Stories of a Sicilian Son: Sebastian Maniscalco
I accidentially viewed the comedy talents of Sebastian Maniscalco while on YouTube and after watching one of his short skits, I was hooked. He's hilarious and is becoming a bigger comedy star year after year. He's selling out the Garden, as in Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. Now that's big.
Maniscalco is in his mid 40s and hails from a suburb of Chicago. He started out doing open mics in bars and bowling alleys all while he was working as a waiter at the plush Four Season Hotels in Beverly Hills. Location, location, location doesn't just apply to Real Estate. He waited tables for 7 long years while doing comedy. You can easily say his success was earned.
He's done comedy specials on Comedy Central, Showtime and even published a book "Stay Hungry as well as appeared on Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."
His father Salvatore, who he works into his skits often, is from Sicily. I encourage you if you need a laugh go on YouTube and watch a short skit or two. Laughter is almost guaranteed. You don't have to be Italian to appreciate his comedy. He does a wide variety of skits that you will be able to relate to and he's so animated.
There are many other famous people of Sicilian heritage that made a meaningful contribution to the Arts, Entertainment and Sports: Frank Sinatra, Al Pacino, Armand Assante, Ben Gazzara, Joe Pass, Frank Zappa, Jon Bon Jovi, Tony Danza, Joe DiMaggio and Roy Campanella and are a few that come to mind.
I had the pleasure to meet and get to know Ben Gazzara when I lived in Manhattan. Our connection was his father Anotonio and my grandfather Eugenio where both
I'm an American who's grandparents were born in Sicily. I made my pilgrimage to Sicily in 1992 and got to meet all my remaining relatives who never left the island that many refer to as the "Jewel of the Mediterranean." I am a proud American and love the song “God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood. That song was so moving to many Americans post 9/11.
However, your roots are your roots. It’s meaningful and interesting to discover them.