Sebastian Maniscalco is great at reminding us how much better the world used to be. How in a post-'70s world the food's not as good, the people are creepier and more disgusting, even water parks suck now. Opining for the old days in a gruff, Chicago-bred Italian accent while making rubbery facial expressions is pretty much his specialty. One thing this comical complainer does do on stage is keep you locked into present by making sure all of his hate on the modern day comes with a full helping of hilarity. He's managed to refine his talent for bellyaching on Comedy Central, Jay Leno, the Tonight Show and more. This weekend, Maniscalco headlines the Irvine Improv January 30th through February 1st. Recently, we talked to Maniscalco about how married life is treating him, got some insight into his favorite Twitter hashtag, and learned all about his upcoming projects that we will mos def be on the lookout for!
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): First of all, I wanted to congratulate you on getting married!
Sebastian Maniscalco: Oh thank you! Yeah I got married on August 24th. It's the next chapter of my life and hopefully, there will be more material out of me being married!
Is that why you got married? For the material?
Absolutely! [Laughs.] I needed another 20 minutes of material so I figured, you know what? Let's get married and see where that takes me!
Ha! Oh, I'm sure! Do you think that when you have kids you'll get another 20 minutes of material?
Well you know it's funny with kids, I sometimes listen to comedians that talk about their kids and obviously I'll make fun out of the fact that I'm raising kids. But I don't want that to be the whole routine. When you go to a comedy club, there are people in there that don't have kids and might not relate to some of your struggles. I don't want to alienate any of the audience however, I tend to naturally talk about my life and what I'm doing in my routine. So kids will definitely be a part of it, but not the whole thing.
Good call. I hear you're kinda anti-tattoo but if your wife wanted you to get one, say she wanted matching "wedding ring tats," would you do it?
Well I don't have any tattoos and I don't know if I'm anti-tattoo but, I do a joke about people really getting emotional about what they put on their body. I just never understood the whole tattoo thing but to each his own. I wouldn't get one, I just don't understand the whole...I don't know. I just don't get it. I don't look at my body as a canvas I guess. It's just not my style. And no, we're not getting anything matching. No tattoos, no clothing, no nothing! [Laughs.] Put it this way, I wouldn't have married anyone who would've even asked me to do that.
Right? Matching things are the worst! Tell me about this #ArentYouEmbarrassed hashtag you use on Twitter.
I started doing Twitter because I was never that much of a fan of writing stuff. My comedy is more of a visual thing. It's more about facial expressions and physicality so I never really thought my comedy would translate into funny one-liners. I guess you have to find your niche when it comes to social media. I've been doing this #ArentYouEmbarrassed thing on Twitter where I take photos or videos that match the hashtag and for me, that seems to work because it's kind of catchy and it leads to discussion. I make fun of myself too so it's not just teasing others. I do a joke about people eating muffins out of the bag with their fingers but sometimes, I catch myself doing that too so I'll turn my camera around to call myself out.
Well that's nice that everyone gets their fair share! What's this I hear about an NBC show?
I just sold a script to NBC for a TV show. It's a sitcom and they bought the script but they haven't bought the pilot yet. We're waiting to find out whether or not they'll pick it up but, it's a half-hour project starring myself and it's written by Dan Kopelman, produced by Sony, Lakeshore Entertainment, and Levity. It's a multi-camera project based on my stand-up and my life. Right now it's called "Sebastian" and we'll see what happens!
Well you do have a face for TV so I'll cross my fingers for you! Your last special was in 2012 so when you're in Irvine, will you be doing material for a new special?
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Yes, I will be working out and fine tuning the material for a new special that I'm taping this year. I love Irvine, it's one of my favorite clubs to play. You get people coming up from San Diego and people coming in from L.A. so it's just always a great mix of people. You'll also hear some older jokes but for the most part, I'll be working out the beats for my new special.
Sebastian Maniscalco performs at the Irvine Improv on January 30th through February 1st, 71 Fortune Drive Irvine, CA 92618., (949) 854-5455. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. For more info, check out Sebastian's website www.SebastianLive.com, tune into his podcast "The Pete and Sebastian Show," and follow him on Twitter @SebastianComedy.