Sebastian Maniscalco turns 44 on Saturday. And while it’s customary for the birthday celebrant to be on the receiving end of the gift-getting, Maniscalco is on the giving end of things this week, as he performs not two or three, but seven consecutive sold out shows at the Borgata during his birthday week.
It’s a present we can all celebrate, and if last night’s 7 p.m. show is any indication, fans won’t be disappointed.
“It’s always an evolving act,” Maniscalco says of the life experiences that make it into his show.
It may be evolving, but fans can reliably expect three things — nostalgic humor, intense physicality and hysterical laughter.
If they can actually make it into a show, that is. Maniscalco has sold out a record-setting seven consecutive performances at Borgata. Even though the shows are sold out, fans arrived at the box office last night hoping to work some magic.
It isn’t always like this.
“Only for Sebastian,” says Helen Clymer, who works at Borgata’s Box Office. “And maybe Frankie Valli.”
Inside the Event Center, it’s less chaos but no less overwhelming. The place is filled to capacity, with guests practically sitting on top of one another. It’s hot and crowded, but no one seems to care because Mansicalco is simply that good.
It’s hard to pinpoint what makes someone funny, but Mansicalco has a few ideas.
“I think it’s a nostalgia,” Maniscalco says of his appeal. “It’s a ‘did you grow up in my house?’ kind of thing. People are gravitating toward family and how it once was and how it is today, coupled with the fact that I do express things through physicality.”
Maniscalco’s version of physicality isn’t a character act or anything that overwhelms the show … it’s just the movements of an excellent storyteller coupled with distinct and powerful facial expressions. And it’s perfect.
“Anytime that (the bit) evokes physicality, I act it out … it happens within the story,” Maniscalco says.
So whether he’s portraying a nurse bathing his newborn daughter, a passenger being forcibly removed from an airplane or an MMA fighter, Maniscalco’s brand of physical comedy only adds nuance to an already funny joke. Which of course, adds to his ever-growing success.
In addition to his standup, Maniscalco also stars in a wildly popular Sirius XM program “The Pete and Sebastian Show,” and is slated to make several motion picture appearances this year. While Maniscalco is far from his days spent working at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, he doesn’t take his success for granted.
“I have this voice in my head saying, 'Don’t rest,'” Maniscalco says. “I’ve always imagined bigger. Now I want to do movies, get into TV — different platforms that are funny.”
He’s well on his way. Catch him while you can.