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Bellamy on bill in own comedy show

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By Helen Herimbi

Who’s Got Jokes? Bill Bellamy wants to know. You may remember Bellamy from a string of flicks stereotyping the “playa”. There was How To Be A Player, Love Jones and who could forget Getting Played.

Ring a bell now? Well, ja, the 47-year-old who got his big break on Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam now has a comedy show of his own. Called Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes, the talent competition is on Top TV’s Top One every Tuesday.

This is a stand-up comedy show that sees Bellamy host four unknowns. The budding comics have three minutes to impress the crowd and the judges who are randomly picked from the audience to make it authentic and unbiased.

The show also features Rodney Perry – who is Mo’Nique’s sidekick on the comedienne’s talkshow too – in the Man On The Street segment that sees Perry ask the typical person on the street some topical questions.

Interestingly, a mainstay on the show is Thomas Ford whom you’ll know as Tommy from Martin. He is dubbed the Pope of Comedy and could make or break an upcoming comedian’s success in the competition. He does this by keeping score and taking points away if the comedian on stage doesn’t stick to the allocated time or if the comedian swears. The clean comedy allows the audience to see whether the comedian really has chops or he’s just a chicken who swears because he hasn’t found a way to articulate himself or herself adequately yet. Speaking of hers, in all fours seasons of this show (the fourth is currently airing in America), there has been a good presence of female comedians on Bellamy’s stage.

Top TV’s Top One channel is currently showing the second season and some of the good things about the first season have made a comeback. For instance, the contestants are asked to return to the second half of the show and deliver yet another stand-up comedy set. Here, they are thrown curveballs like a nasty heckler or just weird surprises and the comedians have to navigate their way through that.

Those who don’t crack at the presence of the obstacles get the points.The only weird thing about this show is that sometimes the three judges’ decisions are weird.

Once, a woman said a very funny up-and-coming comic reminded her of Richard Pryor and then gave said comedian three out of five points. Huh? These comedians have the jokes, all you have to do is have the remote in your hand.

• Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes is on Top One (Top TV channel 150) every Tuesday at 7.30pm.

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