In 2019, Sebastian Maniscalco continued reaching heights that few comedians could ever dream about. With a string of record-breaking, sold-out arena shows including the United Center in his hometown of Chicago, Boston’s TD Garden, The Forum in LA and New York’s Madison Square Garden; a new Netflix original special called “Stay Hungry;” the launch of his brand-new You Bother Me tour; and a starring role alongside Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-nominated The Irishman, it’s no surprise that Pollstar presented him with 2019’s Comedy Tour of the Year award.
That success follows a number of blockbuster years for the comedian, author and actor that have included releasing a best-selling memoir, Stay Hungry; landing a role in Green Book, which won Best Picture at the Academy Awards and receiving Billboard’s inaugural Comedian of the Year award.
Maniscalco’s five television comedy specials (for Netflix, Showtime and Comedy Central) scaled new ratings heights, prompting NBC’s Nightly News to dub him “comedy’s new superstar.” His most recent special, “Stay Hungry,” was filmed in 2018 during a run of five sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall. The same week the special was released on Netflix in January 2019, he performed an astonishing four sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden, breaking the record for highest-grossing comedy event ever in North America. That trajectory continued all year with Maniscalco breaking the record for highest gross for a single performance (e.g., one event) comedy show at TD Garden in Boston and putting on the biggest comedy show in the history of Chicago’s United Center and with 21,286 tickets sold, the event also broke his own record of best attendance at a single show.
It is no wonder the New York Times called him “the hottest comic in America.” And while some might take a break, the Chicago-born Maniscalco is not one to rest on his laurels — it’s a work ethic drilled into him by his father. And so, in 2020, the man dubbed “the comedian’s comedian” by People magazine shows no sign of slowing down.
Pat McGann is quickly rising as one of the sharpest stand-ups in the comedy world. A relative latecomer to the scene, Pat began stand up at the age of 31 after realizing he was not very good at selling packaging. He hustled his way to become the house emcee at Zanies Chicago, where he distinguished himself as especially adept at working the crowd. A husband and father of three young children, Pat’s appeal stems from his quick wit and relatable take on family life and marriage. In 2017, McGann began touring as the opening act for Sebastian Maniscalco, moving with him from clubs, to theaters, then arenas, including four sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden. McGann’s relatively short, but impressive résumé, includes performances on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Montreal’s famed “Just For Laughs Festival,” “Gilda’s LaughFest,” “The Great American Comedy Festival” and the “Nashville Comedy Fest.” McGann still calls Chicago home.