"It's cold as hell in Cleveland," Bill Bellamy complains. But the 38-year-old comedian-slash-actor is happy to be taking his stand-up act on a cross-country tour to, in his words, "get back to my roots." And for Bellamy that means back to straight-up comedy.
We were first introduced to the New Jersey-born entertainer 15 years ago when he got his start on HBO and Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam. But it was his stint as the host of MTV Jams that solidified his celebrity status. Smart and funny is the name of the game for Bellamy. He has a degree in economics from Rutgers University, but after winning a male pageant show for his comedy routine as an undergrad, his interest shifted from business trends to show business, and the rest is history. He moved to New York and started working the comedy scene. First, Def Comedy Jam, then MTV and then acting roles, which is where you were most likely to have seen him in the last 10 years, on the big screen.
Although we're talking relatively small parts and no major box-office hits, his funny and engaging character roles are scene-stealers. He played the cocky Jimmy Sanderson in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday, opposite Jamie Foxx and Al Pacino, as well as the white-girl-lovin' brotha in the 2001 Screen Gems comedy, The Brothers. But to get back to his roots, Bellamy says he's taking it back to where it all got startedstand-up.
This time, however, things are a little different. "Fatherhood is crazy, man," Bellamy explains. "It's cool...you're not living just for yourself anymore." Now, a husband and father of a 2-year-old girl and a boy that's due in July, Bellamy says his material is about life. "I used to be out kickin' it, and now I got diaper bags and juice bottles, and...that shit's crazy," he says. Crazy it may be, but for Bellamy it's real, as is his passion for simply making people laugh. "I get a high from thatI'll think of something and write it down on a napkin and then tell it and see people fall out laughing," Bellamy says. "With comedy, you get immediate gratification."
Bill Bellamy hits the stage Thursday through Sunday at the Addison Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road. Tickets are $20 to $22. Call 972-404-8501.
Thu., March 30