It’s all about the kids these days for comedian Sebastian Maniscalco
The Chicago-born funny man is about the become a father and Tuesday he’ll be performing at the Garden of Laughs show, which benefits the Garden of Dreams Foundation that helps children facing difficult obstacles.
amNewYork spoke with Maniscalco, 43, about the show.
You do a lot of material on your family, will the baby be a new source of comedy?
Yeah, anytime there’s large events that happen in your life, whether it be a baby or wedding. ... With a baby, obviously, there’s going to be dynamic with my wife and I of dealing with the baby and then once the child begins to grow older, other parents you’re going to be in contact with, which is just ripe for material. I draw from my life experiences. ...I like to go out in the world and do different things. Not only for material but just to live your life and that’s where I draw my material. So this baby coming is going to be, I think, a great place for me to play around for comedy.
Who are some of the comics at the show you’re excited to see?
I don’t know a lot of the comedians personally. Leslie Jones is someone who used to perform at the Comedy Store here in Los Angeles and I’ve known her for quite some time. So it’s going to be good to see her. I haven’t talked to her since she has been in “Saturday Night Live” so I’m sure she’s got a lot to talk about and her career has taken off since I last saw her. And Chris Rock, who I’ve recently met, is a guy that I’d like to know more about. It would be exciting to work with him and all the other comedians. [John] Oliver I’ve worked with before at the Oddball Comedy Fest. Tracy Morgan I’ve never met, but I waited on him. I used to wait tables at the Four Seasons hotel between 1998 and 2005 and he used to come in there, so I’ve waited on him, but I’ve never met him.
Must be nice those days are over.
Yeah. It felt good. I quit the Four Seasons Sept. 10, 2005, that was the last time I worked there. And it was great to get out of that environment. Not that it was a bad environment. It’s just when you’re pursuing something that you really enjoy but you have to put food on the table it’s nice to finally do what you enjoy for a living and make money at it.
Why do you enjoy performing for NYC crowds?
For whatever the reason, the New York crowds tend to really, really gravitate toward what I do. Not only because I’m Italian and there’s a lot of Italian in that area, but the energy in the crowd — I mean you always hear it. I mean New York City has this electricity throughout the city and it’s very vibrant and alive and I think that definitely translates to my shows. People come out and really enjoy hearing my act is pretty much based on family, nostalgia and I think it’s something that people are gravitating to because it’s something that the whole family could go and enjoy together. I mean very rarely do you see the grandmother, the daughter and the granddaughter coming out to comedy shows and that’s what we’re seeing at my shows, which is nice and refreshing just because I try to keep it relatively clean. And I don’t think anybody’s uncomfortable listening to what I’m talking about just because it’s very familiar.
Where do you go to eat in New York?
It’s got so many different great restaurants. I enjoy going to Del Posto, which is one of my favorites and there’s a Greek restaurant that we always go to called Milos on 55th Street, which is one of my favorites. ... Those are the mainstays but we’re always looking for new and exciting places to go and New York City it’s just never a shortage of restaurants.