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Review: Bill Bellamy at Funny Bone 

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Bill Bellamy is quite the storyteller. The comedian cleverly wove recurring themes into his hilarious anecdotes about sex and relationships last night at the Funny Bone. He often spoke directly to audience members, asking questions and engaging them in his stories.

One of stand-up comedy's few pretty boys, he came out wearing a white button-up with rolled-up sleeves and a pink tie. The host of NBC's"Last Comic Standing" poked fun at several celebrities. Sympathizing with Michael Vick, he followed up with jokes about white people and their love of animals.

"If you are a rich black man in America, do not mess with the animals," Bellamy says.

While the first half of Bellamy's performance kept the diverse crowd laughing, some of his jokes sounded a little too familiar. Even the Vick material was old news, especially to an audience in Virginia. Fortunately, the comedian continued with his special insight on sex and relationships. Bellamy discussed the importance of showing ladies special attention.

"Guys, if you don't go down on your women,?VbCrLf he says in a lecturing tone, "I will.?VbCrLf

Bellamy, who coined the phrase, "booty call,?VbCrLf on Def Comedy Jam in the early ?~90s, also talked about "cougars" that are better players than the men who start the game.

"Something just happens to a man when he's in front of that older woman,?VbCrLf he says shaking his head. "All of a sudden, it's like you're in fifth grade again.?VbCrLf The audience laughed as he mumbled, "Yes ma'am,?VbCrLf and lowered his eyes to imitate a bashful schoolboy.

Some of his best material included shots at media mogul and talk show host Oprah Winfrey. You might think that comedians have made every possible joke about Oprah, but Bellamy proved that wrong. He claimed that the mogul is so rich and powerful that if she called a man at 3 a.m., his wife would permit the call (among other things).

Although Bellamy mostly stuck to safer jokes, that is, compared to more controversial comedians like Chris Rock, his stories about sex kept the audience stimulated.

Bill Bellamy performs at Richmond Funny Bone Comedy Club through Sunday, July 20. Tickets are $22. 521-8900 or www.richmondfunnybone.com.

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