““It’s a totally different audience—younger, more of a music audience— and to get myself in front of those people will be a great departure from going in and seeing my fans – more middle-aged working class and a lot of Italian-Americans,” Maniscalco said. “I’ve never really hosted anything, never really worked with writers before, it’s all pretty new to me. I don’t think there’s been a VMA host in the past who’s had gray hair!”
The 46-year-old Chicago native is the first comedian to host the show since Kevin Hart in 2012. Maniscalco, who has been climbing Forbes’ list of highest-paid stand-up comedians for the past few years, is described by MTV as a “comedic powerhouse.”
“We’re thrilled to have the incredibly talented Sebastian Maniscalco as this year’s VMA host,” said Bruce Gillmer, ‘MTV VMAs’ executive producer, global head of music and talent, Viacom and co-brand head, MTV International. “Sebastian is on FIRE right now and his comedic spin on relatable topics will make this year’s show truly unforgettable.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Maniscalco Was Billboard’s 2018 Comedian of the Year
“When I started out, my goal was to simply make a living from doing comedy,” Maniscalco wrote on Instagram. “I never imagined all the support that you all give me every day. I’m honored to be @billboard’s inaugural Comedian of the Year. Thank you!”
Maniscalco says on his website that he is Jerry Seinfeld’s favorite comedian and comedy’s new superstar. He has appeared on shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Today, and The View, among others.
The famous funny guy has more than 750,000 followers on Facebook, almost 170,000 followers on Twitter, 627,000 followers on Instagram, and 152,000 subscribers on YouTube.
Maniscalco is excited to host the 2019 MTV VMA’s, as he grew up with MTV. He says he listened to artists like Madonna, Cher, and Wham. While he suggests he isn’t too familiar with current artists like Billie Eilish, he knows many teens aren’t familiar with him.
2. Maniscalco Starred in the Academy Award-Winning Film ‘Green Book’
Not only is Maniscalco an outstanding comedian, but he has also appeared in numerous films, including the Oscar-winning “Green Book” as well as Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” with Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.
According to IMDb, Maniscalco has racked up 11 acting credits since 2004. He first appeared on TV as a dance club manager for the TV series “Complete Savages,” however, his star-power has since allowed him to take on bigger and better roles.
In 2018, Maniscalco played the role of Dinardo in the movie “Cruise.” That same year, he was the pastor in the comedy “Tag,” starring Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Jeremy Renner, and Jake Johnson. Shortly thereafter he played the role of Johnny Venere in the Academy Award-winning film “Green Book.”
In 2019, Maniscalco starred in “The Irishman” as Joseph “Crazy Joe” Gallo. Fans can get excited for his next project, “Spinning Gold,” which is filming now, according to IMDb.
“With the success of the comedy, other opportunities opened themselves up,” Maniscalco said on his website. “I’m able to take on projects I’m passionate about, just do really quality stuff—I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can really calculate what I’m doing and not spread myself too thin.”
3. Mansicalco is About to Begin His You Bother Me Tour
Maniscalco is touring throughout 2019 with tickets to his North American “You Bother Me” tour on sale now.
According to his Instagram page, Maniscalco is bothered by people who FaceTime in public, people who video fireworks on the 4th of July, and people who post videos and tell their followers to “swipe up.”
The You Bother Me tour currently has 28 dates around the United States and Canada, according to Maniscalco’s website. It will kick off on August 30, 2019, at Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita, Arizona, and end on November 30, 2019, at Van Wezel Performing Arts in Sarasota, Florida.
4. Maniscalco Wrote a Best-Selling Memoir
In 2018, Maniscalco published his best-selling memoir Stay Hungry. According to Amazon, the book is an honest and inspiring collection of essays.
Stay Hungry tells the story of his twenty-year journey from struggling comedian in LA performing in boxing rings and bowling alleys to one of the highest-earning comedians.
“On the way from clueless rube to standup superstar, Seb was booed off stages; survived on tips and stolen food; got advice from mentors Andrew Dice Clay, Vince Vaughn, Tony Danza, and Jerry Seinfeld; fell in love; and stayed true to his Italian-immigrant roots,” the book’s description reads. “The one code that always kept him going: stay hungry, keep focused, never give up, and one day, you’ll make it.”
5. Maniscalco’s Life Motto is ‘Stay Hungry’
According to his website, “Stay Hungry” is more than just a slogan for Maniscalco, it’s a way of life. So it makes sense that his Netflix original special, one of his comedy tours, and his bestselling memoir would all share the same name.
Maniscalco got his start in the Los Angeles comedy scene and has been known in comic circles for about twenty years, according to TIME. He reportedly performed on Comedy Central as early as 2005, however, he has shot to stardom more recently after increased online exposure, sold-out live shows, and two Netflix original specials.
In January 2019, the comedian wrapped a weekend of four shows at Madison Square Garden by breaking an amazing record. Maniscalco was congratulated for selling the most tickets in a weekend for any comedy engagement in the history of Madison Square Garden, according to Billboard. In addition, he reportedly posted the highest ever Billboard Boxscore gross for a comedian in North America, with an astonishing $8.3 million in ticket sales and an attendance count of 72,960.