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October 14, 2016 03:36 PM

Sebastian Maniscalco may be the hottest comedian on the rise right now (despite being 45 and “doing this for 18 years!”) but it’s recent inclusion in PEOPLE’s annual “Ones to Watch” package that he says has his mother in a tizzy.

“My mother saw the magazine and she was like, ‘You made it,’ ” Mansicalco told PEOPLE at a party celebrating the issue on Oct. 13. “I’ve been on Showtime and Comedy Central, but none of that matters — all that matter is that she sees me in PEOPLE!”

WATCH: This Comedian Had Something Really, Really Embarrassing Happen on Stage

Maniscalco, whose star has been on the rise since big fan Jerry Seinfeld had him as guest on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, is notable for his physical comedy and talking about his Sicilian immigrant upbringing, and has been dubbed the “new Louis CK” — a term he’s beyond flattered by. 

“It’s great!” he says of the comparison. “He’s very very talented, so it’s so flattering. I’ve been doing this for 18 years, bouncing around clubs across the country and putting in my time doing hard work. I guess people are kind of responding to it.” 

As for how his life is changing now that he’s getting more and more recognized on the street, Maniscalco says he’s happy to stop and chat to fans. “People are very gracious,” he says. “But basically all they want is a photo when it comes down to it.” 

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