Sebastian Maniscalco’s Toughest Audience Is His Kids


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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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