When: 7:30 p.m., Aug. 17
Where: Santa Barbara Bowl
Information: sbbowl.com or (805) 962-7411
It’s exhausting to even look at the schedule for Sebastian Maniscalco.
Back-to-back movies — one that won an Oscar, another that aligns him with Hollywood’s heaviest hitters.
A popular podcast, a Friday staple that allows him to focus on storytelling.
Tours surrounding his first love, stand-up comedy.
An upcoming gig as the host of the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards.
And, most importantly, now a father to two young ones, the latest just four weeks old.
“There are no more naps,” Mr. Maniscalco told the News-Press.
The ability to juggle multiple projects at one time is something that was instilled in him by his father.
Mr. Maniscalco remembers watching other kids actually go off to enjoy Spring Break, while he was expected to find work to fill that time.
“Work ethic was beat into me as a young kid,” Mr. Maniscalco said.
And for the last 20 years, Mr. Maniscalco has taken whatever he can get in his adopted home of Los Angeles, waiting tables at the Four Seasons for the first seven years, honing his stand-up act on any stage that would give him a microphone.
“I’d get up on stage, filling, trying this out, trying that out,” Mr. Maniscalco said.
His ability to face failure and conquer it stemmed from an undying love for humor.
“I had a passion for watching standup comedy as a kid,” Mr. Maniscalco said. “I didn’t know how to get into it, so I dove in feet first (by relocating to L.A.).”
His willingness to learn and grind in Hollywood has paid massive dividends, doing standup spots on multiple late-night talk shows — including Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon — and also landing a Netflix special in 2015 called, “Stay Hungry.”
Mr. Maniscalco also has a best-selling book by the same name.
“It’s what I love doing, I don’t even look at it as work,” Mr. Maniscalco said.
While stand-up launched his career, Mr. Maniscalco has found a new lane over the past three years, introducing his unique abilities to a whole new audience.
He acted alongside Viggo Mortensen, Linda Cardellini and Mahershala Ali in the Oscar and Golden Globe winning movie, “Green Book.” The movie was directed by Peter Farrelly, known for his comedic movies, with “Green Book” his first departure into the drama category.
“Twenty years ago, if you told me I’d be at the Oscars in a movie that I am in, and win, I would have told you were nuts,” Mr. Maniscalco said.
His acting chops didn’t go unnoticed by one of the biggest directors in Hollywood: Martin Scorsese, who chose Mr. Maniscalco to join Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in “The Irishman,” set for 2019 release.
“I looked around at DeNiro, Pacino, Pesci and asked, ‘Should I be here? Am I good enough to be with these guys?’” Mr. Maniscalco said. “It’s a natural feeling for a guy in my position. Not a lot of people get to work with arguably the best actors around.”
And while Mr. Maniscalco is enjoying expanding his horizons, he admits that he is most at home on the stand-up stage.
“If I don’t do stand-up for two or three days, I go nuts,” Mr. Maniscalco said. “I like to share my life with 2,000 strangers every night.”
Mr. Maniscalco finds himself at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles quite often — “my gym for new material” — working out kinks in his material.
“Whatever the reason, whether it’s taking my daughter to ballet class, family to the park, there are little morsels of humor jumping around in my head,” said Mr. Maniscalco, who was Billboard’s Inaugural Comedian of the Year in 2018. “I need to get those out there to know if they are funny.”
He also utilizes a podcast alongside Pete Correale called “The Pete and Sebastian Show,” which airs on SiriusXM’s Raw Dog channel every Friday at 2 p.m. PT.
“It’s a nice a departure from standup, it’s more storytelling,” Mr. Maniscalco explained.
And Santa Barbara played a role in the development of Mr. Maniscalco’s story, playing in a downtown restaurant in the early 2000s.
“I was on a milk crate while people ate a full meal,” Mr. Maniscalco said. “I was doing standup in the middle of their meal.”
Now he and his wife use Santa Barbara as an adult escape, traveling up the coast every couple of years to do some wine tasting and get away from the craziness that is L.A.
And, when he returns on Aug. 17 at the Santa Barbara Bowl, his stage will be quite a bit bigger.
“I’m pretty sure they don’t have a milk crate as a stage,” Mr. Maniscalco said. “We’ll be fine.”