“I mean, I challenge anybody to find a title that more accurately sums up the entire world right now. You can’t,” Bellassai tells Vanyaland. “But really, I imagine the title as something you say with a smile on your face. It’s about recognizing that things are shitty and awkward and terrible sometimes, but there’s a way to find the humor in them and take away the sting. There are so many moments in life that feel like the end of the world while they’re happening, but when you tell the story later, you can own it and laugh about it. So yes, everything might feel awful right now, but hopefully with time, it’ll be, at the very least, a little less awful. Or not.”
Starting with the last time he peed his pants (he was 6), and ending with a tale about how the camera panned to the wrong dude at his winning moment during the People’s Choice Awards, Bellassai’s book chronicles every peevish thing millennials have been subject to, from hair (it’s really a bitch when you think about it), to the horrors go finding an apartment in NYC and being an “adult” in general. “On Near-Death Experiences, or That Time I Choked on a Taquito” earned its own chapter.
“What follows in this book is a collection of all my banana-slipping moments, retold here, so that I may, perhaps, be the hero and not the victim of my plentiful embarrassments. Consider it a retelling of life’s little indignities,” Bellassai writes in the first chapter of Everything Is Awful.
When you pick up this book, you hold 27-years of really, really, comically worded fuckups (and would-be blackmail, had it not already been printed and sold across the country).
“Writing a book was one of the few things I knew I’d always wanted to do, and one of the things I felt like I kinda knew how to do — at least before I sat down to start writing and realized I had no idea what I was doing. But by then it was too late,” he adds. “But so much of life and entertainment is about luck and taking advantage of an opportune moment, and I was fortunate to have had a moment where a book felt possible, so I jumped on it. Plus, a whole lot of the book is about how I became the grumpy guy that I am today, so it’s a great opportunity for people to get to know me beyond the drunk character that I am on the Internet.”
Of course, the only thing better than being able to read all of the grouchy observations that Bellassai has jotted down over the past few years is hearing him complain about all of them in real life in that lovable, nasally voice. If there was ever a time to get into the crazy-long bar line at the Wilbur and grab two glasses of red wine — one for your right hand and one for your left — it’s now.
“This will only be my third time in Boston, and the first two times were for very small events, so I’m excited to come back to such huge shows at the Wilbur,” Bellassai adds. “Unless I perform terribly, in which case, it’ll be an awful way to end the tour. But then Boston will be in my next book.”
MATT BELLASSAI :: Sunday, December 10 at The Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St. in Boston, MA :: 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., $42 :: Advance tickets :: Wilbur event page :: Featured image by Tim Beckford and Karen Seifert.