Lisa Lampanelli – The Leaner Meaner Tour

February 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Interviews

She’s lost over 100lbs. since having weight-loss surgery in 2012, but stand-up comedian and self-described “Queen of Mean” Lisa Lampanelli still has a big, fat attitude and likes to flaunt it on stage. Currently on her Leaner Meaner tour, Lampanelli, 53, will swing by the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on February 21. During an interview with me, she talked about what it’s like to be skinny, if she thinks she will ever lose her edge, and having a show possibly hit Broadway.

The last time I interviewed you was in February 2013 and you had already lost a lot of weight. For this tour, it looks like you’ve repackaged your image and style, too. Would you consider this a rebranding of sorts?

No, I’ve never been calculating in what I do. I’ve never thought, “Oh, I think I’m going to reinvent myself.” I lost the weight and now I get to dress better and wear better clothes and have fun with it.

Explain the hair.

The hair was basically just me getting mad at having to get blowouts all the time and having a fight with my ex-husband who only liked long hair. One day I got in a little bitch mood and went and cut it all off.

You’ve always struck me as somebody with a thick skin, but in past interviews you’ve said you wanted to lose weight because you didn’t want to be the butt of the joke anymore. Were those jokes upsetting?

Well, when it comes to the [Comedy Central] roasts, those were not hurtful because most of them are usually jokes that are well written. But nobody likes to know there’s something they can fix about themselves, but are powerless to fix it unless they take drastic measures. If someone has a big nose, for instance, it probably hurts them to hear that. I don’t think it was the main reason I got surgery. I did it because I wanted to live longer and be healthy and have a lot more energy.

What have you learn about the thin culture now that you’re a part of it?

I learned that people still find things to pick on you about. I talk to thin women and sometimes they aren’t even happy in a size zero or a size two. That’s crazy to me because I used to be a size 24. I’m thrilled to death to be in single digits. Nobody seems to be happy where they are.

What kind of response have you received from your overweight fans, especially those who felt a connection to you because they saw you as someone they could identify with?

They still do identify with me. A lot of them ask me for advice now. They know that I’ve been there and had to struggle. They know how hard it is to be overweight. It’s not easy when you walk down the aisle of an airplane and everybody looks at you and thinks, “I hope that person isn’t sitting next to me.” That hurts your feelings. I think they can still identify with me after 32 years of struggle.

Does getting leaner really mean you’ve become meaner?

I think on stage it’s the same. I haven’t lost any of my edge. I mean, I do like to earn a living! Off stage I’m nicer than ever because I’m happier with myself. There’s a one-person show I’m developing that is not insult comedy. But I’m never giving that part up. If anything I’ll get even edgier as I get older like Joan Rivers and Don Rickles. I don’t think I’ll ever change even if I become a born-again Christian.

Is that one-woman show going to Broadway?

I got two Broadway offers I just couldn’t do because of scheduling, but I think that’s where it’s headed. It felt really nice when they asked me to do it. It was like getting asked to the prom by the quarterback.

How is it different from your insult comedy?

Well, I’m addicted to the laugh so there is still going to be eight laughs per minute. But it’s more storytelling. There are about four or five stories I tell that are more meaningful and emotional. You can sneak some of those moments in if the show is funny enough.

Do you think you could’ve done a show like that 10 years ago?

No. I think you work up to whatever you’re ready for. In five years who knows what I’ll be ready to do. I had to work up to this. I had to be brave enough to do this and that just came recently.

You’ve done a handful of Comedy Central roasts over the years. What do you think about them roasting Justin Bieber in March?

He’d be a great subject. Comedy Central is a business, so they want somebody who people are interested in – somebody people either love or hate. You’re going to get every teenage girl who still loves him to watch. You’re going to get every person on the planet who hates him to watch. It’s a great idea. There’s a lot to make fun of. He was a joke before he was badly behaved, so now it’s even better.

You’ll be in San Antonio the night before the Academy Awards. What did you think about the fact that all the nominees in the acting categories where white this year?

Well, I could joke around and say that they had “12 Years a Slave” last year so that should hold them over for a while, but I won’t. You know who was awesome was that Asian guy who played Kim Jong-un [in “The Interview”]. I want someone to say, “Enough of these black people complaining! How about getting some Asian complaints?”

Comedians have won Oscars in the past. Even Monique won a few years ago. Do you think you might have some of those dramatic chops to exercise some day?

Probably not. I mean, I think comedians are great actors. Most of them are better at dramatic acting than they are at comedic acting. If you’re a great standup, you’ve got a lot of angst inside. That translates really well to drama. You know, maybe someday. I have no interest in it right now. Maybe if I got a call saying that I got the role as Miss Hannigan in “Annie” I would do it. That actually sounds like fun.

Lisa Lampanelli – comedian

January 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Interviews

Her waistline may have shrunk since undergoing gastric surgery last April, but one thing comedian Lisa Lampanelli hasn’t lost is that dirty mouth of hers. The self-described Queen of Mean will be in San Antonio on Friday, so come up with some new heckling material because fat jokes don’t work anymore.

You lost about 100 lbs. when you had gastric sleeve surgery last year. Does it suck not being able to eat the entire pint of ice cream anymore?
Yes, it totally sucks! Before the surgery, I would treat food like some people treat alcohol. I would self-medicate. The surgery forced me to change my eating habits — those crutches I’ve had all my life. Exercising every day and eating four ounces of food every three hours is not pleasant at all. The good news is that I lost all this weight and now I don’t have to tip anymore because nobody recognizes me.

