By Allison Duck
Sebastian Maniscalco, a style correspondent for The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and a performer on Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show, headlines at The Playboy Comedy Club at the Palms through Saturday night and offers laughs and possibly a little fashion commentary.
Check your flip-flops at the door because Maniscalco will be judging.
Allison Duck: At what point in your career did you realize you could really call yourself a professional comedian and that this was going to work out for the long term?
Sebastian Maniscalco: I started working full time as a comedian in 2005, shortly after we did the Vince Vaughn Wild West Comedy Show. I worked at the Four Seasons from 1998 to 2005, so about seven years, just trying to put some food on the table and pay the rent while I went out to the open mics and got my feet wet with stand-up comedy. Very traditional in the fact that I had to pay some dues before I started making a living at what I love.
AD: What has been one of your funniest moments as the style correspondent for The Tonight Show With Jay Leno?
SM: I’m kind of an old soul when it comes to dressing up, kind of presenting yourself in a respectable manner, but when we went out and did some of that stuff for Jay Leno, we went to an airport to see what people wear at an airport. You basically had a guy in his boxer shorts and flip-flops, and he just thought that was appropriate to wear on an airplane. We went to church and some guy walked out with camouflage pants, and it just seems that society is headed toward the toilet.
People don’t care anymore. It just seems very blase. There’s no etiquette. Everybody’s comfortable. And I got a problem with that for some reason. I just wasn’t raised that way. I think it was all in my upbringing. When we went to church, we got dressed up, you wore your nice pants, and now people will come out in their Dodgers jerseys, and I’m like, “Where are you going?” “Oh, we’re going to the Dodgers game after this.” And I’d say, “So you wear your Dodger outfit to pray?” It was just a little unsettling for me, but I guess that’s the sign of the times.
AD: Since you seem to know more about style than the average man, do you ever draw material for your comedy from outrageously dressed people?
SM: I do whole skits on it. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a guy’s wearing flip-flop sandals, which I don’t understand. Men’s feet are disgusting to begin with, but now they’re on display when I try to go out for a nice steak at a restaurant, and I have to sit there and look at some guy’s hoof? I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. It’s something that should be reserved for the pool or the beach.
AD: What can you tell me about your new upcoming comedy special?
SM: I just finished taping it. This one is called What’s Wrong With People? It basically covers anything from the way people behave at Subway when they’re ordering a sandwich to how people love to sample before they buy at a yogurt place. It’s the little annoyances everybody goes through during the day. I think everybody comes home after a long day of work or a long day of going out and has a conversation with their significant others and say, “What the hell is wrong with people?” We’re editing it right now, then we’re going to shop it around.
AD: What can fans at The Playboy Comedy Club expect from your act?
SM: It will definitely have some material specific to Las Vegas. Expect a different type of comedy. You could bring your grandmother to the show, you could bring your teenager to the show, and everybody’s going to find something they can relate to. It’s classy comedy. If The Rat Pack was around today, I think I’d be the sixth member.