(CBS Local)– New Jersey native Bill Bellamy loves the energy of New York City.
The Rutgers graduate looks back on many moments in the Tri-State area that helped take his career to the next level. The comedian is performing at Carolines on Broadway this weekend and remembers an early show with Ray Romano in New Jersey that changed everything for him.
“I love coming home. I have so many great moments in New York City that are synonymous with my career. I opened up for Ray Romano is 1990 or 91. That was crazy and it was luck because his guy fell out,” said Bellamy in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “This place was called Rascals in New Jersey. It was in West Orange and it was the only comedy club we had in Jersey. I was like yo Ray Romano, he got credits. I was like, I gotta get some credits. I was opening up for Ray Romano and I was like, one day I want to open up for Ray Romano. Next thing you know, me and Ray were on the same network.”
Bellamy has one show Thursday night at Carolines and then two shows on Friday night and Saturday night. Another gig that catapulted Bellamy to the next level was touring with Janet Jackson’s in the 1990s.
“I was on tour with Janet Jackson and she used to bring her dog with her everywhere,” said Bellamy. “The crazy part was we were in Jersey. We did the Garden State Amphitheater down in South Jersey somewhere and her dog was behind my car. I almost ran over her dog. I’ll never forget this and I was thinking what if I ran over Janet Jackson’s dog. The dog was a star and everybody knew that was Janet’s dog. I remember going what would I have done if I had to explain to Janet that I ran over her dog.”
While Bellamy has been all over the world to perform his stand-up routine, he says that Carolines is one of his favorite spots.
“The way it is set up in that room, you can see the whole room and feel it,” said Bellamy. “The stage is kind of small, but you feel like you’re in the crowd.”