Q: You’ve been doing some film work lately. How does it feel to be getting back to comedy? What sort of balance to you like to have in your professional life?
A: I’ve been touring while filming – I never took a break. I bring my wife and daughter on tour as much as possible. I have to schedule time off to recuperate, clear my head, live life and reflect to get new real life material. Sometimes it’s hard to shut off but down time is necessary to have balance and maximize my creativity.
Q: You got a great reception from your appearance on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I’ve also seen you referred to more than once as “Jerry Seinfeld’s favorite comedian,” which is probably one for the LinkedIn profile. What does Jerry mean to you? In what ways does his work inform yours?
A: I don’t have a LinkedIn profile. I’ll have to ask my managers if they think I should get one! Being on Comedians in Cars was like my Johnny Carson moment. I learned a lot from Jerry about how to do clean, family-friendly comedy that is smart. Jerry is someone I have an immense amount of respect for personally and professionally.
Q: One thing I enjoy about you is that you’re hard to pin down. We sometimes think of great witty turn-of-phrase comedians as in a separate box to great physical comedians. You can certainly turn a phrase, but people are missing out if they don’t always see your constantly-in-motion physical style. Was that a decision, or is that what feels natural?
A: It was an evolution – I started out a lot less physical and through the years I have added more and more movement to the show. I loved watching John Ritter on Three’s Company growing up – his physical act outs made the funny lines ten times funnier and often time he didn’t need to say anything at all to make you laugh – the physicality was enough to do the trick.
Q: You’re a father. Comedians sometimes have different views on how parenthood informs or changes their comedy. What do you think?
A: Being a parent is now my life. I enjoy every minute of it. My material will always be relatable so whatever I’m going through as a father will for sure become part of my act but not all of it.
Q: You’ve had a great deal of success with television specials but looking at your schedule, you’re really still a road warrior when it comes to touring. What do you enjoy about the road? Is it something you’d like to scale back on eventually?
A: I love going to different parts of the country and the world and making all types of people laugh. It continues to challenge me having to make my material hit on all levels and appeal to a variety of audiences.
Q: Finally, do you have any connection to Fort Lauderdale or South Florida? Been here many times before? Any memories?
A: My in-laws live in Naples, and my wife went to high school in Naples, so I do have a connection to South Florida. I love to take a nice dip in a pool with a fresh poolside beverage. There is nothing more relaxing than that!
Sebastian Maniscalco will be at the BB&T Center on December 27 at 8:00 pm.