Did Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco Offend Manchester, New Hampshire, Last Night?
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
Based on his standup set last night, he doesn't care if anyone was offended. But then again, it's all about how you digested the topics he touched on.
Sebastian Maniscalco in NH
Last night, Sebastian Maniscalco headlined a comedy show at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.
It didn't take Sebastian long to hop into some content that some may consider controversial, starting off by mentioning how much the world has changed as far as everyone's views and classifications go.
Before I get into this, let me preface this with the fact that Sebastian wasn't offensive to me personally. Of course, there may have been members in the sold-out (or near sold-out, if it wasn't completely sold-out) audience that were offended, but everyone is entitled to their viewpoints.
And Sebastian didn't pretend that some people wouldn't have been offended -- he's actually the one who pointed out, during his set, that he was sure some people in the crowd would be offended and tweet about it after the show.
Sebastian Maniscalco's Standup Set
Part of Sebastian's set dealt with fatherhood. He's a father to two children, a five-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son, and is often the one to drop his children off at school.
One story -- which he mentioned is 100% true -- involves one of his son's schoolmates identifying as a lion, down to wearing a tail and ears to school every day. He then went into a dialogue about what his reaction would be to either of his children one day telling him they identify as an animal.
That all tied into a story he told about his son taking off his shirt in class one day while walking around to different students offering crayons and "having the time of his life." The teacher approached Sebastian and asked him to have his son put his shirt back on, to which Sebastian referenced "the lion down the hall."
Staying on the topic of fatherhood and classroom interactions, he then began telling a story about interacting with another father in the classroom, "an Asian man." And then immediately acknowledged the hush that fell over the crowd after that description of the man.
You see? You hear how silent it just got? Growing up, we'd classify someone by ethnicity or race, not in a negative way but to distinguish them from other people. Some people are probably in the crowd right now like, 'But what's it matter that he's Asian?' I promise you, the description will make sense at the end of the story, so just sit back and relax.
Generally, these days, comedians approaching their sets one of two ways -- they either completely avoid controversial topics, or they go right into said topics but in a way that can make fun of the way some people view those topics.
But the amazing thing about Sebastian -- and why I wasn't personally offended by anything in his set -- is that he found a way to tackle those controversial topics and even toss in his views that may show he either disagrees or doesn't get some of the topics he brings up, but he never broke anyone or their viewpoints down in the process.
If you get the chance to see Sebastian live, do it. He's hilarious. In the meantime, if you're looking for more and new Sebastian, he has a brand new comedy special dropping on Netflix tomorrow, called Sebastian Maniscalco: Is It Me?