He may not be able to name all the easter eggs in Taylor Swift’s new music video or know the difference between the Jonas Brothers, but ready or not, Sebastian Maniscalco is hosting the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. This year’s show will air live on Monday, Aug. 26, from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. And with Maniscalco hosting, audiences are in for a wild night of unexpected hilarity.
The 45-year-old actor and comedian isn’t the first person who comes to mind when you think of an MTV host, but as he explains to me in an interview for Elite Daily, "When MTV first approached me, I was like, ‘Listen, I’m not a hype guy or I don’t really know a lot about music,’ and they [were] like, ‘Perfect, that’s exactly why we wanted you to do it.’ So the fact that I’m kind of not really educated on today’s music, and I’m a little bit of a fish out of water, is the reason why this is happening."
This refreshing take comes after 2018’s host-less show. MTV has a history of either having a big name in music lead the show, like Katy Perry in 2017 and Miley Cyrus in 2015, or a bunch of different presenters throughout the night in lieu of an official host. According to Maniscalco, this year will be more of an "unfiltered look at the VMAs" through his non-musical eyes.
He seemingly has a relaxed approach to the big night. Plain and simple, he says, "I’m just trying to bring as much funny as I possibly can to the event. It’s not really about me, it’s about the artists that are performing. I’m just going to take you through the night."
On June 25, Maniscalco announced his new gig on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and shared the first look at his behind-the-scenes preparations. And it’s all very on-brand for the comedian; Maniscalco’s bread and butter is bringing his personal life into his comedy.
Over the past few years, Maniscalco has widened his fan base. While he’s most well-known for his stand-up performances, he also appeared in the Oscar-winning film Green Book, and recently was cast in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film, The Irishman. In 2018, Maniscalco also penned Stay Hungry, a memoir that was followed by a tour of the same name, which is now streaming on Netflix.
All in all, Maniscalco is hopeful his first time as a host will provide him with a ton of new stand-up material. Specifically, what goes on when the camera isn’t rolling. He reveals, "I don’t know about people in the music industry, so if there’s anything that happens backstage — I’m really excited to see what goes on backstage at an event like this with a lot of people back there, a lot of different artists, entourages, what have you. So my goal is to be a fly on the wall, observing what’s happening around me, and hopefully creating some standup comedy from that."
The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards air live on Aug. 23 on MTV at 8 p.m.
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