By Jason Tanamor
Women comedians have always been, in a word, typical. As for Lisa Lampanelli, nicknamed Comedy’s Lovable Queen of Mean by the NY Times, she’s anything but. “I don’t talk about dating, PMS, my period, shopping and my new Coach purse,” Lampanelli said. “Instead, I’m more like a male comic in the tradition of Don Rickles and Andrew Dice Clay, which, of course, makes me a very dirty insult comic. I make fun of people of every race, creed, color, sexual orientation, age and handicap, and no one is left out. Except possibly midgets, but that’s too easy.”
Born in Connecticut and splitting residency in both Los Angeles and her hometown of Fairfield County, Connecticut, the comedienne found her niche in comedy when she got her first laugh at the age of six. “I made the mistake of calling the department store “Macy’s and Hamburger’s” instead of its real name, “Macy’s and Bamberger’s.” After an uproarious laugh from my entire family, I repeated the joke, got crickets and learned that you just can’t milk it,” said Lampanelli, who didn’t try standup again until she hit 30-years-old. “Fifteen years later, here I am, still telling jokes and trying not to milk it.”
Lampanelli, a former journalist and editor for several newspapers and magazines including "Rolling Stone" and "Spy," took the job at "Rolling Stone" so she could meet rock stars. “I’ve always found them sexy with that long hair, although they were all too skinny for me. So, after I’d interviewed all my musical idols, I asked myself, ‘What else is there?’ and decided to try making people laugh,” said Lampanelli.
And make people laugh she has, being seen on the Comedy Central Roasts series, in which comedians, including Lampanelli, take their turns ripping another comic. “The only stand-up I ever saw as a child was “The Dean Martin Roasts” on NBC. That’s what I thought stand-up was, and I obviously was very influenced by those comedians since I do the roasts on Comedy Central and at the NY Friars Club, including the very widely seen roasts of Jeff Foxworthy and Pamela Anderson,” said Lampanelli. “However, I never watched any comedy other than the roasts until I started comedy and started hanging around the clubs. So, basically, the only people who really turned me onto comedy were the triedandtrue, dyedinthewool roasters.”
If you’ve ever seen the Comedy Central Roasts, this is probably the reason for her Lovable Queen of Mean moniker. A particular night of stand-up adds to the nickname. “I had a really ugly incident where a drunken, redneck, Slingbladelooking idiot yelled out the Nword during a joke of mine. Now, I use the Nword, but it’s taken me 15 years in the business to use it right and to make a point about it,” Lampanelli said. “However, this loser was just a racist who got my jokes for the wrong reasons. So, after putting him in his place, I kicked him out and after the show, everyone in the club was apologizing to the table of black people who had stayed calm in the face of this idiot’s behavior. So, I guess when you think about it, this a-hole did the exact opposite of what he was trying to do - he brought the races together. The joke was on him.”
Mostly known for her Lovable Queen of Mean act around the country, Lampanelli is also known for only dating black men. “It’s not that I hate dating white guys, it’s just that I hate the white guys who’ll date me,” Lampanelli said. “I’m a bigger girl who has “back, front, and sides,” so at my weight, I could always get a chubby, ugly white guy or a hot black guy. I could get L.L. Cool J or Jarod from Subway. Who would you rather be seen with?”
Lampanelli has taped several specials for VH1, MTV, and CMT, and was featured on the “Best of” episode of Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.” For those thinking about coming out to her shows, the comedienne has this to say. “People with a sense of humor should come out to the show this week. If you don’t have a sense of humor, please stay home and spank one out to “The 700 Club.” This one will definitely sell out,” said Lampanelli.
Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous."
By Jason Tanamor