Sebastian Maniscalco won’t let parenthood turn him into a dad comic

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Checking in over the phone with Sebastian Maniscalco, you can hear the exhaustion in his voice.

Sebastian Maniscalco

Historic State Theatre

“My wife just had a baby, and I’m just finally laying down right now to take a nap. I am so relaxed.”

While he’s settling into the new responsibilities of fatherhood, Maniscalco is still taking time to visit Minneapolis this Sunday for a show at the State Theatre.

The Chicago-native has quickly become one of the most in-demand comedians around, thanks in part to his latest special, Why Would You Do That?, which was Showtime’s most-watched comedy or variety special of 2016.

He’s known for his signature skepticism and commentary on people’s batshit life choices (as an example, he recently took to social media to blast Instagram users who take great pride in sharing pics of their shoes, as well as a recent flight where he caught a fellow traveler throwing sunflower seeds on the floor of the airplane).

For those who might be worried that his newfound fatherhood is going to turn him into a “dad comic,” Maniscalco says you can rest easy.

“I can’t do it. I can’t be one of those dad comedians that just talks about their kids all of the time,” he says. “As soon you start talking about being a parent and having a kid, you’ve lost half the audience. It doesn’t relate.”

That’s not to say, however, that he hasn’t found inspiration in his new social circles.

“For me, I can still talk about my interactions with other parents. Like the other week me and my wife had to go to a one-year-old’s birthday party, and I had to spend time making conversation with the other dads.”

Aside from a packed touring schedule (he’s done 96 shows as part of his most recent tour) and diaper changing, Maniscalco will be popping up on the big screen quite a bit this year. He has roles in both the upcoming Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler comedy, The House, as well voicing a tough-talking groundhog in the upcoming animated movie, The Nut Job 2. He’s also the co-host of The Pete and Sebastian Show podcast every Friday, alongside fellow comedian Pete Correale, and gained major attention last year when he took a ride with Jerry Seinfeld on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Despite his growing notoriety in Hollywood, Maniscalco says that he still believes that his growing fanbase comes from word of mouth.

“It’s this ground swell of support,” he says. “I’m still sort of under the radar a little bit in the mainstream. But what I see now is people come to my shows, and then the next time around they bring their friends or they bring another couple along.”

As for the future, Maniscalco is planning to pull back on his touring for the second half of the year, but doesn’t have any plans to slow down or soften up.

“I’m still living my life and finding new experiences that everyone can relate to,” he says.
“That’s where I find the best material.”


Sebastian Maniscalco
State Theatre
8 p.m. Sunday, May 21