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When a Hungry Italian Goes to His First Seder

With Passover as a backdrop, Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco shows us the edges of the eating Venn diagram for Italians and Jews

by
Jonathan Zalman
April 18, 2016

Passover is here. Can you feel it? Can you feel the back pain, the plagues, the Exodus—wait, where’s the wine? Are you ready for a belly full of matzo and karpas? Who put this person in charge of the Seder? WHEN ARE WE EATING? Who’s singing “Dayenu” with me? “Chad Gadya?” Hey! I never got that much money for finding the afikoman when I was a kid. Where are the raspberry Jelly Rings? Look, watch me eat them off my fingers.

However, you slice it, Passover rocks—and it can be quite funny. At least I think so. And so does Sebastian Maniscalco, a half-Sicilian, half-Italian comedian whose take on his experience of attending his first Seder, from his 2014 special Aren’t You Embarrassed, is a hoot. Hopefully, the following clip will get you in a game mood for your own Seder, with your beloved family.

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.

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