Sebastian Maniscalco

Sebastian Maniscalco’s career has grown steadily since the late-’90s, from performances at  bowling alleys to a recent leap into theatres. Along the way he’s had two Showtime specials with one on the way, a winning podcast in “The Pete And Sebastian Show” and a man-crush on the Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt.

But this year is crowded with expectations. Maniscalco is in talks with NBC for a sitcom that could debut as early as this fall.  His first book, “Where Do You Want To Eat?” is expected about that time, and later this month he takes a ride with Jerry Seinfeld in “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.” In fact, the “S-word” was recently invoked.

“What promoters should expect is he brings in an audience they don’t usually see for a comedy show.  He brings in an audience that is not unlike an early Seinfeld,” manager Judi Brown-Marmel told Pollstar. “It’s not just one generation.  In his case, he’s bringing in the parents, the teens and the grandparents.”

Photo: Todd Rosenberg

Maniscalco’s physical comedy is rooted in the impoliteness and self-importance of modern society as viewed from the child of immigrant Italian parents. That last element means it’s played well on the East Coast but everybody is expecting it to develop westward.

“This whole thing, jumping from clubs to theatres for me has been something that we have been considering over the last two years,” Maniscalco told Pollstar. “You start with five shows and then you’re at 13 at the end of the week … It just makes sense to move into the whole theatre realm because a) they can hold more seats obviously, and b) you don’t have to stay in Long Island for a week doing 13 shows!” 

United Talent Agency had a few things to say, too.

“Having believed in Sebastian early in his career, it is exciting to see that others are now recognizing what a phenomenal talent he is.” Maniscalco agent Heidi Feigin said.

Photo: Todd Rosenberg

Added UTA’s Nick Nuciforo: “I have worked with a number of comedians who have broken fast, but I have never seen someone go straight from a comedy club to selling out seven shows at the Beacon for their first theatre play in the market. We are adding second shows in a number of cities on his freshman tour, and I expect that it won’t be long before Sebastian is playing arenas.”

“Heidi and Judi both came to my wedding,” Maniscalco said. “It’s more than just a working relationship. It’s good to know your managers and agents are on the phones with buyers or magazines and speaking highly of you.”