Sebastian Maniscalco’s Toughest Audience Is His Kids


I thought Pilates was on the floor. And then next thing you know, I’m strapped into a machine, and I’m doing these movements that I haven’t ever done before, and my body is becoming elongated. If you do it on a consistent basis, you really start to see the muscles that are being used.


We love making popcorn, and my wife turned me on to this machine, which has that crank on the side that stirs the kernels. Just canola oil and salt — that’s all you need. And we sit and watch movies. Now that the kids are getting older, they’re starting to get into movies that I grew up with, like “The Wizard of Oz” and “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” My daughter is into doing all the songs from “Grease.”


They have lobsters in an aquarium where the kids can look, and they have big whole fish with the eyeballs. They have a little pasta station, and I ask them, “OK, pick out the pasta that you want Daddy to make you tonight.” I feel like they have more of an appreciation of the food because they’re invested in it. I also want to open up their palates to different sauces on the pasta other than butter and cheese.


Some guys go golfing. I like cooking for people. It’s a little nerve-racking because something could go wrong and you’ve got 13 people over. The problem with me is I like to do too much. I like people to be full before they even start eating the entree.


Sometimes you become ships passing in the night, and you need that time together as a couple. So she picks a night and surprises me where we’re going to go. And then the next week I’ll pick a night and surprise her. I think it’s very important to have those date nights in a marriage that let you reconnect.


It is more of a comedy for me because I find myself laughing at a lot of the things they say, particularly Brian Cox, who was hysterical in this thing, and Kieran Culkin, the zingers that they throw out. I think I’ve got about four episodes left.


There was nothing better for me than making a room full of strangers laugh — until I had kids. When they laugh, it blows away the feeling of 20,000 people. If I get my daughter rolling on a laugh, for me it’s gold. They’re my toughest audience, but the most rewarding.

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