Let’s face it: in our increasingly tepid, polite, and politically correct culture we need more people like Sebastian Maniscalco. Forever able to seize the moment, never failing to speak his mind, always telling it like it is, this is one man who isn’t afraid to put it all out there. Yes, the Chicago-area born, Italian-immigrant-raised comedian behind wildly successful network specials including 2016’s Why Would You Do That?, 2014’s Aren’t You Embarrassed?, and 2012’s What’s Wrong With People?, is that little voice within all our heads. The one we are too timid to unleash. Maniscalco is bearing the burden of our bizarre and head-scratching modern-day world. You can thank him later.
Make no mistake: Maniscalco’s is a meticulous, hard-won comedic point of view. “Every night you’re getting up there and doing something new,” says the comedian, who now has hordes of fans pouring into venues across North America to witness his outsize, highly physical brand of comedy. That’s when he’s not appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, or making return visits to late-night shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and CONAN. “It’s just working out a muscle, man,” he says of maintaining his comedic chops. “You don’t become a bodybuilder the first day you start lifting weights. You gotta work each muscle. Same thing with comedy. You gotta flesh out your joke, your bit. You add and subtract. You see what works.”