Monday, March 5, 2018
Review: Stay Hungry by Sebastian Maniscalco
3 1/2 - 4 Stars
I've been a big Sebastian Maniscalco fan for years and was super excited to find out he was writing a book. One of the main reasons i love his comedy so much, is that he comes across as so relatable. He talks about his dysfunctional Italian family - a subject i completely relate to - a lot, and I challenge you to find a more visually funny comic around (watch one of his Showtime specials, or just one of his clips on You Tube and you'll see what i mean). Having said all that, i was slightly worried how his brand of humor would translate into a book. The answer to that is, while not exactly seamless and perfect....it still ended up being a funny, charming look at his life and career.
Probably the best parts from this book were the tidbits about his life he never talks about in interviews, or in his act (his parents sudden divorce after almost 40 years of marriage, the 2 miscarriages he and his wife endured before the birth of their daughter). In those sections, while not told in great detail, he shows a different side of his personality that his fans rarely if ever see. The fact that this was written more as a memoir than just as a typical collection of essays also worked in his favor, since SM is a born storyteller.
My only issue with the book, were the times Maniscalco came off sounding more cocky and arrogant than just the larger than life comedian we see onstage. Possibly these sections just didn't translate to the page as they would have if he had just been working them into his act. But they did pop up, especially towards the end, and were distracting.
Would i recommend this to people not already familiar with his work? Not really. I would instead suggest watching one of his specials, or even better....seeing him live on stage, to watch him truly shine.
Overall, this was an enjoyable look into the life and mind of one of the best comics out there.