Comedian Bill Bellamy fueled rumors about Martin Lawrence when he talked about the actor on a recent episode of the Top Billin With Bill Bellamy podcast. Bellamy, who was joined on the podcast by fellow comedian Aries Spears, was sharing behind-the-scenes stories when he said Lawrence got the idea for his Sheneneh character, featured on Martin, from comedian Derrick Fox.
According to Bellamy, Lawrence got the idea when he went to New Jersey to see a show featuring Fox, who was performing as a similar character named Chaunté. A short time later, Lawrence broke out his Sheneneh character on Martin, Bellamy said. The podcast host also added that Fox became discouraged to continue performing as Chaunté because he was afraid people would accuse him of stealing the idea from Martin.
“Derrick couldn’t go back and do it anymore,” Bellamy told Spears.
Spears echoed Bellamy’s sentiment. “Yeah, everybody gone say he doing Sheneneh,” he said. “When in reality he was doing Chaunté.”
Fox addressed the situation in a recent interview, News One reported.
“Chaunté was a character that Martin was very impressed with,” Fox said. “He also talked to me about writing for his show that was going to be on Fox called Martin. He was saying he wanted me to do Chauné on the show.”
That plan, however, never came to be.
“At some point, before we could do negotiations, he decided to do the character himself,” Fox said. “I don’t fault him for that. Of course, it was a little devastating to me back then.”
Despite the disappointment, the comedian said he is happy with how things turned out for him.
“I can honestly say I see the blessing in it because I didn’t end up getting typecast, which I probably would have if I was featured doing that character on the Martin show,” he said.
Lawrence played several characters in his ’90s sitcom, Martin. The characters included Roscoe, security guard Otis, Mama Payne, karate instructor Dragon Fly Jones, Jerome, King Beef, Bob, Elroy the mechanic and Sheneneh Jenkins. As Shadow and Act previously reported, Lawrence appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2022 and said a Martin reboot will not likely happen, but he’d like to see a Sheneneh movie.
“I would love to see a movie with Sheneneh. We were supposed to do a movie with Sheneneh and Jamie Foxx with Wanda, but that never came about,” he said. “If we could ever get that together, I think y’all would love this.”
Check out the full episode of Top Billin With Bill Bellamy podcast below: