WGN Morning News reporter Ana Belaval has a second life as a comedian—here, five things you need to know about her reinvention.
1. She’ll perform anywhere. Many years ago, I took improv lessons at The Second City and loved it. Stand-up comedy was something I always wanted to do but never had the guts to pursue. The first time I tried was at Zanies Comedy Club during their “Stand Up, Sit Down” series (which features wellknown Chicagoans attempting stand-up for the first time). That’s when I got bit by the bug. Now I’m not too proud to beg for a chance on stage, wherever that may be—dive bar, diner, studio.
2. Her family is picture-perfect. My husband and I make the perfect match: He’s a nice Jewish guy and I’m a Puerto Rican Princess. We call our 2-yearold daughter our “PuJew” (Puerto Rican Jew).
3. It’s in her blood. Growing up, my family challenged us to tell the funniest stories of what happened during our day. If someone spit their drink out of their nose at the dinner table, that was an achievement.
4. She’s a natural… almost. Working on live television every day for the past 13 years gives me confidence on stage, but it’s one thing to stand in front of a camera and another to perform for an audience, watching their faces and trying to make them laugh.
5. She fits right in. The comedy circle I’ve encountered in Chicago has really embraced me—a newcomer with no experience. I was expecting a backlash: “Look, the TV lady thinks she’s funny,” but everyone has been so supportive.