Sebastian Maniscalco once saw a man shaving his face in a Starbucks. Seriously.
“This guy had no shame or humility at all; I just don’t understand that logic,” he says.
The Chicago native, Los Angeles-residing comedian has waged war on people publicly humiliating themselves by using a simple motto: Why would you do that?
Whether it’s catching people in the act on social media, encouraging fans to upload their own pictures and videos on his website, or incorporating social misfires into his act onstage, Maniscalco is an expert when it comes to pointing out embarrassing behavior.
“I think we all see things like this. I just do my best to capture it.”
Knowing his stealthy abilities, you may want to be on your best behavior this week, as he’s bringing his Aren’t You Embarrassed? tour to Pantages, while preparing to tape his standup special next month.
While he’s been working the stage since the late '90s, Maniscalco first became a household name when he appeared in Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show tour film back in 2008, where he was the standout star thanks to his no-bullshit approach to life on the road conveyed in a tone that makes you think he could kick your ass at any second.
Whether he’s roasting people for taking accidentally embarrassing bathroom selfies, belittling people who tattle on restaurants through Yelp, or sharing his love of food, what makes Maniscalco great is his skepticism and ability to say exactly what most of us are thinking.
Over the past year, late-night TV has become something of a second home for the comedian, as he's appeared everywhere, including Conan and The Tonight Show. This past January he took a ride with Jerry Seinfeld on his insanely popular web show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, where they discussed bestiality, food, and restaurant etiquette.
Speaking of food, the comedian is taking his love of the culinary arts to a whole other level later this year with the release of his memoir, Where You Wanna Eat?, which combines stories of his life and career with tales of how the stomach is the window to the soul.
“I come from an Italian-American family where food is life,” he explains. “Food is a conduit for how we communicate. I like to say that the kitchen table was my first stage where I ever performed. That art of dinner conversation is lost on people now because of iPads and phones and all of that.”
While his touring, writing, and eating are more than enough to keep him busy, Maniscalco is also busy working on a new pilot for NBC, fittingly titled Sebastian. He’s also appearing in several films this year alongside the likes of Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, and is voicing a character in the upcoming animated feature Nut Job 2.
Even with his insanely busy schedule and increased notoriety, Maniscalco doesn’t plan to slow down or stop calling people out anytime soon.
“Whether that’s dressing strange or behaving differently or doing things like exercising in the airport, I see people doing things I’d never do, and I just don’t understand why they would do that?”
IF YOU GO:
Friday, April 15
8 p.m., $40.50 - $56
More from Arts & Leisure