Chappelle. burr. Gervais. Cleese. Rogan. Maniscalco?
The top five comedians have burned standing handcuffs by awakes in recent years, calling for a return to free speech.
Joe Rogan blamed the limitations of his awakening for “killing” comedy on the big screen.
Sebastian Maniscalco is different.
The 49-year-old Chicago native uses his encounter with societal norms to x-ray through the prism of his Italian heritage. He’s also one of the comic’s most expressive alive, using his body language to deliver his home punch lines.
Results? He’s sold out Madison Square Garden four times and recently performed at director Martin Scorsese’s 80th birthday party.
But Maniscalco isn’t looking to fuel culture wars, or make political statements from either the stand-up stages or “The Pete & Sebastian Show” podcast.
His new Netflix special, “Is It Me?” It might change all of that.
Maniscalco has no off-limits topics
The material hits familiar targets, from marital squabbles to the idiocy of school get-togethers. The comedian also criticizes the culture of getting up early and often, even mocking audience members who are afraid to laugh at the “wrong” joke.
It started with Maniscalco sharing what it’s like to be a dad in Los Angeles. His daughter’s school has a kid who thinks he’s a lion. The tyke wears (and growls) accordingly. The school tolerates fantasy, as do some parents.
Here’s how one dad reacted when Maniscalco raised “Rory,” the lion in question.
“’I know? Isn’t that great?’”
“And I floated away from that guy. I won’t talk to that guy for the rest of the semester,” Maniscalco vowed.
The comedian may be wearing a MAGA hat to some observers. But it’s not over.
He lamented how society has become so sensitive in recent years, that simply describing someone by their ethnic heritage has become “problematic”. I insist that this is not disrespectful. This is just one tool in a comedian’s kit, a way to make up a joke or set a scene.
“I made people look up,” said the comedian, with an androgynous accent, “What does it matter?” ” “Did not matter. At the end of the story, you’ll find out why I said, “Asian man.” Loosen the hole. All is well.”
The star of the upcoming “About My Father” with Robert De Niro also criticized the new real estate rules. He did not mention how the profession abolished the designation of the “master bedroom” because the word “master” had connotations dating back to the era of slavery.
He had already removed “large closets” as a home descriptor, with the fear that a small percentage of homebuyers might need wheelchairs to move around in the room.
“It’s mine?” It is not born many reviews from professional critics. However, the Chicago Sun-Times and Decider.com, a trusted liberal news site, both praised the special.
That’s amazing. Critics often balk at comedians for attacking the wake or making jokes that don’t align with the barriers of cancel culture. For example, Dave Chappelle’s popular 2021 special, The Closer, impressed critics.
Netflix came under fire for airing Chappelle’s teeming with jokes about the transgender community. However, when Ricky Jervis brought up similar topics earlier this year, via SuperNature, there was little outrage.
Now, one of the industry’s most mainstream comics is blasting away at awakened piety, and even progressive critics can’t muster the outrage at the material.
Sneaky wake restraints may become the new normal thanks, in part, to Maniscalco.
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