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Shark Attacks Over the Last Few Weeks; Sebastian Maniscalco is Interviewed about His New Movie; How Americans Spend Memorial Day Holiday. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 26, 2023 - 08:30   ET




POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: An American woman is in serious condition this morning after reportedly losing her leg in a shark attack. This happened when she was snorkeling Wednesday in the Turks and Caicos. It is the latest in a string of shark attacks we've seen in the past week or so.

Joining us from Rockaway Beach, right here in New York, is our Miguel Marquez, who has not yet seen a shark, yet, thank goodness. But People are a little nervous on the coast, right?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think people are paying attention and certainly governments across everywhere from Florida all the way north into Massachusetts are telling people, beach season has begun, summer has begun, keep in mind this is sharks' front yard and backyard that they're playing in.

Here in the Rockaways, you can see, this is pretty typical, lots of surfers out here. It's low tide now so they're getting out there. We have seen some dolphins already this morning but no sharks.

That woman in the Turks and Caicos has really raised alarms and concerns because it was such a bad injury. That shark took off one of her legs. These were people who were -- two people who were on a private boat that they were snorkeling out beyond the reef and a shark, they say, may have mistaken her for a prey, but it's not very clear because it took off her leg. So it really, really bit in.

There's been a couple of other high-profile shark attacks in the area. There was one in New Jersey. They believe it was a shark attack. A young woman was surfing and she was bit on the foot. And then in Florida, there was a young woman who was just sitting in the water, the low water on the beach, and a shark bit her in the stomach and in the arm, and she was badly injured. Both of them, all of them, amazingly, are expected to survive. The woman in the Turks and Caicos was darn lucky that that boat was there and they were able to get her to medical attention almost immediately. So, while she's in serious condition, her prospects look quite good.

Here in New York, they are going to increase the number of drones and boats across beaches in New York this summer to make sure that if they see a shark they can get everybody out and keep swimmers and beachgoers safe.


Back to you all.

HARLOW: Thank goodness. I'm glad they're going to be OK. But, still, a lot of scares all in just a few weeks.


HARLOW: Miguel, thanks very much. Appreciate it.


ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, a California man is free from prison after serving 33 years for a crime prosecutors now say he did not commit. Daniel Saldana was convicted in 1990 of trying to murder six high school students. He was one of three men charged and he was sentenced to 45 years to life. The district attorney's officer, however, began investigating after learning in February that another convicted attacker told authorities Saldana was not involved. Well today, as you can imagine, Saldana says he's grateful to be free.


DANIEL SALDANA, EXONERATED AFTER SERVING 33 YEARS IN PRISON: I just knew that one day this was going to come. I'm just so grateful. I just thank God, and Jesus.


HILL: Saldana, who was working construction at the time of the shooting, says he has no idea why he had been linked to that crime.

HARLOW: Well, coming up, a little treat for you. Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco, known for his hilarious takes on family life, is taking his relationship with his own father to the big screen starring alongside Robert de Niro.


ROBERT DE NIRO, ACTOR: A Maniscalco always finds a way to feed his family.

SEBASTIAN MANISCALCO, COMEDIAN: My father has an old Italian saying -


HILL: Sebastian Maniscalco joins us next.


[08:40:32] HILL: Father's Day is now just a couple of weeks away. And through it's never too early to start thinking about what would maybe put a smile on your dad's face. It could be especially challenging if your father is, for example, Salvo, a Sicilian American played by Robert de Niro in a new film, "About My Father."




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, what a beauty.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, looking back at this, my dad had to be overwhelmed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he's a little handsy, huh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's called love and affection, dad. Unlike you when you met me at the delivery room and chose to shake my hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What else was I supposed to do? We just met. Huh?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guys, come on, I want you to meet Sebastian's father.


Hi, nice to see you.

A pleasure.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice to meet you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sebastian, so good to see you.

And you must be the charming Salvo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So nice to finally meet you in person, Tina (ph). It's just last week I was checking out your highlights on TV.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, the CNN or the Fox ones?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, the blonde ones. Your hair, if I could say, is just like a block of marble I want to sink my tools into it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, hey, hey, what are you doing.


(END VIDEO CLIP) HILL: "About My Father" is out today nationwide. Comedian and actor Sebastian Maniscalco wrote the film and stars in it and joins us now.

Great to have you with us.

So, we see Salvo there played by Robert de Niro. It was actually based on your dad, Salvo, also a hairdresser. I'm curious, did this film actually put a smile on your dad's face?

