Bill Bellamy: Addicted
In an era of countless viral videos and sour attempts at humor, we still have
some funnymen who make us lmao effortlessly. Bill Bellamy is one comedian who
has had his hand in all things comedy since the moment he stepped on the scene.
From his comical VJing on MTV Jams, to his stand-up, movies, and sitcoms, Bill
Bellamy knows what it means to chase a joke and actually catch it. So whats
his key to making you laugh? One word. Addicted.
So, talk about a couple of the projects that you have going on right now.
For those who may not know right now Im the host of NBCs Last Comic
and then I also host my own show, Bill Bellamys Whos Got Jokes on TV One so check your
local listings for that. Ive been traveling the last two years all over the
country looking for young talent. People that are talented, funny, different,
interesting and super-duper humorous thats been one of my things
thats been consuming some of my time.
also two, Ive been really working hard on a TV show that Ive been writing and
trying to get the premise right for a family show for next season so thats
been a passion of mine. Ive been working on that cause you know, we dont
really have anybody thats really representing the family right now. I think
just doing it funny like I would want to do it. So I said Ima do it my damn
AHHA: Like TheCosbyShow style?
Yeah, like The Cosby Show for our generation, just real fun, family,
different, great values, funny situations, some bugged out kids you know hooked
up like that. I think that would be a lot of fun and then also you know picking
the right movies. Ive just been lucky realistically in my career to be able to
do a little bit of everything.
if you look up the stuff that Ive done, its a lot of fun stuff and some of it
is totally different. I did Fastlanes, which was a dramatic action kind of show, then
I turn around and host Last Comic Standing and you can look back and see me in The
Def Comedy Jam.
You know a lot of people didnt even know I was a comedian sometimes, so its a
AHHA: Of course one of my
favorites was your spot on MTV Jams.
Yeah, MTV Jams was the jump-off you know? Out there interviewing Tupac and Dre
and Snoop and ahhhh man everybody in the 90s, man. I mean from Nirvana to Kurt
Cobain, Collective Soul, Hootie and the Blowfish, Madonna Beyoncé when she
first came out, nobody even knew who she was, [sings]no, no, no, yeah yeah,
yeah, yeah. I was there; I was right there.
AHHA: Its interesting
because you were a VJ at a time when music in general was starting to really
Hip-Hop. Like this is a thing people dont even really know unless you know
your music. I think I was in the right place at the right time. I was actually
right on the explosion of Hip-Hop going into pop culture, into mainstream
America. Like when MTV finally started playing Hip-Hop videos all the time, not
just on Yo! Because for a minute they were only playing Hip-Hop on Yo! MTV Raps
but then Hip-Hop blew up and it was being played everywhere. That was the bomb.
AHHA: Did you ever have any
bad experience with any rappers that you had interviewed or encountered along
Nah, Ive been really really lucky in that case. I mean I got love from all
angles especially since people like respect and love what I do. The weirdest
thing that ever happened to me, I remember when I was interviewing Dr. Dre and
he was producing Snoops first album, Doggystyle and Dr. Dre was under
house arrest at the time, he couldnt leave his house.
they was working out the studio and that was the first time I was like in
California and that whole gang stuff. I knew Snoop was like gang affiliated and
all of this, I aint know what to wear. So I think I wore beige. I was like
nobody can be in the beige gang. Beige is neutral, cause someone might be in
the white gang, someone might be in the all black gang but no ones ever been a
beige thug so I was like Ima wear beige and that should work.
AHHA: Yeah, that must have
been kinda weird.
Bellamy: Yeah neutral
colors. No one was mad at Bill.
AHHA: [laughs] No one will
shoot you in earth tones.
[laughs] No one can say you come up out tapioca.
AHHA: So, in traveling around
checking out all of the new talent, how do you go about telling someone theyre
Its real easy, kill yourself. Nah you just gotta be like, Look dawg
you just dont have it man. You
know, theres a lot of trades like electrical work, you can always be an old
school librarian they still have those, Internet maybe. Internet that can be a
forte for you but comedy is not.
AHHA: Does it annoy you at
all that youve got have these viral videos going on around YouTube where
somebody will say something thats really actually not funny and then they get
their 15 minutes for kind of doing something half-heartedly funny?
Youre right. The crazy thing is that its only 15 minutes, and I mean if
youre in it just to be famous or just to be popular for a few minutes then
thats what it is. But if youre really trying to be around, be a veteran and
still be relevant, you know you gotta have talent. You gotta write material
that resonates with people, that people dig thats memorable.
was just listening to a T.I song off [Paper Trail] and I was just
listening to his music man and he said some kind of rhyme that had my name in
the joint. I was like thats kinda gangsta just the fact that the cats,
the younger generation still know who I am or that Im still around and cats
got love for me, I so appreciate that man, its like wow. You know and its
really hard you gotta get lucky you know, you gotta be in the right place,
right time, you gotta stay on your grind.
mean you look at somebody like Jay- Z you think its easy to stay in the game?
You look at a chick like Beyoncé, I mean this girl is working; shes coming out with
a new album every two months. Look at Lil Wayne, when you look at a cat like
Lil Wayne right, cats wasnt really respecting Lil Wayne about six years ago.
This dude is the number one hottest dude right now hes coming so hard with it
and people love him for it. You cant tell me people dont respect his hustle
and hes really bringing fire right now.
AHHA: Thats so true. It was
kind of interesting and you saw it firsthand at MTV when Lil
Wayne came out it was like okay, hes that little kid in Ca$h Money.
