taboo for me, but whenever I’ve done a
(controversial) piece, you get half of the room going, “Oh no.” I
like when everybody is on the same page. If you bring it right down the middle,
you get the whole room. Like right now, the biggest thing in the world is Bill
Events Insider: You’ve showed some real staying power as a comedian. A lot
of guys come in, hit it big for a while and just fade. But you’ve diversified
so much with MTV and the movies (“Love Jones”, “How To Be A
Player, “Any Given Sunday”) and now that TV show, “Let’s Ask
America”. How’s that going?
Bellamy: It’s real cool. It’s going to be premiering everywhere. I’m in 30
cities now, and in January it’s going to be going throughout the whole country.
It’s been a lot of fun, actually. It’s going to remind people of that MTV
energy, where you’ve got a fun, crazy studio audience, unbelievable contestants
skyping in from their homes, the gym, car dealerships, from the classroom – including
teachers – we got everything. It’s going to be crazy.
Events Insider: Is stand up your real love or is this just a springboard to
all the other cool stuff you get to do?
Bellamy: Standup is my number one love. It’s the only part of my career
that I can truly control. I write my own material, I can perform wherever I
want, when I want, and it doesn’t affect my doing movies or TV. And if I’m
doing a show I can chill out on the standup for a while. And I write. Then when
I get done, I get back on the road and play some clubs until I get it right.
Events Insider: Since you’ve been around so long, you’re life has changed
quite a bit, like getting married and having kids. Has your act evolved over
Bellamy: Yeah. I’ve got some funny (stuff) with my kids. I think
“Crazy, Sexy, Dirty” has its own vibe, “Ladies Night Out”
had its own vibe, and I think the next one out is going to be going in a
completely different direction, but really meaningful. Like what’s going on in
the world, what kind of conflicts do I have in my life and what I’m doing about
them and how I feel about it. It’s going to be riffs, but it’s going to be a
more grown up approach to life. I’m going to incorporate my kids and how that’s
changed my life, what it’s like to be a dad, and being a husband while still being
kind of a rock star. And how I’m dealing with these damn dogs I’m walking right
Events Insider: So what can the audience expect to see when they come you
guys in “Ladies Night Out” this weekend?
Bellamy: We’re saving relationships one joke at a time. Its ninety minutes
of “Oh, My God”. The thing I like about the show is that the energy is
really high. It’s like Spring Break Comedy. And I love the Wilbur because its a
like a theater and a cocktail lounge.
For more info, go to: http://thewilbur.com/artist/bill-bellamy/