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Sebastian Maniscalco Goes Nuclear on Woke Snowflakes

Sebastian Maniscalco has had enough.

The 49-year-old superstar spent years honing his apolitical stand-up routine. He doesn’t dip a toe in Beltway battles or abortion debates, focusing solely on the minutiae of modern life.

Even his signature “Cast,” “The Pete and Sebastian Show,” avoids culture war subjects and the latest headlines.

His new Netflix comedy special, “Is It Me?” reveals a new, angrier Maniscalco.

The hour-long special finds the comic riffing on the usual subjects, from marriage to social niceties. He also weaves personal stories into the mix, including his days visiting his children’s pre-schools.

Maniscalco, dressed in a Sinatra-approved tux, riffs on education in the modern era. He’s aghast at fellow dads eager to set up play dates for the grown-ups, but he’s equally alarmed to see what goes on behind closed doors.

One of his daughter’s class mates caught his attention.

“She’s got a kid in her class that identifies as a lion. He comes to the school with a tail, ears and fur,” he says. [The child] goes by Rory. I’m not making this up, I’m just reporting the news.”

Not every parent seemed troubled by the development.

“I live in Los Angeles, so you gotta be careful who you’re talking to,” he said, recalling what happened when he mentioned Rory to a fellow dad. “‘I know? Isn’t that fabulous?’ And I just floated away from that guy. I’m not gonna be talking to that guy for the rest of the semester.”


How did the culture get to this point? Maniscalco blames the parents.

“The kid probably came down one day, dressed as a lion. ‘I’m a lion, Mommy!’ And the idiotic parents said, ‘oh, he’s a lion now. C’mon, let’s go to school, Lion!’”

That wouldn’t fly in this comic’s household.

“If my kid comes down and he’s dressed as a panda bear I’d say, ‘get the f*** back upstairs and put some jeans on … I’m not taking a panda bear to school… done. We don’t see that outfit ever again. Daddy said no.”

The comedian put on a highly sensitive voice to describe his naysayers.

“You got some people in here looking over here and saying, ‘what does it matter to you? Why does it affect you?’ It’s affecting my daughter. She ain’t learning nothin’ because this lion is disruptive … he’s in the back of the class knocking over books and desks … the teachers’s gotta stop what she’s doing. And nowadays you can’t say nothing.”

He’d be the target of ridicule for not being sensitive to the lion’s feelings, he warned.

“I can’t go up to the teacher and say, ‘what’s the f*** with this lion in the class?’” he said. “My kid don’t know the alphabet because Rory’s in the back looking for zebras… can you believe we’re even talking bout this s***?”

The bit suggests a larger question. Did Maniscalco use a real-life absurdity to make the crowd laugh? Or was he critiquing how some schools are encouraging children to adopt different genders at a very early age?

Here’s betting Maniscalco won’t shed any new light on the material.


The comedian also excoriated the crowd and the culture at large for abiding by the new, restrictive woke bylaws. He described going to his 3-year-old son’s preschool and meeting fellow fathers, including one Asian dad.

“Look how quiet it got with ‘Asian father,’” he noted. “Everyone in the room, their ass tightened up. ‘Hey, where are you going with this?’”

“This is what happened with the country in the last six or seven years. You can’t even mention someone’s background in describing them. It’s not meant as derogatory. Growing up, this is how you knew who you were talking about in the neighborhood. What guy? The Puerto Rican guy? Oh, OK.”

Just mentioning a fellow father’s race, Maniscalco noted from the crowd, created an uneasy reaction.

“You got people looking up going, ‘What does it matter?’” the comic said in an affected voice. “It matters. At the end of the story you’re gonna find out why I said, ‘Asian guy.’ Loosen up your hole. It’s ok.”

The crowd offered some cheers and whistles in support.

Later, Maniscalco noted the Asian father pointed his Asian son out to him, what he dubbed an unnecessary gesture since the boy was the only Asian child in the class.

“You got people in the room looking up, going, ‘You are so close minded,’” he said. “How dare you? How dare you assume. Don’t you think the Asian father adopted the black child, and the black father adopted the Asian child?’”

“Listen , if I’m putting money on who this Asian kid is going home with, it’s [the Asian dad]. Put $100 on the table. I wanna see how PC you get. Where I come from, these two came in the same car,” he said.

Woke sensitivities are clearly top of mind for Maniscalco lately, even though his act remains among the cleanest and least offensive around.

Last week on “The Pete and Sebastian Show,” Maniscalco shared a story of performing at screen legend Martin Scorsese’s 80th birthday party.

The director’s table featured Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Lawrence, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo Di Caprio, Benecio Del Toro and Robert De Niro.

Hollywood Royalty 101.

“I’m nervous going into this, not so much because of that table,” he said. “Some of these corporate events are a little tight … the stigma of corporate is a little stuffy.”

This was worse.

“This is Hollywood, movie people … the equivalent of performing at an awards show. It leans heavy to one side of the aisle, politics wise,” he said. “I got some stuff that I’m doing that might not be [pause] it’s a little unwoke.”

“I’m concerned about A., the environment, B. do they even know I’m a comedian and C. the material and the content I’ve chosen,” he said. 

His opening bit, about how men and women dress for fancy events, drew crickets. He segued into relationship material, which also drew little to no response.

“About six or seven minutes in I start making fun of them,” he said. “I know some of you don’t like what I’m saying up here, but loosen up your holes, it’s OK.”

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