Bellini's on-screen presence in The Kids in the Hall began when CBC Television suggested that the troupe conduct some form of sweepstakes in order to determine the makeup of the show's fanbase. Turning down such conventional ideas as a free show taping or a cash prize, the members of KITH decided that the "prize" would be Paul Bellini in a towel. Thus the "Touch Paul Bellini" contest was born, wherein the winner was granted the chance to gently poke the betoweled Bellini with a stick. During the fourth season, Mike Szabo won a breakfast with him at the Ottawa airport. During these and other appearances on the show, Bellini wore nothing but a towel and never spoke, thus himself becoming an absurd character in the show. At the end of the final episode, however, after the cast is buried alive during the end credits, Bellini approaches their grave, turns to the camera, and intones, "Thank God that's finally over." He then picks up a flower and proceeds to dance on their grave.
Founded in 1989, the Paul Bellini Fan Club quickly outgrew the Kids in the Hall fan club. The Paul Bellini Fan Club was based in Montreal, with smaller chapters in Winnipeg, Kitchener, Toronto, Abbotsford, Halifax, New York, Utah and parts of Europe. His fans travelled to Toronto to attend tapings of the Kids in the Hall with homemade "We Love Paul Bellini" signs. When the Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet (the band who recorded the shows theme song) came to play in cities where the Bellini fans lived, they brought gifts or home baking for the band members to deliver back to him in Toronto. The club also recorded more than 20 covers of popular songs with modified lyrics that were distributed among members and sung at the Paul Bellini music festival in 1993. The group hosted a Bellini Bratwurst Bar-be-que, produced regular newsletters, and a video depicting a fanciful re-enactment of Bellini's early life. At one event, Bellini brought a bag full of Timmins souvenirs as thank you gifts for his loyal fan club.
In 1998, Bellini made an autobiographical documentary, Bellini's Drive, which among other things explained his thoughts on being the second-most famous person from Timmins — the first being Shania Twain.
Bellini, who is gay, is currently a columnist for fab, a gay magazine in Toronto.