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Stories of a Sicilian Son: Sebastian Maniscalco

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I accidentially viewed the comedy talents of Sebastian Maniscalco while on YouTube a year ago. After watching one of his short skits, I was hooked. He's hilarious and is becoming a bigger comedy star year after year. He sold out the Garden, as in Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. Now that's big and in 2019 will host the Video Music Awards on August 26th.

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" and recently appeared in the movie "The Irishman" in which Robert De Niro starred.

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.