After performing hundreds of sold-out shows and starring in a plethora of movies and television shows, renowned funny guy Bill Bellamy has over a decade’s worth of laughs under his belt. The 46-year-old New Jersey native began his comedy career on a whim that launched him into great heights in the world of entertainment. He has recently made guest appearances on Tyler Perry’ s “Meet the Browns” and is the host and executive producer of TV One’s series “Who’s Got Jokes?” Bellamy promises to bring the funny with the “Ladies Night Out” comedy tour scheduled to stop in Baltimore April 28-30. The AFRO shared a few laughs with the popular comedian as he spoke about his views on comedy, his tour and upcoming projects.

AFRO: Who came up with the idea for the “Ladies Night Out” tour?
Bill Bellamy: I created the whole idea. I wanted to do a show that was relationship driven, where women can get a night to laugh and enjoy how silly we are and how silly they are and have a good night out. It doesn’t exclude the guys, it’s just a lot of the jokes are relationship driven. That’s the purpose of the show though. It’s all fun; we give you guys a lot of love.

AFRO: Do you think having a good sense of humor is a key component having a successful relationship?
BB: Laughter is essential in any relationship. I don’t think you can survive without it. Laughing is also very affectionate as well. It’s a very important part of any relationship to be able to laugh together…

AFRO: You’ve been married about 10 years? How did you two initially meet? Who courted whom?
BB: You know it wasn’t like that. We met very casually; it was kind of nice. She was actually one of my classmates in an acting class. It wasn’t a typical, ‘Let me go holla at this female.’ We started doing scenes together and got to know each other. After a while I was like, “Wow, she’s a nice girl and she’s a cutie; this might be interesting.” Then I put my “boom boom pow” on her and it was on and popping. That’s how it worked. Now I got two babies.

AFRO: While you were in college at Rutgers University you entered into a male beauty pageant and comedy was your talent. How did you discover that comedy was your thing?
BB: It was a gamble. I didn’t know if I could pull it off. I knew I was goofy… but I didn’t know I could really make people laugh. I just went up there and I took a chance on myself. Not only was I funny, but I ended up winning a contest. That one contest led to me hosting step shows and comedy shows.

AFRO: What are the qualities that make for a good comedian?
BB: It’s a natural talent. All of the ones that I think are great have been so honest on stage. They are people that make you feel like you’re living with them through an experience.

AFRO: Growing up, who made you laugh?
Bellamy: Eddie Murphy, Bill Cosby, Arsenio, Sinbad, Richard Pryor. One day I want to be funny like Richard Pryor; that’s ridiculous. I don’t care if I’ve heard him a hundred times, I’ll still laugh. He’ll tell a story and it’s just insane.

AFRO: What are you currently working on?
Bellamy: The next thing is a comedy special that we are going to shoot in the next six weeks. That’s why we’ve been working hard and it will be on Showtime. We’ve been gearing up for that. So you’re going to see the whole tour on television, probably by the end of the summer. And then getting my TV project off the ground. It’s time to make ya’ll laugh every day.

Bill Bellamy invites everyone to follow him on twitter at @BILLBELLAMY. To find out more about his tour and his upcoming projects please visit www.billbellamy.com or like the Bill Bellamy page on Facebook.

Courtney Bonaparte

Special to the AFRO