Sebastian Maniscalco Opens “Nobody Does This” Arena Tour in Tampa
Kicking off his tour of arenas around the country, comedian Sebastian Maniscalco, 48 who hails from Chicago, starts in Tampa Bay at the Amalie Arena. He knows the area since he has played “Sidesplitters” Comedy Club over the years. Dressed casually in a red, white and black leather jacket and tennis shoes, he started out by poking some fun at Dale Mabry Highway and the wealthy Glazer family who owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The stage was in the round set up in the center of the Amalie Arena, with big screens on all four sides to give the over 10,000 ticket holders several camera angles and a closer view of Sebastian.
Maniscalco’s observations include his family, particularly his father, wife and everyday situations. Restaurants, coffee houses and the DMV was just some of the fodder for the Tampa audience. Maniscalco is saying what the rest of us think or have experienced in these situations. His physicality along with various accents make for hilarious, over-exaggerated truths. The audience demographic was mixed from young adults to octogenarians. I was seated next to some 21-year-old somethings who laughed uproariously the entire show.
This writer first discovered Maniscalco on his comedy specials on Netflix several years ago. He wasn’t quite a household name yet, but more and more people were discovering him. His influences include Jerry Seinfeld, George Carlin and Johnny Carson. Seinfeld has had Sebastian on his Netflix show, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”. Their styles are different yet they both work in observation comedy. Maniscalco is not an overnight success as it may seem. He started out in working comedy clubs around the country in the late 90’s and has paid his dues. Seinfeld claims him as his “favorite comedian”.
In 2019, he sold out four nights at Madison Square Garden in NYC and has the highest record for the biggest comedy show in history selling out Chicago’s United Center with over 21,000 in attendance. Those are usually numbers for music concerts not comedy. The Tampa audience was clearly appreciative of him, shouting his name from the rafters. He threw the love right back and his gratitude for being back on stage. There is nothing like a night of laughter to feel better about life, especially in these times. Sebastian Maniscalco brings levity at a time when we really need it. One of today’s best comedians!
His opener Pat McGann is a perfect precursor, with observations of family life and sports. McGann starts the show off for a 20 min set. He is a fellow Chicagoan who has been working with Sebastian for years.
Sebastian is hot right now and you can catch him on his Netflix specials and clips on YouTube. He also has a podcast, “The Pete and Sebastian Show” and episodes of “Well Done with Sebastion Maniscalco” on the Food Network. His best-selling book “Stay Hungry” tells stories of his career starting out in comedy. He is touring the country through May 2022 and has several residency dates at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. Check out his website.
Photos by Vicky Sullivan