Entertainment :: Theatre

One Mean Queen :: Lisa Lampanelli’s Reign of Comedy

by Tim Parks
Tuesday Jun 18, 2013
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Comedy’s lovable Queen of Mean, Lisa Lampanelli, takes her reign as a brutally funny woman very seriously. And while this may sound like a strange dichotomy on paper, the juxtaposition of balancing what she says in an outrageous manner, versus the place it truly comes from, may surprise even her most ardent fans. It comes from the heart.

Chief among her "royal family" contingency, are queens and princesses from the gay community, who make up a good portion of her fan base. They have seen Lampanelli ascend the throne in her indomitable foul-mouthed and fabulous fashion.

From her always spot-on celebrity slayings on the Comedy Central Roast specials, or the shocking moments that make up the majority of her many one-woman specials, to her time spent in the reality TV trenches as a Celebrity Apprentice, Lampanelli proves always to be a watchable commodity.

And the equal opportunity offender certainly has her hands full right now, she can be seen-and heard-in a number of upcoming ventures, including her two-show stint at Club Nokia on Saturday, June 22, a monthly radio show on the Howard 101 channel on SiriusXM and an upcoming Broadway show, "This Ain’t Stand Up, Bitches!"

When The Rage Monthly caught up with the gracious and busy comedian, I came away from the interview mostly unscathed, save for being called a certain word that rhymes with maggot in relation to her recent 106 pound weight loss and to not get the information about her surgery twisted, okay?

But I knew the job was potentially dangerous when I took it, as we navigated the uproarious life that she has carved out for herself, with wickedly sharp barbs and keen observations always on tap.

What are some of the duties that you must perform as comedy’s lovable "Queen of Mean?"

Making everyone feel equally shitty about themselves on any given day. So that is the Gestalt; that no matter what race, creed, color or sexual orientation, nobody feels safe. I think that it should all be equal, you can’t leave anybody out and you can’t target just one group, so everybody else can go fuck themselves. That’s the thing that’s so funny, if you can make fun of yourself, you find it a little easier to make fun of other people. I can’t go up there (on stage) and go, "Oh, I’m so perfect."

It’s not for everybody, I’m the first one to admit. It’s like I said on Howard Stern yesterday, "as long as 2,000 people are into it, I’m happy."

What is the harshest thing that you’ve ever said to an audience member?

I mean, I repeatedly say things like "people should die of cancer in the ass." God, I think the only harsh thing is if I mean it. If someone heckles me, or if somebody is really nasty and negative, it doesn’t make me go all out and be like, "Hey, I mean this stuff." I’d say that 90 percent of the time, I don’t mean it, usually it’s not that mean.

You’re looking really good, you’ve lost 106 pounds - do you attribute that to eliminating chocolate from your diet?

No, no. You know how I lost the weight right? Oh my God, it’s only been all over everyplace! Jimmy Big Balls, my husband, and I both got surgery; I got it in April of last year and he got it in June of last year. We had a procedure called gastric sleeve surgery, which is not bypass at all - and don’t get the fucking stats wrong, faggot!

It’s where they cut 85 percent of your stomach out, so you can only eat small amounts of food. And I’m so happy. As for literal chocolate in my life; I can eat a little tiny bit every day.

But as you know, sadly the figurative "chocolate" had to go away once I got married to whitey. Isn’t that sad? Oh well, sometimes you’ve just gotta say no.
Honestly, I’m so lucky to have a decent friggin’ husband, who doesn’t mind my craziness and travel and my fits of anger every three seconds!

So, it sounds like being Mrs. Big Balls is everything you imagined and more.

To be honest, he’s got a lot more going on than I had originally thought. Like, I always knew he was nice, had morals and character and he made me laugh, but I recognized that I’m definitely drawn to him because he has all these qualities that I don’t have.

He knows how to relax, or how to not get mad at things and let things roll off his shoulders. He’s so not clumsy and hyper like I am and I get to learn from that. I always say if there were two of me we’d be insane, and if there were two of him, we’d be homeless. So it all works.

You have a Broadway show coming up, what can audiences expect?

The show deals with weight and the struggle with that... and the struggle with men. Just anything that I’ve been through that is kinda funny, but meaningful too. So, it definitely has a lot of heart to it, but it’s also hilarious. It’s just me being real about what I’ve learned over the past few years. And so far, a lot of people have been able to relate to the fact that we all have issues.

I have so many issues I should be a magazine.

I’m telling ya girl.

It’s multiple choice time...how excited are you for your new Howard 101 radio show? (a) As a lesbian at a clam bake? (b) As a gay man at a butt plug sale? (c) As a bisexual at taco and hot dog night at the local eatery?

Well, I’ve got to go with (d) Jerry Sandusky at a cub scout meeting. (Laughs)

It’s really an honor, and I’m not saying it in that frickin’ suck-up way. I have idolized Howard Stern my whole life. If you compare his old shows, you can see how much heart he’s got and how much therapy he’s done; he’s so much kinder and open now. I just idolize the fact that he has worked on himself and he’s basically a good man.

So to be part of the Howard 101 family, it just feels really good. I love that it’s uncensored and I don’t have to worry for sh*t about offending anyone and that’s always good.

I was wondering how being on "Celebrity Apprentice" might have made you view your beloved "Real Housewives" differently?

Guess what happened? After "Apprentice," I totally shut down on all those shows. I can’t watch them anymore. The "Housewives" have made me too tense, like I’ve gotten really fucking sensitive and I can’t stand the fighting anymore.

I haven’t watched them in three years. You know when you let toxic things into your life and you feel like you can’t even breathe? That’s what happens when I watch the shows. But then again, the "Jersey Housewives" are coming back on in June and one of the things I might do is watch them to see what kind of characters they are. The other ones I can’t stand.

I like the Jersey wives because they’re Italian and remind me of the loudmouths at my house when I was growing up. For them, I might make an exception!

What would you say is the biggest misconception that people have about you?

They’ll have no misconceptions about me after my Broadway show, because I’m so real and tell the truth. Anyone out there who thinks that just because you make fun of races and sexual preferences, that you’re a racist or a homophobe - that’s a misconception. People who aren’t familiar with my comedy might have that problem with it. But, again, if a person needs to hurt my feelings and I’d be like, "Oh my God, they don’t understand me." But you know what? If you don’t get it, that’s cool; go see somebody else and I wish you nothing but the best.

Those things used to really worry me, but I know what’s in my heart and I know what I believe in is to bring people together.


For all things Lampanelli go to insultcomic.com. For tickets to her June 22 L.A. shows go to clubnokia.com

Copyright Rage Monthly. For more articles from Rage visit www.ragemonthly.com

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