Energetic and affable Chicago-comedian Sebastian Maniscalco’s fourth stand-up comedy special “Why Would You Do That?” will premiere on October 1st through Showtime at 10 PM. Maniscalco brings his surreal physicalities and tales of his rambunctious Italian family to New York City’s famed Beacon Theater for one night to audiences everywhere amidst seven sold out shows. With a role in “The House” (a comedy feature starring heavyweights Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell) and the newly minted title of Just For Laugh’s 2016 Stand Up Comedian of the Year, Maniscalco is poised to capture more mainstream audiences.
Maniscalco’s cartoonishly performative style is not the norm in the current comedy zeitgeist. A generation of Louis C.K.-informed conversational comedy rules alternative comedy and influences some mainstream comics as well. Comedians are encouraged to be understated, sometimes straight men in an insane world, which is an authentic expression for your typical anxiety-ridden comic. Conversely, Maniscalco’s relentless gesticulations and puppet-like movements are reminiscent of a young Robin Williams and slapstick. Neither approach to stand-up is inherently better, it’s all up to taste, but whether Maniscalco’s old-school style continues to succeed in today’s market is extremely interesting to follow.
Despite any antiquities in style, “Why Would You Do That?” will be televised on Showtime’s cable channel and will stream through all of its affiliate sources, including Amazon, Roku, Hulu and Google.