Manny Calavera is really that skeleton in Blondebeard's chicken restaurant in The Curse of Monkey IslandIt is apparently not just a Shout-Out that they share the same face. Manny was one of the undead pirates working for LeChuck and he got Killed Off for Real when Blondebeard stabbed him for criticizing his dishes. It is implied that souls who have to become Grim Reapers have had themselves some pretty sinful lives, and Manny must have been quite an evil pirate.
- Well, it's certainly in the same game universe, and they do have connections here and there. My theory is that Manny died by being run over or getting in a really nasty road accident. Perhaps he was a drag racer?
Manny never did anything bad enough to get "community service" as a ReaperHe says he doesn't know what he did to become a Reaper, and he doesn't seem at all evil. The DoD corruption extends to the recruitment of Reapers too; note all Reapers get a Number Nine ticket (the reward for the most virtuous souls) when they leave? They were owed it anyway, the company just withheld it in order to get Reapers to work for them.
- In support of this, Salvadore was a former Reaper, and we later find out that he qualified for a Number Nine ticket all along.