A native of Chicago, Maniscalco realized his passion for stand-up comedy early on in life, and, after graduating from college, he realized his passion for stand-up comedy and immediately headed out to Los Angeles.
“I was born and raised in Chicago, and Chicago is a really good comedy city, for improv, standup and what not. I always kind of knew I had a knack for making people laugh,”Maniscalco recently told the Boston Comedy Scene Examiner. “First and foremost it was my family – around the kitchen table, kind of telling stories of what happened at school and what not. And then as time progressed it was at school, getting in front of class to do a book report, or whatever it was, I always enjoyed getting up in front of a group of people and making them laugh. I was never a class clown by any stretch of the imagination, but as soon as I got on stage I felt that I was at home up there. So I made a decision kind of at a young age – that was my dream, I wanted to be a stand-up comedian – I always watched comedy growing up – Johnny Carson, and Jerry Seinfeld, big influences on me. So I went to Northern Illinois University and graduated with a Corporate Organizational Communications degree, whatever that is, and shortly after that decided, you know what? I want to do stand-up and I’m going to dive into it where everything is kind of happening. The options are stay in Chicago, which I could have done, but I felt that Los Angeles is the place where if you want to get into the entertainment business, this is where you come.”
While most comedians generally take the opportunity to test the waters in familiar territory, Maniscalco took a more direct route by instead jumping right into the sharks’ den with no previous experience.
“I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know anybody in the entertainment business, had nobody to talk to, like how do you do this, what do you do, so I just had to kind of jump in cold. It wasn’t intimidating, but I didn’t really know what the hell I was doing – not knowing how hard it was to just kind of just start doing stand-up in L.A., because a lot of people get their beaks wet in other places, wherever they’re from, and then kind of move out here. But I just started in L.A., and started doing open-mic nights and gradually progressing as a comedian, and here I am talking to you in my backyard, with a big piece of watermelon.”
As his career roll continued, Maniscalco catapulted into the national spotlight with a 20-city tourfor his one-hour Comedy Central DVD special, Sebastian Live! On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he has appeared as the unforgettable style correspondent providing hilarious grooming advice to unsuspecting airline passengers and churchgoers. His other national television appearances include the award-winning series The Savages, The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, and Hollywood Uncensored. He is also a popular guest on such ground-breaking podcasts as WTF with Marc Maron.
While perfecting his routine on the stand-up circuit, Sebastian captured the attention of award-winning actor and entertainer Vince Vaughn who selected him to be one of the four featured comedians in the critically acclaimed film Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show. With hilarious appearances from Justin Long, Jon Favreau, Dwight Yoakam and Keir O’Donnell, the film became an instant cult success.
In What’s Wrong with People, Maniscalco's latest special, the comedian brings his witheringly sarcastic and exasperated take on modern behavior and decorum, trying to bridge the gap between the Italian-American Old World he grew up in and the contemporary frenetic world we all live in today. The result is an original, highly relatable stand-up comedy tour-de-force that has Sebastian performing sold-out concerts worldwide. Maniscalco is excited to return to Boston, having been away from the city for well over a year.
“I cannot wait to get back to Boston, I think the last time I was there was January of last year. I had no idea that you guys throw out whatever you can to save your parking spot during the winter. There were cones, there were computers – in parking spots. What is that?” he jokes reminiscently. “I love Boston, there’s a lot of Italians up there, love the North End. Anytime I come to Boston I get excited because the material kind of resonates with the people there.”
The Wilbur and Bill Blumenreich present
Friday September 14 at 7:30 p.m.
The Wilbur Theatre is located at 246 Tremont Street in Boston’s Historic Theatre District
For more information on Sebastian Maniscalco visit http://sebastianlive.com/