Why Chris Manzo Is the Most Underrated Stud on Reality TV

The "Manzo'd with Children" star got you pregnant and you didn't even know it.

By Colleen Thornhill

No, you didn’t read the title of this article wrong. And yes, I’m talking about that Chris Manzo. Why make such a daring statement, you might ask? Because Manzo’d with Children is back for Season Two, and with Lauren’s wedding taking center stage, I have a feeling there will be even less attention on my favorite Manzo. Despite some questionable antics in years past (a bikini car wash, anyone?), Chris Manzo is the lovable goofball of the Manzo clan and definitely the best part of this Real Housewives of New Jersey spinoff. However, he often gets overshadowed by his siblings: Albie, the resident hottie and mama’s boy, and Lauren, the “Little Bitch Princess” (yes, that’s a direct quote from Season One).

Since Chris didn’t inherit the pretty boy genes of Albie or the royal entitlement of Lauren, he never got much of a storyline in season one. Did Chris inherit middle child syndrome? Do the Manzo parents love all three children equally but still have favorites? I can’t say, but I can submit this photo as evidence that something is going on:

@CarolineManzo
There’s Albie and Lauren on the left, snuggled between the ’rents, and there’s Chris, alone and looking less than thrilled, to the right. Can a picture say a thousand words? Maybe.

Growing up on the Real Housewives of New Jersey couldn’t have been easy for Chris. For starters, he’s known as Albie’s younger brother. Which has to be hard. I mean, look at Albie:

There’s Albie, looking both handsome and reasonably fashionable in a leather jacket and subtle black T-shirt, and there’s Chris to the right, looking slightly lost and surprised by the camera flash. It’s difficult to compete with Albie when these are the photos of the two of them floating around the Internet.

And then there’s Lauren, who just celebrated what may be the biggest wedding of the year:

Blue Belle Bridal
With siblings like these, it would be easy to get overshadowed, but Chris managed to make his presence known on Season 1 of Manzo’d with Children—and oftentimes steal the scenes. He’s not the star of the family (we’ll give that title to Caroline), but he should certainly be your fave. Why? Let me explain.

For starters, Chris tells it like it is. When Caroline decides they all need to go on a family vacation, Albie is visibly annoyed because it’s a BBQ road trip through Austin, TX, and Albie needs everyone to know he does not eat red meat. After about the umpteenth time he announces this to everyone to make sure they really get it, Chris tells him what his diet should be called: “Bitch-ass-ness.” Actually, come to think of it, is that another name for paleo?

@CarolineManzo
There’s Albie on the left, eating white meat, and Chris on the right, judging him.

Chris is also the most upbeat of all the Manzo children. When Chris and Albie discover one of their restaurant openings isn’t going as well as expected, Albie goes into crisis mode, which for him means shutting down in a state of anxiety. Chris, however, doesn’t hesitate to humble himself and ask their dad for help. Within days, he has a beer truck purchased and spiffed up for their opening at the Meadowlands Race Track. When Albie still expresses concern, Chris goes back to the basics and tells him, “The most important thing is to smile.” Sometimes the cheesiest advice is the best kind.

Chris proves that laughter is the best medicine.

And that brings me to another attractive Chris Manzo fact: He’s actually pretty successful and serious about his work. He and his brother are partners in the restaurant industry and even the world of bottled water. They’ve got a restaurant in Hoboken called Little Town, NJ, and their water, BLK, is sold in stores across the nation.

Marko Georgiev

Chris also thinks things through. Unlike Albie, who seems to welcome an onslaught of punishment by always bringing his various girlfriends home to meet the family, Chris has learned from Albie’s mistakes. When Lauren asks why Chris hasn’t brought home a girlfriend to meet them all in 10 years, Chris compares it to knowing where an enemy is firing his gun and walking into the stream of fire anyway. You just don’t do it if you’re smart.

Bravo

Even the guys behind the scenes of Manzo’d with Children know that Chris is the real star of the show. He’s the one who introduces each episode with the “Previously on…” line. But rather than just a measly voiceover, we see Chris say it, and each time, he’s in a different pose. Whether he’s lying seductively on the couch or winking at us from behind it, Chris is the one who introduces us to each new episode, and it’s probably because most of just turn it on to watch him.

Bravo

Chris is also not afraid to be himself. Even if it means looking foolish while floating in a pool holding some inflatable swords (which, by the way, where can I get those?), Chris just enjoys himself. When his sister asks if he plans on taking the swords with him on their upcoming boating trip, Chris responds, without missing a beat, “Thinking about it.”

Bravo

So he’s smart, successful, and quick with the jokes. What else could add to Chris’ appeal? He’s close to his family. He even wears a bracelet Caroline had made—it’s an infinity symbol representing the three Manzo children and their parents. You’d think a guy wouldn’t be seen wearing that type of arm candy, but Chris has been spotted wearing the bracelet a few times on the show, proving he’s comfortable in his skin and proud to be a family guy.

Bravo

Plus, Chris doesn’t seem to have bought into the reality TV star fame. Unlike most reality TV stars, who seek out their reality star moment, Chris was just sort of born into it. He’s not one to show off or wear the trendiest clothes just because he can. But when he does dress up, he doesn’t look half bad:

Bravo

And even though Caroline spends an inordinate amount of time stressing over her precious Albie’s love life, it’s clear she’s still got a soft spot in her heart for Chris, too. When she was sad, Caroline said it’s Chris who’s the one who can make her smile and keep her sane. Isn’t that enough to make you go “Aaaawwww!”?

Bravo

So if you’re watching Manzo’d with Children this season, appreciate the times you get to see Chris. Because if this season turns into a multiple episode Bridezilla, you’re gonna need him around to make you laugh. And that’s really the most important quality a true stud can possess.

Check out more from VH1’s month-long Keepin’ It Real reality TV package.