Right, he was like Tito Jackson in the Jacksons. But now look whos the star
now you know what I mean? Thats what I love about our business; its like if
you work real hard and you have your talent and you persevere through the rough
times, you can really get it and really really get yours. I feel like the best
has yet to come from me. I feel like I definitely hit some nice little homeruns
here and there, but I never really got the out the park joint yet where I just
blow up like crazy where its just like, Oh my God. I think my Oh my God
moment is on its way.
AHHA: Youve been everywhere
in your career.
and Im really thankful. Im really really thankful. I swear Im keeping it so
real. Its like Im out here hustling getting on these planes, traveling all over
different cities, working for this show, that show, working and writing on my
TV shows, working on scripts and stuff. It requires a lot of work just to get a
little bit of shine. So you dont even know if its gonna work or if people are
gonna dig it.
took a chance with Last Comic Standing; I didnt know if people would really
dig me hosting that show, but I just thought it would be kinda fun and I just
went with the heart. I was like this could be fun so I went out and did it and
it worked. Whos Got Jokes is another fun move and right now people need
to laugh, like our life is crazy, economically its retarded right now. I think
Im in a really good place, providing laughter for folks, giving people a place
to come out, relax and really really enjoy themselves.
AHHA: Which do you like
better, standup or situational comedy?
I like standup the best because Im totally free to be me and do what I need to
do. With TV, youre always dealing with subject matter constraints, how
do you deliver the joke, this, that and the other. But I mean Ive done TV for
15 years so I know what that is but its still hard. Its nothing like going on
stage and being able to say whatever you want.
AHHA: Besides yourself, who
would you say is the funniest standup comedian?
Well I cant just say one. I mean its a lot. You got Dave Chapelle, Chris
Rock, you got Cedric [the Entertainer], D.L. [Hughley] You got Steve [Harvey],
Bernie Mac the late Bernie Mac, oh my god. I like Katt Williams too.
AHHA: How were you affected
by the passing of Bernie Mac this year?
Man, devastated. [Bernie Mac] was like a mentor to me, great friend, we did Def
Jam tour together and he basically adopted me like his little brother man. It
was really difficult for me to really wrap my head around it cause I just
didnt think stuff like that would happen you know? Especially with cats that
youre working with, youre out here on the grind, youre proud of what theyre
doing, and he was only 52 or 53 or something like that. It just makes you
realize man, you gotta grind out baby. You gotta go get it man, you never know
how long you gon be here so go for it.
AHHA: Definitely true. Do you
see the new comedians possessing that same level of humor that you and Bernie
Mac possessed as well as others?
I dont know man. It takes time to get to that level cause you gotta be in the
game. I mean I dont know whos got it like that. All the guys that I know that
are actually good like that, theyve been doing it for so long. Like I said,
Rock and Chapelle and Cedric, Steve, D.L, these cats. I mean a guy like
Earthquake hes hilarious. I think Lavelle Crawford is hysterical. Nobody can
talk about being fat better than him, I mean he just makes being fat so funny.
The way he talks about it; it is hysterical. He makes you wanna eat, he make
you wanna be overweight like man, I could do it too.
AHHA: So with Last Comic
and even with Whos Got Jokes, youre offering opportunities to younger comedians
to get in the business. In the earlier days when you first started doing
comedy, you really had to grind to make your name and it worked ten fold. But
for a lot of the newer cats, do you think that the hustle and quality is
instilled in the newer comedians as much as it was in the past for people like
Yeah, I think it is, but the difference with these cats is theres a lot of
ways to get quick fame and not longevity. Like they can be on the Internet and
do some stuff or they can get on these reality shows and be funny and stuff
like that. We were one and out like you had Def Comedy Jam and maybe
two other moves and if you didnt blow that up, it was a wrap. You back in the
club kind of like just trying to prove who you are again.
I think with these guys, what they gotta be careful of is understanding what it
is theyre doing trying to build a career and not trying to be a hot flash. You
want to be around, you want to be able to say youve been doing comedy 18 years
and people still love and come out to see you; you dont want to be hot for one
summer. I think cats is like yeah whatever, been there, saw that.
it being a dad?
Its a beautiful thing. Ive always wanted it. I knew I was gonna wait til the
right time and really really got blessed. I have two beautiful healthy kids and
they just make it worth everything from being with them and seeing them learn
and just really start getting real good with everything; its gangster. Its
really a wonderful feeling to be able to teach, to learn from them as well and
they keep you young. They keep you fun.
kids have me doing stuff I would not do unless I had kids. Im rolling around
on the rug, fighting and wrestling with these kids, just chasing them all over
the house. Theyre running from me, hiding in the same spot 20 times. Im like,
dude, I know where you are, you always hide there! I know thats your spot.
Its fun and I just think everything comes full circle in my life. Ive had an
opportunity to start my family and I always wanted to be able to spend time
with my wife and my kids. I didnt want to just be a workaholic and not enjoy
the fruits of my labor.
when people are like, Yeah what happened to you? I aint seen you man,
whatever man, Im just like you know what? Im kicking it with my kids man and
Im being a father and really being a part of their young days because theyre
not gonna be little forever; it goes so fast. So Im just really excited that I
was able to really be in this part because its so important that you nurture
them when theyre little like that and also when they get big. Before you know
it theyre like in school and theyre not babies anymore.
AHHA: Yeah, and your daughter
is getting big. She started school now.
Yeah, shes in kindergarten.
AHHA: Does she have a sense
of humor? You really get to see personalities in kids around that age? Are you
Shes definitely got it going on. I mean she not as funny as her daddy though,
but shes decent. Shes kinda hot for a five year old though. She got skills,
she got skills.
AHHA: If your life depended
on it and you had to make someone laugh, what joke would you tell them?
Ahh man, I got so many. I just heard this joke its so funny. You ready?
Whatever word I said you say addicted.
hit you in the butt last night?
AHHA: Addicted (a-d**k-did).