Home Monthly Observances Black History Month Black History NJ: Bill Bellamy

Black History NJ: Bill Bellamy

Comedian William “Bill” Bellamy was born in Newark on April 7, 1965. As a young student, Bellamy attended South Orange’s Seton Hall Preparatory School (now in West Orange). After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Rutgers University, majoring in economics. Despite his degree, however, Bill Bellamy took an early interest in stand up comedy and acting.

He earned a couple of small roles in the late 1980s, but it was the following decade that launched his career. In the early 1990s, Bellamy gained international attention by participating in the HBO program Russel Simmons Presents Def Comedy Jam. In fact, Bellamy is credited for coining the widely known slang term “booty call” during his time on the show.

Bill Bellamy in the 90s and Beyond

Afterward, Bill Bellamy spent a few years on MTV; he served various roles, including being a video jockey (VJ) and the host of multiple different programs. His biggest hits were 1993’s MTV Beach House and the late 1990s’ MTV Jams. In addition to MTV, Bellamy enjoyed a steady film career. He work can be seen in films like Fled, Love Jones, How to be a Player and Getting Played. He also voiced the character of Skeeter in the Nickelodeon series Cousin Skeeter that ran from 1998 until 2001.

When Cousin Skeeter ended, Bellamy was cast in the hit crime series on Fox, Fastline. During this time, he was a frequent guest on several talk shows; as well as the host for two seasons of the NBC reality show Last Comic Standing. In 2012, he starred alongside Dolph Lundgren in the film Kindergarten Cop 2, a sequel to the 1990 movie.

Funny enough, Bill Bellamy is actually cousins with basketball great and New Jersey native, Shaquille O’Neal. The two are very close, and their kids even spend time and play sports together. Of course, Shaq believes he is the funnier of the two.

Presently, Bellamy is married with two kids. He still performs stand up comedy, going on regular tours, and continues to act in film and TV.

Hero (Top) Photo: © LOL Comedy / Wikimedia Commons

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