Aren't you Embarrassed ? To like this type of comedy ? I could be... The guy is far from what I normally seek.
At first I was sceptic, never heard of the guy and I am really looking, searching, into comedy, stand up and all, trying to watch as many specials as possible because I love the art and I often need the laugh. Sadness a blessing.
Just received an email update from Conan youtube channel, a bit of interview with the guy, saying his on the Forbes list of top earning comedians, I’m like “what ?!”... First time I ever see the guy's face.
Then I do some basic google, read the Forbes articles, “from waiter to Forbes” and the guy seems authentic, a real working man, been a waiter for years to keep his passion going, doing as many shows and open mics as possible, everywhere touring, in between shifts at the four seasons Beverly Hills if necessary. Here I kneel, I respect the love and dedication this dude shows toward his craft. Knew no one in LA, never had a tv show or a movie to shine the lights on him, just been standing up in front of people for years, enduring, performing, improving. For that I start looking into him.
I watch the first 15 minutes of his only show on Netflix “aren’t you embarrassed ?” And at the beginning my scepticism hits back, he’s a doing the “Italian American Chicago” stereotype, the accent, the look, the hair, the tan, the muscles, the clothes, etc. Almost too much for me and I am ready to hate this act. He's playing on this line and I don't like clowns comedians. Usually the more you're doing the less you're saying to me. If you put on an "act" so much, it means to me you are not true and I want authenticity in comedy, realness and emotion to bring me the laughter.
But that’s where the magic operates, once I tell myself: “Ok ! So he is indeed an act and he’s doing loads to prove he’s this Italo-Chicago character”, but it’s show-business, and it’s a reality. You have to differentiate yourself and this role he’s doing comes from his life, he’s from an immigrant Italian-sicilian family (here he scores to my heart), so he’s no fraud. He just chose a role close to him and developed it to perfection.
So I just accept the act and the "over-doing" in character of this Italian Chicago Americano Macho type of dude and I keep watching for the sake of it.
And that’s where the epiphany stroke, once you put aside this character, the guy is a pure comedy gold, the way he speaks, moves, describes and analyse the situations shows years of improving this craft, finding his voice, his moves and his style. Just assuming what he is, probably less in reality, but still, deep down it’s him. This traditional upbringing, old education, tough, but fair with strong work ethic and values. Sharing about this strange vision of things this gave him.
Great comedian ! I really liked his style and act, the way I never seen a comedian like that, the body, the face and all the moves along with his jokes. There is a big part of femininity during the show, when he's shocked, surprised or mad, it's assumed and goes perfectly in balance with the appearance of the Italian male type he "looks" like. There is intelligence and art in this alone. It's been long time I haven't really laughed by myself like that watching a special.
I think I got used to the comedians like C.K., just standing up and delivering the material, so much that it’s been great to see something different and in another comedic style. Opens new dimensions to the craft I didn't thought I'd be interested in. Really appreciated this one, I see the stand up “purists” saying that he’s doing too much of a clown, that it's too simple, but for the clown I hated Jimmy Carr the English but I loved Sebastian, because he's real despite the make up.