From "shy guy" to comedian, Sebastian Maniscalco is "just the observer"

People magazine calls Sebastian Maniscalco "the comedian's comedian," but he describes himself simply as an "opinionated observer." 

"I was not the class clown. I was the guy in the back looking at the class clown saying, 'Just sit down. It's not funny.' But, yeah, I've always been kind of reserved and just the observer," he told "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday, describing himself as "a shy guy growing up."

Maniscalco delivers his unique take at sold-out shows on subjects like the absurdity of modern technology and his own Italian-American family. Maniscalco said the "shared experience" of the family is what makes his routines resonate among audiences.

Keep 'Em Laughing: Sebastian Maniscalco

"I think sometimes in comedy, the family is like underserved and I kind of bring the family to the focal point of my act, especially my dad growing up in this kind of old world home where some of the stuff that I heard growing up was like, 'What do you want me to do?!'"

Maniscalco recounted an incident with his father that had him scratching his head.

"He's opening up envelopes and I saw one of the envelopes at the house and it said Salvator None Maniscalco. I go, 'What is this?' He goes, 'The application asked me for my middle name, I put "none."' So it's like that mentality that I think people kind of relate to."


The comic is performing this fall and winter in shows across North America, including four shows in January at New York's Madison Square Garden. Three of the 18,000-seat shows are already sold out. The stand-up tour is called "Stay Hungry," also the title of his best-selling autobiography, which is published by Gallery Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS).

Maniscalco is friends with the likes of comedic icon Jerry Seinfeld, who had him on the show, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."

"Jerry Seinfeld has been a great, great friend to me over the last four years," Maniscalco said, adding, "It's crazy. I watched this guy growing up and now we're flying around Los Angeles in a '69 Camaro and it's nuts. It's just one of those things where I'm really enjoying all these different things that are happening to me and I don't take it for granted, and guys like Jerry Seinfeld has really helped me out."