Refresh for updates If there’s a continuing motif among studios presentations at CinemaCon this year, it’s comedians working the exhibition crowd. Lionsgate closed out CinemaCon with Sebastian Maniscalco performing eight minutes of stand-up to huge roars in Caesars Colosseum. He’s here to promote the movie inspired by his life, About My Father. Yesterday, Universal had Billy Eichner, Jo Koy Steve Carell.
“A little tidbit,” said Maniscalco ribbing Lionsgate distribution boss David Spitz after he introduced the studio’s session today, “He was a little nervous backstage that the teleprompter would go dark and he’d be lost up here.”
His set covered everything from his Jewish in-laws, Italians’ approach to food, the line and price at the casino pool, how Hamilton never changed his life, and more.
“I’m watching you milling around the casino, I gotta give it up to you, who decided that the lanyards would be this big?” taking a swipe at CinemaCon badges, “What are you keeping in there? Your tax returns?”
He mentioned how Vegas use to be a place where people get dressed up. “Looks like a slumber party out there,” says Maniscalco.
On paper straws: “Couple of turtles die in the ocean and I have to get a brain aneurysm drinking out of a straw made out of dry wall.”
On exhibitors: “I didn’t expect a lot of Jewish people went into theater ownership.”
Introducing Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret: “When I was 11, my prayers went like this: ‘It’s me Sebastian. Just hoping my date tomorrow night likes my new cologne.”
And his wife: “Love my wife, she’s slow, she doesn’t move. She don’t move right. We went out to dinner, our car doors never open at the same time. I get out and shut the door. I look, she’s still in the car. She wears heels, they hurt, I get it….I look at the GPS, we’re five minutes away; maybe I should reassemble my feet. She don’t know how to walk in heels. She gets out of the car, it’s like a thriller video.”
Maniscalco co-wrote and executive produced About My Father Robert De Niro plays his father. In the pic, Maniscalco tells his old-school Italian immigrant father Salvo that he is going to propose to his all-American girlfriend, Salvo insists on crashing a weekend with her tony parents.
Talking about his upcoming movie, and the origins for it, Maniscalco said, “I wanted to make a movie where you could take the family.”
“I didn’t think this thing was going to be made. I can’t believe Robert De Niro is playing my father in this movie. It hurt my feelings when I heard Leonardo DiCaprio should play me.”
The comedian brought De Niro on stage, Kim Cattrall and Leslie Bibb.
“My only problem was with Sebastian,” said De Niro, “If I could recast him, I would have gotten DiCaprio.” The Oscar winner said he understands and knew how to play Maniscalco’s immigrant father, a guy who the stand-up has never been able to understand.
Turning to Cattrall, the stand-up said that his mother-in-law is going around Naples, Florida bragging about how the Sex and the City star is playing her.
“Theater owners in Naples, Florida if you want to buy the movie, there’s going to be a huge influx of people going to see it at the Mercado mall.”
The trailer is more hysterical than Meet the Parents. Maniscalco and his father arrive at the latter’s future rich in-laws, a great fish-out-of-water set-up. These are people that keep their money in bank accounts, not mayonnaise jars buried in the backyard like the comedian’s parents. Maniscalco in the voiceover talks about how his hairdresser father was a role model. Then he meets a girl who’s the total opposite of him. “I don’t know how you’re going to fit in, these people are strange,” says De Niro’s papa.
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