Saturday, May 20, 2017

Day 216 –Sebastian Maniscalco- Value Laughter –Comedy at Heinz Hall

As I have said before, it takes a lot for me to find amusement in most comedians (see Day 215). A few months ago, I saw Sebastian Maniscalco on Netflix and I was surprised to be in a continual state of laughter in front of  the TV. My blog inspiration psychologist, Maslow, describes a characteristic of a person who is self -actualized as having an “unusual sense of humor”. This is just what Maniscalco  has with an added injection of  physical body contortions and  vivid facial expressions that are  just off the chart funny.  He often tells his life stories though a hilarious Italian lens. It feels like he is telling my story  because  I am a product of Italian immigrants. I was excited to see my first "TV-stand -up comedian"  live at  Heinz Hall.

I have to admit that I was in awe that a guy could sell out  Heinz hall (2676 seats) for an hour or so of comedy.  Looking around at the packed house I thought about how we all must really need or value laughter in our lives because the  seats ranged from mine, $64.00 (the cheaper seat) to over  $200.00. I could just hear my Italian grandparents saying, “Are you crazy! You work hard for your money and you’re throwing it away! For what, a laugh!”  
My grandparents Girolama and Santo 

Yes, I spent my hard earned money and  never stopped laughing. Maniscalco has a way of telling a story and then making a face or motion that is stand-alone funny.  His  talent  reminds me of Jackie Gleason, who could make me  laugh just with his eyes and  his sarcastic anger about everyday life.

Maniscalco does not use  much vulgarity and has a  relatively clean show. He did not need to resort to politics (no Trump jokes)  for a laugh.  He opened with a little complaining about getting around in Pittsburgh and the 17 buses that he counted in town. Then he reminded us about the United passenger that was dragged off the plane and he just kept going.  I found  myself nodding in agreement to most of what he said  about his family-“In my family, if you have a problem, we tell you.”  Not everything in his show is from an Italian point of view. His annoyance with  Facebook postings  and  wedding party dances made my cheeks hurt from laughing (watch here), (What Wrong With People watch here).

I know I sound like I am Maniscalco’s number one fan but he sure gave me a needed rush of endorphins, the body’s natural feel good chemical.  Maybe that is why we value comedy so much -it gives us a natural high. (Sorry Nana and Nonno –I spent the money!)

(Check the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for  more upcoming comedy or Sebastian Maniscalco on tour).
 Spiritual Reflection
We are filled with laughter;and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, "What amazing things the Lord has done for them." (Psalms 126:2)

Other sources 
Maniscalco  on Youtube
        Aren’t  you Embraced
      Wedding Party Dance