Bill Bellamy Says He Regrets Not Trademarking 'Booty Call'


Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The T.J. Martell Foundation

Actor-comedian Bill Bellamy shared one of his life's regrets and it has to do with an iconic phrase from the ‘90s. 

The comedian is credited with inventing the phrase “booty call” when he was on HBO’s legendary Def Comedy Jam. Now, the 56-year-old said he wished he claimed legal ownership over the term.  

“At the time I wasn’t thinking of it like that,” Bellamy told People in an exclusive interview this week. “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,” he added. 

“But who knew that everybody was going to lock in on it? I probably right now would be on a spaceship if I trademarked it,” Bellamy said. “I mean, I’d be out there with Elon Musk somewhere,” he joked. 

He went on to explain the reason he thinks the phrase caught on the way it did: 

“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,” he said. “When I was doing it in the clubs, people started smiling, because they were like, ‘That’s what it is!’” 

Well, the phrase certainly turned into a cultural icon itself, making it to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and to the big screen in the 1997 classic film Booty Call starring Tommy Davidson, Jamie Foxx, Tamala Jones, and Vivica A. Fox

Bellamy, who starred in Getting Played and The Brothers, further explained that making a “booty call” back in the day actually involved using a phone. 

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

The comedian noted that some game was required since you couldn’t “make the call” without first getting the digits. “We had to get the number,” he said. “Now you just see a picture and you swipe.”

Check out his full interview with People here.

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