"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 onstage, but I did have angst about how people act, especially when they're getting waited on." The Chicago native didn't attend his first open mic until arriving in Southern California. Before that he had performed only once in front of a crowd, opening for the headlining comic at his college, Northern Illinois University. "I did like seven minutes," he recalls. "Probably one of the worst experiences I've ever had onstage. 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 were 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." 18+; 21+ later shows.
Wednesdays-Sundays, 8 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 10:30 p.m. Starts: March 24. Continues through March 28, 2010