The vision is everything. Growing up as the class clown may bring in the nay-sayers and the adoring fans but it’s where one discovers the courage to be who they authentically are while growing to their full potential.
Eight years of performing stand-up comedy across the nation brings us to an exhilarating night of comedy with Oakland’s very own comedian, Lewis Belt. Boogie’s Comedy Slam Rookie of the Year: Lewis Belt is his first featured comedy special, now available on Amazon Prime.
NBA All-Star and Executive Producer DeMarcus Cousins brings back Boogie’s Comedy Slam for a third time with the debut of his Rookie of the Year series featuring new comedic talent including Lewis Belt. In this series, comedian Lewis Belt puts on a hilarious performance filmed at the historic Paramount Theatre in Oakland, CA.
“Words wouldn’t even explain this project,” Lewis Belt said during our phone interview. “You gotta really watch it and be like, okay, I see why he was excited about this.”
He enthusiastically mentions the moment he spoke about Stephen Curry, who was sitting in the audience, as one of his top hits for the night. Digging deeper into the set, his monologue on R. Kelly is where he truly embodied the “idgaf” attitude comedians need to have in order to succeed in the industry that thrives on making jokes about people, places, and things.
It’s a humbling experience to hear from the people surrounding you but it’s important to also be able to fully accept the consequences for any jokes you make.
He advises: “The only way to get comfortable is to not give a fuck. You can’t care that much but you gotta be mindful that what you say might offend people. I grew up on Def Comedy Jam and ComicView and that’s what comedy was all about. It’s addressing things and saying things people may be thinking, but don’t want to say.”
“I wouldn’t recommend any comedian to do it if they really don’t feel comfortable with doing it because it’s so risky,” Belt adds.
Do you feel like you’ve gotten over the “nervous stage” before your shows?
“I usually don’t get nervous by a lot of shit, but I’m kinda feeling like, ooh okay my nerves, they ready tonight,” he mentions before going to perform at the Just for Laughs Festival. “I guess I do get a little nervous sometimes for certain shows.”
“Every time I get nervous about something, I just gotta remember, I gotta be myself because I wasn’t this quiet nerd. I was the person that if somebody said I was funny, I’d like “I’m not really that funny.” Once I started embracing that, I kind of understood, okay, I just gotta be myself. You know what I’m saying? I’m a natural, funny person,” Lewis Belt shares.
Learning from experiences is one thing but being able to learn from comedians such as Mike Epps, Alex Thomas, Kevin Hart, and many others is where the true growth comes in. He notes the relationships he’s gained since starting in comedy as part of what has helped him become who he is today. It’s most notably his mentor Kirk McHenry who helped frame his mindset into becoming the best of the best in his career.
“If I didn’t learn the things I learned from my mentor in Oakland, Kirk McHenry, I wouldn’t have been ready to roll with Mike Epps at the time,” he recalls. “He was the first person to really show me how to be a comedian: how to break down a joke, how to host, how to go about certain things in the industry. By the time I got to Mike Epps, I was kind of a little sharp in knowing how to be a comedian.”
In honor of the release of Lewis Belt’s Amazon Prime mini-special “Boogie’s Comedy Slam: Rookie of the Year,” fans were able to pre-order a Lewis/Do2Much Entertainment x Oaklandish collaborative t-shirt. Each t-shirt came with a “Rookie of the Year” Amazon movie pass. Unfortunately, pre-orders were available until 11:59PM Thursday 10/08 HERE!
What does collaboration mean to you?
“It means the world to me, you know, real culture for the culture. I feel like it’s just good for the culture and I’m really excited about it. I can’t wait to just see somebody with it on. I’m just happy that everybody can see the things that I envision.”
To purchase Boogie’s Comedy Slam Rookie of the Year: Lewis Belt, click HERE!
Not only will he be celebrating the release of his special with the rest of the world, he will also be featured on this year’s Just for Laughs virtual edition of the festival. Fans will be able to jump from virtual room to room to hear comedians spill the beans on everything comedy during the October 9-10 special. Lewis Belt will appear on October 9th!
The 2020 virtual Just for Laughs festival is entirely free: http://www.hahaha.com/en/2020festival