This past weekend, Caesar’s Windsor welcomed back L.A. based comedian Sebastian Maniscalco for three packed shows at The Colosseum. Warming up the crowd was Pat McGann, a regular tour partner of Maniscalco the past five years.
Two large screens suspended over each side of the stage for the people in the far seats were used for a bit of pre-show fun in which cameras focused on random audience members who were asked to do their best Maniscalco facial expression. Some of the results were pretty hilarious for both being accurate and being strange.
With his observational comedic style very similar to Maniscalco but without the Italian/American culture, opener McGann has been his tour opener for the past five years now. A Chicago native like Maniscalco, his wry wit had the audience laughing from the get-go. One of his bits was mocking a couple that had an usher showing them to their seats in the front row. Relatable topics like lazy teenagers, elderly parents visiting with dual sleep apnea machines and a crooked baby toe which in McGann’s words, “just gave up”, got the crowd loosened up for the main act.
After a brief video of highlights of Maniscalco’s performances, the comedian made a sudden and dramatic entrance from between two massive curtains in a haze of backlighting and stage fog. All he has to do is stand there and look at the audience and people start to chuckle. As mentioned earlier, his facial expressions are a big part of his comedy and really accentuate the stories he tells. Think of George Carlin or Don Rickles, two of his big influences, and then add the Italian culture references and you have a pretty good idea of the hilarity that ensues at one of his shows.
Like Rickles he enjoys poking fun at audience members but does it in a way that isn’t really mean. He centered out one older, affluent looking Lebanese gentleman in the front row with a younger, beautiful partner and wondered exactly what type of business he was involved in. He also made fun of political correctness and the uncomfortable situations that can arise in a way that many people can relate to.
One of the funniest bits was about gender identity and how far sideways that can go. He managed to make it funny without really attacking any particular group. It’s a tricky thing to talk about certain topics today and be funny without offending a lot of people and he manages to do it well. A couple of times he started a story and mentioned someone’s nationality or some other trait and joked that the audience was a little too quiet. This in itself made people laugh and then he assured the audience that it was relevant to the story.
The high cost of a Disneyland ticket and the over the top families you see there, going to the zoo and being disappointed, and foreign busboys at restaurants were just some of the hilarious stories he told.
With three shows at the Colosseum he is one of the biggest draws around and there’s good reason for it. If you’ve never seen him perform I’d suggest you check him out for yourself. The world needs more laughter and we need to laugh at ourselves a bit more as well.
Oct. 22-23, 2022