SEBASTIAN MANISCALCO, COMEDIAN/WRITER, "ABOUT MY FATHER": Oh, yes. My father didn't really believe that de Niro was going to play him in this. You know, when I told him, he's like, yes, right, I'll believe it when I see it.

And then my dad got a phone call from Bob and he wanted to hang out with him, you know, for a weekend so he could do script analysis with my dad. So, my dad flew down to Oklahoma and was teaching Robert de Niro how to, you know, speak Italian. And I was like, this is something that I never thought would be in the pipeline. I mean, I had de Niro posters on my wall growing up, and here he is, my dad teaching him how to - how to be him. And my dad asking me, am I getting paid for this? I'm like, what?

HILL: Wait, are you saying your dad didn't get paid for that? You didn't pay him?

MANISCALCO: Well, I mean, I - no -- nobody paid him. I had to take it out of my till. So -- so, yes, it - it was - it was - it's been fun. I mean it's been a wild ride. My parents, my mother and my father and -- are able -- you know, I'm just happy they're alive so they're, you know, sharing this experience with me because we're such a tight family. And for me to share this with them is a big moment.

HILL: It's - it's pretty great, I have to say. The film is - the film is super fun.

For people who -- I want to get people who should be familiar with you at home, but if they're not, just a sense too of, you know, a lot of this for people who are familiar with your comedy will feel a little bit familiar because so much of what you talk about is about your upbringing, is about your own Sicilian father. So, I just want to play a little bit of those moments.


MANISCALCO: The world doesn't match my upbringing, OK? I'm here to tell you that. I grew up with an immigrant family. My father's Sicilian. My mother's Italian. I got to - I got to clarify that, all right? Half Sicilian, half Italian. But if you talk to my father, you're Sicilian, you're Sicilian. OK, dad, relax.


HILL: There's so much in this movie -- it's about the culture clash when families meet, which is relatable for a lot of couples, a lot of families. But as you were writing this, you got your Sicilian father, right, that this is base on, and this very blue blood, very waspy family on the other side. How close is that to your real life?

MANISCALCO: It's right out of my real life. My wife comes from a very, you know, wealthy family and we go there every summer to spend, you know, a week over Fourth of July at her, you know, country club environment. I mean, sweet people, nice people, but completely different than how I grew up. You know, I often make fun of my wife's parents. That's all they do is travel. They're bouncing around from city to city, to country to country. And growing up we went on one vacation a year, you know? And we left when we ran out of money. You know, like, we went to Disneyland and in the middle of Disneyland my father is like, all right, wrap it up. I'm like, wrap it up? Aren't we going to SeaWorld? And he's like, I got no more money, get in the car, we're going home.

So, I think those two, you know, two different ways of living, although, you know, fantastic in their own right, but once they come together, I think it makes for an unbelievable film and conflict and comedy.


HILL: When we see these families, I think it's also in many ways, so correct me if I'm wrong, it felt like a love letter, too, to your dad, and maybe even to your in-laws?

MANISCALCO: Yes, I think it definitely is. You know, the fact that I was able to give my father a movie, it's not something every kid gets a chance to do. And, you know, my father is my toughest critic and my biggest fan at the same time, you know? Coming from an immigrant family, work was really stressed in our house. It was like no one's ever going to give you nothing. You got to work for every -- every piece of food that you get.

You know, he's been on my back for 49 years. This guy's relentless, you know? He - he's still at my shows going, you know, you got any new material? What's -- you know, let's start writing some new stuff. You know, people want to see new stuff. SO, it's nice to kind of have that voice on my shoulder, although annoying at times, sometimes I need it.

HILL: I think we all talk about as we get older, and we look at our own kids, and we end up - we have these moments where you think, oh, my God, I'm doing exactly what my parents did.

Are you Salvo in real life with your own kids?

MANISCALCO: There's hints of it. You know, I think what we do as parents, we take from what our parents did to us and we cherry pick. You know, oh, like, I like the fact that my father gave me chores growing up. I was cutting the lawn, washing the car, vacuuming the living room, and now I got my three-year-old making his bed, cleaning his plate, you know. I want to instill that type of work ethic my father instilled in me.

So, the way my father delivers a message to me, his criticisms, are very unfiltered, raw and sometimes not nice, you know? And it's hard to hear sometimes. But, you know, in talking to my kids, I've taken a different approach. You know, I'm still stern and firm, but there's a little bit of love sprinkled in there.

HILL: Sebastian Maniscalco, the film definitely has a lot of love sprinkled through it, a lot of humor, too, great to have you with us this morning and congrats on the film. Thank you.

