• Wednesday , 18 October 2017

Former Buzzfeed Comedian Matt Bellassai Slays at Punch Line Philly Comedy Club

Photos, story by Cassie Hepler

Only in America can you become famous for drinking at work. And not in the bad way!

Former Buzzfeed boy toy Matt Bellassai is a drunk genius. He started Whine About It Wednesdays and had people in their cubicles green with envy as he drank copious amounts of red wine at his desk during work and still got paid to do so.

“It got to a point where Buzzfeed told me I had to make a choice,” he said.

And so the Drunk and Alone tour was born and Bellassai was thrust upon the world at only newly 26-years-old and ready to tear it up. His witty, biting criticism was the inspiration for our first foray into the shiny new Punch Line Philly comedy club, the city’s first major comedy club to open in over a decade. And from the lengthy lineup, it’s clear that Live Nation continues to have their pulse on the best up-and-coming and killer comics. Punch Line Philly is Live Nation’s first comedy club anywhere in the country outside of California, and only its fourth overall. Not just for national touring acts, Punch Line will offer a launch pad for local Philly comedic talent as well so keep those funny bones throbbing from smacking them on the toilet paper dispenser.

Like the Fillmore, Punch Line Philly is also a converted historical structure. § The building was formerly the site of the Dry Ice Corp.

Punch Line Philly is a converted historical structure and was formerly the site of the Dry Ice Corp.

Punch Line Philly is opening just nine months following the opening of the $30 million Fillmore Philadelphia, mere footsteps away, and is another key anchor in the rapidly emerging Fishtown entertainment scene– and the Penn Treaty complex as Philly’s newest entertainment mecca.

Punch Line Philly opened months after the opening of the $30 million Fillmore Philadelphia, mere footsteps away, and is another key anchor in the rapidly emerging Fishtown entertainment scene as well as Revolutions Bowling. The Penn Treaty complex as Philly’s newest entertainment mecca and is across the way from SugarHouse Casino.

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The 300-seat comedy club has an outdoor patio, full-service food and beverage selection offering local craft beers, craft cocktails and wines by the glass or bottle.

While we waited, we stalked Matt Bellassai's Naked Grape wine bottle set up on stage, ready for mass consumption.

While we waited, we stalked Matt Bellassai’s Naked Grape wine bottle set up on stage, ready for mass consumption. They also had Naked Grape wine bottle specials that night with a usual hefty upcharge.

These are good rules to know and kind of weird to have a two drink minimum when you are paying for tickets to a venue,

These are good rules to know and kind of weird to have a two drink minimum when you are paying for tickets to a venue. We also noticed some Instagram photos taken on the sly after the show. It’s dark, shit happens.

The food seemed like pub fare, nothing too fancy and slim on the insides of this mushroom quesadilla.

The food seemed like pub fare, nothing too fancy and slim on the insides of this mushroom quesadilla.

A Victory Storm King was my drink of choice while my date went with a Dark & Stormy.

A Victory Storm King was my drink of choice while my date went with a Dark & Stormy. The alcohol selection is stellar with a front and back menu complete with bottles of Dom if you’re feeling fancy.

A local Philly comedian warmed up the crowd but most patrons seemed uninterested as Matt was running behind. Everyone assumed he was getting drunk backstage.

A local Philly comedian warmed up the crowd but most patrons seemed uninterested as Matt was running behind. Everyone assumed he was getting drunk backstage.

But as soon as Matt Bellassai was introduced, the sold out crowd lost their shit.

But as soon as Matt Bellassai was introduced, the sold out crowd lost their shit.

Dancing to Beyonce, Bellassai makes a performance out of drinking wine. The crowd loved it.

Dancing to Beyonce, Bellassai makes a performance out of drinking wine. The crowd loved it.

A generous pour with pinky up!

A generous pour with pinky up!

Starting to sip.

Starting to sip.

Halfway down the hatch.

Halfway down the hatch.

Ta-da! A triumphant Bellassai finishes his wine. People are chanting, laughing and going nuts.

Ta-da! A triumphant Bellassai finishes his wine. People are chanting, laughing and going nuts.

His show was dark, raw and hilarious.

His show was dark, raw and hilarious.

The screen behind him showed “Reasons Why I’ll be Single Forever” and we’ve gotta admit, some of those reasons were beyond disgusting like digging the wine out of his belly button when it drips down his stomach. He talked about how his skinny jeans don’t have enough ball room and then displays his crotch for everyone with one leg up on the stool. Perhaps the most snort-laugh worthy moment was when he had a slide that said “I Like Indian food and burritos, sometimes both at once” which to the unknown to Matt crowd would go over their head. However, he is fabulously gay and he just paused and said, “Let that sink in.” Then went on a crowd rolling slew of volcano jokes, public toilet explosion jokes and … you get the drift. Some moments were darker than others like dead baby jokes and slamming on people in relationships but always with an undercurrent of love… and humor.

Bellassai looks for the people who are swimming in dumpsters in Philly, makes fun of them and then mentions he brought his swimming trunks.

Bellassai looks for the people who are swimming in dumpsters in Philly, makes fun of them and then mentions he brought his swimming trunks. As with any comedian, there is a lull in the middle but Bellassai is finding his way… since February. But judging by the sold out shows, we think he will be just fine.

After the show, we got to meet and chat with Matt as well as WooderIce.com. When we suggested they explain to Matt what wooder ice is, he said he already knows. He insisted on two hugs and was such a sweetheart. Remember folks, comedians are usually acting too!

After the show, we got to meet and chat with Matt as well as WooderIce.com. When we suggested they explain to Matt what wooder ice is, he said he already knows. He insisted on two hugs and was such a sweetheart. Remember folks, comedians are usually acting too!

The stage without Matt's screen in the way. Photo by Scott Weiner

The stage without Matt’s screen in the way. Photo by Scott Weiner

Punch Line exterior with Fillmore at night. Photo by Scott Weiner

Punch Line exterior with The Fillmore at night. Photo by Scott Weiner

Punch Line interior seating in front of the stage. Photo by Scott Weiner

Punch Line interior seating in front of the stage. Photo by Scott Weiner

 

Punch Line Philly bar near the stage. Photo by Scott Weiner

Punch Line Philly bar near the stage. Photo by Scott Weiner

Punch Line Philly interior at night with lights. Photo by Scott Weiner

Punch Line Philly interior at night with lights. Photo by Scott Weiner

Punch Line Philly front bar area is open to the public with ID. Photo by Scott Weiner

Punch Line Philly front bar area is open to the public with ID. Photo by Scott Weiner

Live Nation Comedy is the world’s largest promoter of comedy events, selling 2.5 million+ tickets to over 850 shows in 2015. Fifty cents of every ticket sold will be donated to Philabundance to help fight hunger in our area. Kudos to comedy and charity!

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