LaughFest has been many things over the years, but one of the pure pleasures, in my opinion, has been how willing they have been to embrace a wide array of avenues from which comedy can spring.
This can include everything from their inspiring galas (signature event) to their embracing of the emerging artists who take non-traditional paths to each of our area stages. Some comics take to the stage as their sole path to their comic careers, but many more are emerging in the era of the standup via platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
One such act using modern platforms as a stage is the comic stylings of Matt Bellassai
— a comedian who is also a much-lauded writer and beloved social media personality.
Bellassai is unique in that he created "To Be Honest" on Facebook and quickly built an audience of more than half a million followers.
When Bellassai arrives in Grand Rapids for LaughFest, he will have just wrapped a sold-out, nationwide comedy tour, The Drunk and Alone Tour, which visited 20 cities.
What makes Bellassai so much fun is his frankness but also his refusal to bury his sexuality — making him a perfect fit for those who all too often blow up my phone asking, “Who are the queer comics at LaughFest this year?” (Elaine Dalcher, here is your queer comic. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.)
Bellassai claims to have been born around 1400 BC, after being abandoned by his mother in a wicker basket soon after his birth and sent down the Nile wrapped only in a scratchy blanket full of grass stains, dirt, and fingernails. Yes, he has Mose syndrome … but don’t we all at some point?
This Chicago native now living in Brooklyn, NY has sold more than 7,500 tickets with most venues adding multiple shows due to increased demand, so buy your ticket now. In 2018, Bellassai won the fan-voted People’s Choice Award for Social Media Star and attended the American Music Awards as their official social media correspondent, covering both the carpet and live show.
I will be your host for both shows at The Pyramid Scheme and promise this is sure to be quite a hit at the festival this year that boasts a plethora of amazing and off-the-beaten-path comics that are sure to connect with our we-are-over-winter-so-let’s-laugh-out loud-together West Michigan audience.
If you need a greater motivator to check out Bellassai’s act, he has added four more shows to his initial two. Yeah, he’s a big deal and should be on your list of must-see LaughFest 2019 shows.
To discover all the comics coming to Grand Rapids for LaughFest 2019, please visit their website