Comedy just got sexy! That’s the tagline for Bill Bellamy’s Ladies Night Out Tour, coming to Hartman Arena on February 12. Which raises the question, why isn’t comedy sexy in the first place?
Actor and comedian Bill Bellamy says comedy suffers from a class clown image. “Most people think comedy is silly and fun; it’s entertaining but they never thought it was sexy,” he said in a phone interview. “I like to take credit for making it sexy and funny.”
He has the chops to make this claim since this is the man who invented the term “booty call.” “We’ve all made a call or received a call like that, and don’t even realize what it is.” Bellamy explains, “It’s a fun way to talk about a late-night rendezvous.”
Genesis of a quipster
Making catchy observations about the collective subconscious is something Bellamy’s been doing for over 10 years, drawing on both his past experiences as the oldest of three children growing up in Newark, New Jersey, as well as his surveillance of urban culture in general. He’s parlayed his keen eye and ear into a flourishing career as an actor and comedian, starring this past summer in the comedy “The Lottery Ticket” with Bow Wow, Ice Cube and Brandon T. Jackson. He hosted MTV Jams for five years and in 1999 he co-starred in Oliver Stone’s highly lauded film “Any Given Sunday.”
“Get your party on.”
On the comedy side, Bellamy’s performed hundreds of shows to sold-out audiences across the country over the last decade, and with the Ladies Night Out Tour, he brings together a fresh crop of up-and-coming funny men: Ali, J Reid and D’Lai. “My whole concept was not just for it to be a comedy show, but an event,” says the comedian. “This whole thing is like a movement in a way because it’s just getting bigger and bigger.” So big in fact, that one of Bellamy’s many projects in 2011 is developing the concept into a TV movie special. “The cool thing about it, when you say ‘Ladies Night Out,’ it brings everyone together; it doesn’t matter about color or anything like that. It’s just the energy of it all. Women are coming out to have fun, guys are coming because the girls are going to be there — we don’t leave the guys out.”
The comic wants to give Wichitans a Valentine’s weekend to remember: “Get your party on before you get your love on. Bill Bellamy’s Ladies Night Out Tour is like taking an MTV spring break energy, the energy of all that fun, a teaspoon of Vegas, mixed with funny…even if you don’t have a Valentine, you’re gonna have a good time.”
Local connection brings Valentine laughs to town.
Seven years ago McDonald’s franchisees Bob and Jennifer Lane became friends with up-and-coming comedian D’Lai after meeting him in Las Vegas. When D’Lai started touring with Bill Bellamy, Bob Lane saw an opportunity. “These guys are very funny; they’re a little bit edgy but they’re not raunchy. We started talking about this and I said, ‘Hey, Wichita’s a great place — why don’t you try to bring the tour here?’ One thing led to another and (Bellamy) said, ‘Well, if you guys will help promote it, then we will.’”
Lane’s initial intent was to help a friend, but now the idea has grown into a full-fledged Valentine’s weekend happening: VIP tickets include seating at red-draped round tables for eight, appetizers and sparkling wine and plenty of swag for the ladies. At the VIP after-party the comedians will meet and greet, and chef Jason Febres of Taste & See Everyday Gourmet will serve up appetizers.