Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco, Author of Stay Hungry: “My Dad Sells My Book at His Hair Salon”

Sebastian Maniscalco tells Conan O’Brien that at a recent book signing, fans formed a separate, longer line to get their copies signed by Sebastian’s dad.

Arlington Heights native Sebastian Maniscalco, age 48, was in town early March 2018, and performed at the Rosemont Theatre. As a master of observational rants on today’s culture, his performances are hilarious. His targets range from his father and his own family (e.g., a historical comparison of answering the doorbell from his childhood to today) to complete strangers on the street, at Chipotle Mexican Grill, the local yogurt store, and tattoos (e.g., “I don’t put bumper stickers on a Porsche!”)

Recently the successful comedian, who graduated from Rolling Meadows High School, discussed his father’s behavior at a book signing in Chicagoland. His father, Salvatore Maniscalco, got involved signing his own signature in his son’s books. Sebastian Maniscalco jokes how he found himself competing with the personalized offerings of his father. Salvatore is a hair stylist in the north suburbs, and is also selling Sebastian’s book “Stay Hungry” at his hair salon.

In his book, Sebastian describes leaving Arlington Heights for Los Angeles with a suitcase and “saved up” minimum wages. He says he knew no one and nothing about stand up comedy, but he was determined to go for it anyway.

“Stay Hungry” tells the story of the twenty years in between. On the way from clueless rube to standup superstar, Sebastian was booed off stages; survived on tips and stolen food; got advice from mentors Andrew Dice Clay, Vince Vaughn, Tony Danza, and Jerry Seinfeld; fell in love; and stayed true to his Italian-immigrant roots. The one code that always kept him going: stay hungry, keep focused, never give up, and one day, you’ll make it.

With many signs of success, Sebastian Maniscalco has appeared on late-night talk shows, headlined three Showtime network specials, including his observational rant “Why Would You Do That?” and a successful live tour schedule. Sebastian also appeared in multiple shows at the Chicago Theatre in November 2016.

Sebastian Maniscalco debuted in July 2017 on Forbes’ list of the highest-paid comedians, earning $15 million and placing 10th on the list.

“I know things are good, but I’d hate to make the Forbes list this year and be off it next year. And it’s a little uncomfortable to have that information out; I’m a private guy.”

— Sebastian Maniscalco

Jerry Seinfeld topped the Forbes 2016-2017 list with earnings of $69 million, followed by Chris Rock ($57 million) and Louis C.K. ($52 million). The rankings are based on pre-tax income earned between June 2016 and June 2017. Forbes noted Maniscalco is frequently on tour and played more than 100 gigs in the past year.




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CONAN on TBS October 2017: Sebastian’s friends don’t give two hoots about him making the Forbes list of highest paid stand-up comedians.

CONAN on TBS August 2017: Sebastian’s friends don’t give two hoots about him making the Forbes list of highest paid stand-up comedians.