Entertainment August 06, 2021 at 11:02 am

Bill Bellamy, comedian who invented the now popular phrase ‘booty call’, reveals his regret

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

Francis Akhalbey August 06, 2021 at 11:02 am

August 06, 2021 at 11:02 am | Entertainment

Decades after inventing the phrase "booty call", comedian Bill Bellamy says he regrets not trademarking it -- Photo via @billbellamy on Instagram

Booty Call is such a popular household phrase it has even made its way into the dictionary. But decades after the phrase was first jokingly used, the term’s inventor Bill Bellamy says he regrets not trademarking it as he could have probably been swimming in riches by now.

The 56-year-old comedian is famously remembered for using the phrase in the 1990s while on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam. And in a recent interview on PEOPLE in the ’90s podcast, Bellamy said he would have probably trademarked the term had he known it was here to actually stay.

“At the time I wasn’t thinking of it like that,” the comedian told co-hosts Andrea Lavinthal and Jason Sheeler, PEOPLE reported. “I was just thinking of my joke. I didn’t realize the phrase would catch on to become, like you said, a normal word that people know what it is now. Booty call was just a clever way to say you’re trying to get a girl to come by.”

“But who knew that everybody was going to lock in on it?” he continued.

The comedian then joked he “probably right now would be on a spaceship” if he had trademarked it. “I mean, I’d be out there with Elon Musk somewhere,” he jokingly added.

Also during the interview, Bellamy shared his thoughts on why “booty call” became a household phrase. “The reason why that blew up, I think, in my opinion, was one, the joke was really, really funny, but the phrase was so easy,” the comedian said. “When I was doing it in the clubs, people started smiling, because they were like, ‘That’s what it is!’”

He also explained what people actually had to go through back in the day to make a “booty call” and how dating apps have now changed that “process.”

“Now they got Tinder, they’re cheating. But back in the day you had to really make the call,” Bellamy said. “Now you can swipe left, swipe right.”

“We had to get the number,” he continued. “Now you just see a picture and you swipe.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Bellamy also spoke about Def Comedy Jam‘s legacy and the impact it had on Black comedians during that period, PEOPLE reported. He also said he and other comedians who appeared on the show evolved to become “the voices of the culture.” Besides Bellamy, the likes of Dave Chappelle and Mike Epps also had their breakthroughs on the show.

“When you go back and you watch those sets of all the comedians, guys and girls, we really, really were like the voices of the culture,” Bellamy said.

“We were topical. We were talking about subject matters that were really, really in the news and made it funny. And that’s what was the beauty of being a really great comic is we take the scope or the lens of the world and we bring it to the stage and we make it funny from our perspective, right? And that was a place where you could do whatever subject.”

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