“My act is primarily based on the disgust of human behavior,” says comedian Sebastian Maniscalco. “I saw that a lot while waiting tables. I worked at a big end hotel…in Beverly Hills and I would get a very snooty type of clientele. I never really brought that on stage, but I did have an angst (about) how people act especially when they’re getting waited on.” The Chicago-native actually didn’t attend his first open mic until arriving in Southern California. Before that he had performed in front of a crowd only once.
He was the opener for the headline comic at his college, Northern Illinois University.
“I did like 7 minutes,” he recalls. “Probably one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had on stage. A largely African-American contingent, they kept screaming ‘Sandman! Sandman!’ I knew what that meant because I’d watched Showtime at the Apollo.” The Sandman is the gentlemen whose job it is to pull underperforming acts from the stage. “They we screaming that, I thought ‘my God, this is awful.’” Today, he packs comedy clubs and regales audiences with stories from his own life. “I don’t write jokes; it’s more like experiences I go through in everyday life, and just explaining the story in a funny way.”
Sebastian Maniscalco performs at The Funny Bone on the Levee through Sunday. Get showtimes, ticket info and club details here.