Not just telling a joke but acting it out too. That’s Sebastian Maniscalco for you.
One of the best comedians around, what makes Sebastian Maniscalco different from the pack is his ability to go the extra mile. Typically a standup comedian goes out on the stage, grabs the mic, looks here and there, and tells his jokes. But not Maniscalco. Treating the stage like a dance floor, his body is in constant motion as he uses his arms and legs to show his humor.
Maniscalco’s unique, flamboyant spirit places him among the top performers. Embroidering his humor through acts-outs, the Chicago born comedian takes the audience beyond the point of just a comic presentation. Making his punch lines more emphatic, Maniscalco uses comedic storytelling as a tool to reach out to diverse audience. This is why Sebastian Maniscalco tickets always sell out fast whenever the ace comedian announces a standup show.
Sebastian Maniscalco – Early Life & Influences
Born to a Sicilian father and mother who was Italian, Sebastian Maniscalco grew up in Arlington Heights. According to the comedian, much of his style – the mannerism, inflections and vocabulary, comes from his ethnic upbringing.
Belonging to a tight-knit family, Maniscalco watched his father communicating with facial expressions and hand gestures – his face did all the talking. That’s how he learned to act out his humor. Food also served as a facilitator is his childhood, in a time when he was aspiring to become a comedian. Recalling his high-school days, Maniscalco fondly looks back at the memory with his family as they all sat down at the dinner table and enjoyed healthy conversations. His family was his first audience as he made them laugh while they all ate.
Maniscalco attended the Northern Illinois University following his high-school graduation and maintained a solid GPA for four and half years. He then decided to professionally pursue a career in comedy and moved to LA.
His rise to fame was a slow one as he self-funded his standup shows. For more than seven years Sebastian Maniscalco waited tables at a hotel in Beverly Hills and in between breaks would head out to a nearby Comedy Store and perform gigs. Never saying no to shows, no matter how small they were or what they paid, Sebastian Maniscalco used every opportunity to establish his career.
Sebastian Maniscalco – Breakthrough
Finally in 2005, Sebastian Maniscalco got his big break. Along with Vince Vaughn he toured on the famous “The Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days and 30 Nights — Hollywood to the Heartland”. While it still didn’t make him a household name, he was able to land frequent gigs which allowed him to quit his waiter job.
With no movies and television shows in his credentials, Maniscalco took the grassroots level approach. He focused on building an audience by performing at comedy clubs and making conversations with the people attending. Next time he returned to the same venue, the turnout would increase.
Maniscalco’s approach worked as his fans demanded more shows from him. The sales of Sebastian Maniscalco tour tickets increased as both fame and money piled up. His first DVD titled “Sebastian Live” was released in 2009, followed by standup specials for Showtime. Lauded for his professionalism and enthusiasm to work around the clock, Sebastian Maniscalco has managed to get the nod from big names like Jerry Seinfeld.
While praising the comedian, Seinfeld called him “…incredibly funny. He makes me laugh in so many different ways. He looks funny, he moves funny, he talks funny”. In 2016, the two comedians even teamed up for a web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”.
In 2017, Sebastian Maniscalco made it to the Forbes list of the “world’s highest-paid comedians” – and he’s not happy about it! In an interview, the comedian stated that it was a kind of personal information he didn’t like sharing with the whole world. Calling himself a private guy, found the declaration to be “uncomfortable”.
Sebastian Maniscalco – Comedy Style
For someone who doesn’t appreciate his personal life to be discussed, Sebastian Maniscalco sure likes to use his family and experiences as his comedic material. Audiences are able to relate to his observational humor, which they find both entertaining and enlightening.
King of physical comedy, Sebastian Maniscalco has the audience roaring with laughter as he acts out his jokes, including the one where he makes fun of expecting couples who hire professionals to get their maternity pictures taken. His act of getting down on one knee and pretending to kiss a pregnant belly has the audience rolling in fits.
He keeps his fans in high spirits throughout his shows, firing hilarious jokes one after the other. Drawing inspiration from his family, he often uses his in-laws as a subject of his humor. While his wife and her family have always been free-spirited, the Maniscalco clan in comparison followed strict rules – and that makes for some hilarious stories.
Sebastian Maniscalco had an incredible season last year that included the birth of his first daughter, over 100 standup shows and his 4th comedy special. Although he doesn’t like to talk about it for the fear of jinxing it.
In 2018, Sebastian Maniscalco will embark on a North American tour that includes stops in 15 cities. Supporting his newly penned book “Stay Hungry” and the top rated SiriusXM “The Pete & Sebastian Show”, Maniscalco is looking forward to this new chapter in his life.
Reflecting on his successful comedic journey, Sebastian Maniscalco hopes that one day he gets to pass on his values, especially his dedication and hard work to his daughter. The Stay Hungry Tour comes with a theme – to never give up and stay hungry for more.
Following his own advice, Sebastian Maniscalco has also expanded his television and movies repertoire. In 2018 he will be seen in new films and comedy specials. “One of the hottest comics” as called by the Newsday, Sebastian Maniscalco’s larger than life animated comedy style is not something you want to miss.