MANISCALCO: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

HARLOW: Can't wait to see it.

HILL: Out today. There you go.

HARLOW: Out today. Can I take the kids? No.

HILL: Maybe - maybe Sienna.

HARLOW: A little young. A little young. A little young.

HILL: Maybe.

HARLOW: All right, Memorial Day weekend kicking off. What is expected to be really a busy travel season this summer. You are looking at live pictures from the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. So, how are most Americans spending the weekend?


HILL: Oh, yes, there's our boy.

HARLOW: Name -- wait, wait, wait, name the movie. Name the movie, Harry. What movie is this song from?

You don't know. How does Harry not know? I feel like you know what all movies and all music.

HILL: He just does numbers. He doesn't do movies. He does numbers. And he dances.



HARLOW: Memorial Day, a federal holiday for Americans to honor the men and women who died serving in the military so that we could remain free. So, how are Americans using their time off?

Senior data reporter Harry Enten is here with this morning's number.

Good morning.


All right, so this morning's number is 90. Why? Because Memorial Day is a paid day off for 90 percent of all U.S. workers. It's one of the top holidays for getting a day off. And more than that, Americans believe that it should be a day off. So, this is a great question that was asked, should be a national holiday, 82 percent of Americans believe it should be a national holiday. That is tops of any holiday. Beats out New Year's Day at 80 percent and Labor Day at 76 percent.

HILL: There we go. So their wish came true, they get their national holiday.

The big question for a lot of people is, what are you doing this weekend?


HILL: How are you spending the weekend? For many people it's the official kickoff to summer. So, what are we up to?

ENTEN: So, what are we up to? OK, the top Memorial weekend day plans, relax or do nothing, number one. I like that one. That is great. Number two, see family. Number three, a cookout, obviously. A Memorial Day weekend cookout.

So, what are you going to cook? What are Americans' favorite foods to grill on the barbecue? Beef is number one at 39 percent. Then you get chicken at 27 percent. Pork, 11 percent. Veges, 10 percent. Fish, 10 percent. That's a little too healthy for me, I think.

HILL: Those are my top two.

ENTEN: That's why you look so great. I've got to use your secrets.

But of course I think the real question is, when does summer unofficially start? Memorial Day holiday comes in number one at 45 percent, schools let out at 41 percent. Twenty years ago I would have said that was the answer. Or whenever I take a vaca, 10 percent. If that were the case, I would, in fact, never have a start to summer because I never take off.

HARLOW: Are you working - you're working Monday?

ENTEN: No, I'm -- I'm taking off.

HARLOW: See, stop complaining.

ENTEN: No, I like to complain. It's my Jewish way.

HILL: But that's what he does best. It's what he does best.

HARLOW: Yes, he does. Harry, thank you very much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

HILL: Well, a terrifying moment caught on camera here. The moment a car is stolen, but with a toddler still inside. So, take a look at this. You'll see a teenager walking up to the white SUV before jumping in the driver's seat and driving away. The mother says she was dropping her children off at their grandmother's house. So, she walked her two-year-old to the steps. Her 14 month old daughter was still in the car. The suspect did eventually ditch the car before taking off on foot. Family members say the baby was not injured. Scary moments, though. We'll be right back.



HARLOW: So, pro snowboarder Kevin Pearce was just 22 years old when a catastrophic snowboarding accident derailed his Olympic dreams. In 2009 he suffered a traumatic brain injury while he was training in Utah. His older brother, Adam, stayed by his side throughout his recovery and together they found yoga and Adam says he watched his brother come back to life. Now Adam brings yoga to other traumatic brain injury survivors and that makes him a CNN hero.


ADAM PEARCE, CNN HERO: I think people feel isolated after a brain injury because they don't feel able.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hard. I've lost my identity.

PEARCE: And when we allow people to be vulnerable and who they are, there is a deep connection formed because there is so much common understanding of the challenges that go on with brain injury.

The changes I see most after people with TBI practice yoga are probably a deeper connection to self. Helping them cultivate greater awareness and self-compassion allows them to meet the constant changes so much more.



HARLOW: And for more on Adam's work go to While you're there, nominate your own hero.

Thank you so much for joining us this Friday. Thank you for being here. I'll see you next week.

HILL: My pleasure. Enjoy your weekend.

HARLOW: Thanks. A little bit of a long weekend. I'll be off Monday, but I will see you Tuesday.

HILL: Well-deserved. I'll see you Tuesday.

HARLOW: Everyone, have a safe Memorial Day.