Comedian Bill Bellamy, who coined the phrase ‘booty call,’ cracks up MGM National Harbor Saturday

Hear our full conversation on my podcast “Beyond the Fame.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Bill Bellamy at MGM National Harbor (Part 1)

He coined the pop-culture phrase “booty call” on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” in the 1990s.

This Saturday, comedian Bill Bellamy crack ups MGM National Harbor near the nation’s capital.



“I’m really excited,” Bellamy told WTOP. “D.C. has been one of my favorite cities my whole career. You guys love comedy. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know what funny stuff you put in the soup! … Let me tell you what it’s like to come to a Bill Bellamy show: imagine a party with a lot of laughter. That’s the type of energy that I bring.”

Bellamy said the DMV is still buzzing over Chris Rock’s live Netflix special earlier this month at The Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore where Rock reacted to Will Smith slapping him on stage at the 2022 Oscars.

“He shot it in Baltimore and Jada Pinkett [Smith] was from Baltimore, so everyone was like, ‘Oh my God!’ That’s like if you had a beef with Batman and you did the show in Gotham,” Bellamy said. “It was one of those moments that people will remember. It’s something that people will talk about and people have a feeling about it.”

Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1965, Bellamy fell in love with comedy watching Eddie Murphy.

“Eddie Murphy was somebody that lived right across the water in New York. I was like, ‘Yo, he lives in New York! Wow, I might see him one day!'” Bellamy said. “Then I had guys I was watching and listening to like Richard Pryor. People sleep on Flip Wilson. He had this TV show and he was hysterical … Robin Williams was my idol!”

Bellamy started doing stand-up himself as a student at Rutgers University before making a name for himself on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” (1992-1997), inventing the aforementioned phrase, “booty call.”

“That’s definitely legacy,” Bellamy said. “There was also a lot of booty that got made off of me. There was a lot of calls during the ’90s that nobody really gave me money for, but when you made a booty call between 2 and 4 in the morning, that was me! You know how we get notifications in our phones? Wouldn’t it be crazy if every time that somebody made a booty call in the world, it would be like, ‘Ding! Ding!’ Mo booty, mo booty, mo booty, baby!”

He also became an MTV VJ and hosted “MTV Jamz” and “MTV Beach House.”

“When I was doing MTV, that was more just my natural personality,” Bellamy said. “I didn’t have to do jokes, I could just be me and be funny, so that was a blessing because I could do the music, I could interview somebody, I could be funny, like if I thought of a funny idea about the video or something crazy, I could say it in real time. That’s what was dope. That’s what people liked about it like, ‘Yo, every time I watch Bill, he says something crazy!'”

Bellamy reached a wider network television audience by hosting two seasons of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” including Season 5 with Amy Schumer and Season 6 won by Iliza Shlesinger.

“Iliza has blown up, Amy Schumer has blown up,” Bellamy said. “They were brand new, trying to get on, ladies trying to get in this comedy game. Now they both make movies and a lot of money doing what they do. Iliza Shlesinger used to open up for me, so it’s so cool to see them be successful. ‘Last Comic Standing’ was a great platform for guys and girls to go mainstream. You want to be funny and get a lot of people to come see you.”

He also hit the big screen in “Love Jones” (1997), “Love Stinks” (1999) and “Any Given Sunday” (1999).

“I always dreamed of being able to be in a movie, I just didn’t know how I could get there,” Bellamy said. “I was like, ‘What if I was in a movie with Tom Cruise or what if I was in a movie with Keanu Reeves?’ I used to see these guys in these movies, I remember seeing Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in ‘Good Will Hunting’ and I remember saying, ‘These are some cool-ass Boston boys, they’re best friends and they made a movie together. That’s dope!'”

Most recently, he appeared on the hit HBO sitcom “Insecure” (2016-2021).

“I got a chance to be on the show with Issa Rae,” Bellamy said. “They did a show within the show and did a ’90s sitcom and I was the star of the sitcom. Everything was so ’90s, so I thought I went back in time. It was so funny.”

Stay tuned for his upcoming memoir to publish on April 25.

Find more information here.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Bill Bellamy at MGM National Harbor (Part 2)

Hear our full conversation on my podcast “Beyond the Fame.”

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Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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