One former VJ makes you love him
Bill Bellamy continues to do the unthinkable. As the former host of MTV Jams, he continues to have a flourishing career -- thus disproving the notion that video jocks are destined for nothing more than commentary on VH1's Best Week Ever. Sure, sometimes we secretly want them to fail, what with their razor-sharp trend-spotting abilities, their blinding smiles, their Vivarin-inhaling energy levels and goofy VJ lingo. It can really start to grate on the nerves, no? Ah, but not with Bellamy, though.
While some VJs remain ticking career time bombs (tick, tick Damien Fahey!), Bellamy bagged the MTV image long ago. After five years on basic cable, he upgraded and broke out, starring in Booty Call (his own standup comedy special) and HBO's Def Comedy Jam. From there, he went on to star in the movies How to Be a Player and Love Jones. He's got the commitment-dodging charmer act down to a science in his films, and his comedy routines crack jokes that both sexes find funny.
Recently, Bellamy starred in Fox's Fastlane. He also got serious in the big-screen flick Any Given Sunday. Alas, not all of his acting ventures have turned up gold. Remember Men, Women and Dogs, about Bellamy's friends and their dating misadventures at the dog park? Exactly. But his chiseled face is a constant in magazines like Maxim and Vibe, and he continues to be many a lady's idea of one dreamy funnyman.
Coming soon is Bellamy's role in the flick Getting Played, where he'll be sandwiched between Carmen Electra and Vivica A. Fox when three playa-hating women play a prank on an unsuspecting gentleman. Not bad, not bad. In the meantime, Bellamy hits the comedy club circuit with a routine that pulls mostly from his life experiences, even from the beginning as the older brother of two in Newark, New Jersey. Check him out Thursday through Sunday at the Improv at the Seminole Casino (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood). Tickets cost $23.30 to $25.43, and showtimes vary. Call 954-981-5653, or visit www.improvftl.com. -- Terra Sullivan
A Big, Steaming Pile
The path from comic obscurity to the land of headlining, cable specials, and the status of a household name is no easy journey. For some, the notoriety comes from an act that's fresh and innovative. Others land a successful sitcom. Others, like Gallagher and Carrot Top, rely on gimmicky acts. And then there's Richard Jeni. It's really hard to understand how Jeni's become so popular. It obviously has nothing to do with his act, which is about as amusing as a colonoscopy. Nor was it his awful television series, Platypus Man, which UPN dropped after just 13 episodes. But there's no denying his popularity. Fifteen years after first gaining national recognition, Jeni has just completed his fourth cable special, A Big Steaming Pile of Me. Presumably, Jeni is just so relentlessly generic that he's beaten the odds and simply stuck around long enough to be recognized. When he performs at the Carefree Theatre (2000 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach) this Saturday, May 14, his PG-13 brand of comedy certainly won't be offensive -- though it won't be funny either. Shows are at 8 and 10:15 p.m. Tickets cost $30. Call 561-833-7305, or visit www.richardjeni.com. -- Paul A. Leone
Ain't no Barbie here
For a while, it seemed Gwen Stefani might be on some kind of Jean Harlow kick, after playing the late actress in The Aviator. But then Stefani's Ritalin must have run out and she moved on to the next fad (what is it this week, clog dancing?). That leaves the retro crown firmly in the hands of Colleen Duffy, a.k.a. Devil Doll. Equal parts torch singer, punk rocker, and rockabilly pinup girl, Duffy's seductive songwriting infuses '40s-era horns and pianos with raw guitar playing and contemptuous, lustful vocals. While the indie-rock world seems content churning out whiny pap, the punk-reared Duffy wants rock 'n' roll to be sexy. Not cheap, mind you, but a take-no-shit style of seductiveness. In "Heart Sized Crush" -- from the CD Queen of Pain -- Duffy doesn't beat around the bush: "My heart was in a blazing rage/my thighs nearly went up in flames." We'll leave you to insert the bush pun. Devil Doll performs at 9 p.m. Friday, May 13, at Bamboo Room (25 S. "J" St., Lake Worth). Tickets cost $15. Call 561-585-2583. -- Jason Budjinski
Don't Get Hurt
You may have the sneaking suspicion that someone with a mighty bad temper has gotten into the silverware drawer and is smacking you upside the head with a fistful of forks, albeit to a killer rhythm. But no -- you're just at the Planet of the Drums tour. The four men on the bill don't mean you any harm by the sonic assault; they just want you to love drum 'n' bass as much as they do. "It's a way of life," they say in their manifesto, and "our music has languished in back rooms... for far too long." Rumble with Orlando-based party boy AK1200 (who describes his music as "maximum rollidge"), NYC's DJ Dara (the six-foot-four Irish transplant who runs the Breakbeat Science store and imprint), Dieselboy (the hard-as-hell d'n'b veteran), and tough guy J. Messinian (who raps over electro) at Players (30 NE 11th St., Miami). Call 305-375-0202. -- Deirdra Funcheon
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