Interview with Sebastian Maniscalco

Sebastian Maniscalco is a stand-up Comedian who has appeared on several late night talk shows. Sebastian also was a part of “Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show”. More recently Sebastian has filmed a new stand-up special which will air in January on Showtime. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Sebastian recently about the new show and what got him into comedy.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us what got you interested in doing comedy/stand-up?
Sebastian Maniscalco: I grew watching people like Johnny Carson and the comedians he had on his show. They were all a big influence on me. I was fascinated with stand-up and enjoyed making people laugh. For me it was just a matter of time when it was going to happen. I went to college and while there I got a chance to open for the National act that was performing at the school. I had an awful set but shortly after graduation I moved out to Los Angeles and started doing open-mic nights. So, I always knew I was going to be a comedian.

AL: Can you descried to us that first time you stepped out on stage?
SM: It was nerve racking. I had my 10 minute set planned from front to back. The audience was primarily African-American. That crowd is notorious for either really hating you or really liking you. I was getting booed quite a bite and that tends to throw your set off. I knew I had it in me and that I could do it but that was a real eye opening experience.

AL: Can you tell us about performing on the Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy tour?
SM: I had met Vince about two years prior to him putting the show together. We stayed in touch and he liked what I was doing on stage so he invited me and a few of his other favorite comedians to be a part of his tour. We did one city a night for 30 nights. It was great! We went to places that I had never been before and we played to some really large crowds. That was really the first time I got a sense of what it was like to perform for that many people. We ended up shooting a documentary about the tour. That tour really catapulted me from working a day job into doing stand-up comedy full time.

AL: Was it tough having the cameras around?
SM: It wasn’t like reality TV where you had a camera in the bathroom with you or anything. After awhile it was just part of the gig. You definitely had your privacy as the cameras really only rolled during big events or before and after the shows. I don’t know how the people who do reality TV handle having a camera follow them around constantly.

AL: Were there any great behind the scenes moments from the tour you can tell us about?
SM: I didn’t ever know Vince Vaughn was such a gamer when it came to video games. He was playing games for 8 or 9 hours at a time. We would all go to bed and he would be playing then we wake up the next morning and he would still be playing. I was sort of forced to learn how to play video games on that tour.

AL: Can you tell us about your new Showtime show?
SM: This will be my second hour long special for Showtime. The show will air January 5th, 2012 and it is the next step of my career. In this day and age everything you do builds a foundation for what is to come. This special is a culmination of the last four years of my life. The theme of the show is based around how people act in society. I think the show is something that really will resonate with a lot of people as lately customer service stinks and people tend to be rude and/or have no manners. The topics in my show I think people will really be able to relate to.

AL: What other plans do you have for 2012?
SM: I have a 22 city tour planned for this year which will be promoting the special. I will also have a DVD coming out on March 27th 2012.  I will also be shopping around a television show loosely based on my life. We have some good ideas and hopefully we will make it on TV. The goal for me in 2012 is to definitely gain some presence on television.

For more info on Sebastian Maniscalco you can go to www.sebastianlive.com as well as follow him on twitter @sebastiancomedy



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