On The Late Show with David Letterman a couple of months ago, you lovingly referred to your husband as “Jimmy Big Balls.” How does Jimmy react to that kind of attention?
Oh, he absolutely loves it. What’s funny is I didn’t think Letterman was going to talk about that. I mentioned the nickname I have for him and thought he would laugh a little. He ended up making it the focus of our interview, which cracked me up.

Any chance you’re going to tweet a picture of Jimmy so we all know you’re not making this up?
I would never make up something so horrific. His balls are like Hurricane Sandy. They terrorize everything in their path.

You like to make fun of people like the Kardashians and the casts of Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives. Do they have any redeeming qualities at all?
I mean, they’re entertaining. I would watch a Real Housewives marathon if I had the stomach flu and needed to throw up.

This year, you’re going to do something everyone in showbiz wants to do sometime in his or her career: give voice to a character on an episode of The Simpsons. You play a woman who accuses her husband (Seth MacFarlane) of cheating with Marge. Can you really compete with Marge?
Isn’t that the craziest thing? It’s such an iconic show and it was such an honor to be asked. But really, Marge Simpson is hot. If I were lesbian, I would definitely go up under that.

Lisa Lampanelli – Long Live the Queen

March 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Interviews

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who’s the meanest one of all?

Since starting her stand-up comedy career in the early 90s, the answer has always been as harsh as a swift kick in the balls: Lisa Lampanelli.

When I first interviewed the Queen of Mean back in December 2007, I only knew of her from her appearances on the Comedy Central celebrity roasts. Now, Lampanelli is everywhere and doing just about everything, including writing a new advice column for T&A magazine Playboy.

During an interview with me to promote her March 5 tour stop at the Lila Cockrell Theater in San Antonio and her DVD/CD performance “Long Live the Queen,” Lampanelli talked about the infatuation guys have with crazy girls, her wedding in October, and why she considers her stand-up show “the great equalizer” when it comes to race relations.

Your publicist emailed me yesterday asking if I could push this interview back an hour because you had just scheduled a last minute lunch with someone. So, who was it that I got stood up for?

Oh, it wasn’t even lunch. It was my personal trainer. I’m trying to keep my weight under control. You as a dirty Hispanic should approve of that because you know you people gain weight easy.

Congrats on your new gig at Playboy. How does it feel writing for a publication whose subscribers couldn’t care less about the articles?

Exactly. Everyone always says they buy it for the articles, but they don’t really mean it. Now, they don’t have to lie and their cunty wives will actually let them buy it. Wives usually love me, so they’ll say, “Hey, Lisa’s got an article in it.” So, the bitches will allow it. Also, I dispense lots of words of wisdom because – as you know – I’m a very, very intelligent, bright woman with a great career and a fabulous celebrity lifestyle. People want to know what I think. Basically, the advice is really bad, so don’t follow it. Just read it and laugh.

Are you looking forward to visiting the mansion sometime?

You know, not at all. Are you kidding me? I don’t want that competition. I’d rather go to a Chubby Chaser convention so I can feel like the skinny one.

If you were a sexy 19-year-old model, would you hook up with Hugh?

Only if they didn’t make me sign a pre-nup. If they’re going to be dead soon, you might as well bang them for a couple of years and then get the dough. But if there’s a pre-nup, na-ah. No thanks. I gotta get compensated for my thingy down below.

Your first column in the magazine is called “The Art of Being Mean.” Tell us what it’s about.

The thing is with guys – I don’t know how you are – but most guys know that the best sex is with crazy girls, like freakin’ nutty bitches. Sex is just wilder. The thing is, most nice guys can’t get that type of woman, so I give some tips so that nice guys can get the crazy sex they richly deserve. However, they’re not going to get mean enough to kill the bitches like O.J. There’s a fine line. You don’t want to go crazy on a bitch, but you do want to get laid. That’s where I come in and help you.

Another congratulations is in order. You were married in October. What kind of bride were you?

Well, I was not a bridezilla because – as you know – those bridezillas are always poor. But being the fabulous celebrity that I am, I was able to snap my fingers and let all the bluebirds fly around and do everything for me. I had a fabulous wedding. It was very nice. It was traditional, but fun. I did, however, have to scream at one point during the ceremony, “Turn on the freakin’ air conditioner or I’m gonna kill somebody!” Other than that it was real classy.

As much as you talk about how much you love black guys, you didn’t end up marrying one.

Oh, yes I did. In the south he’d be considered black because he’s Italian. I found a loophole.

What are you going to be doing Sunday for the Oscars?

I love watching those things with homos because all my homo friends criticize all the outfits. But I’m sadly going to be on a plane, so I’m going to DVR it. But we all know who’s going to win anyway. Those British films win everything! Freakin’ King’s Speech, can you imagine? Are you kidding me? Why wasn’t Beverly Hills Chihuahua nominated? That’s what I want to know. As a Hispanic, you should be asking the same thing because you love those damn Chihuahuas.

There was a documentary I saw last year that I wish had been nominated called Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. Did you get a chance to see that?

Yes, I did. It was fabulous.

Yeah, I really liked it a lot, too. I’m sure Joan is someone you look up to as a comedian. Would you want someone to make a documentary on you when you’re 77 years old?

Yes, hopefully I’ll still be alive. I’m not quite sure yet. I would, but I would want total control over it. I wouldn’t want to be shown crying and stuff. But Joan was really brave to let them show who she really is…and without make up, too. I mean, eesh! She looks like a Barbie doll that got left on a heater.

Speaking of icons in the entertainment industry, you pissed off some people a few weeks ago with your Tweet about Zsa Zsa Gabor after her leg was amputated. (“Zsa Zsa’s famous mansion on sale for $28 mil. The home is just too big for her now that her shoe collection has been cut in half”). Do you ever get tired of having to tell people to just lighten up?

No, I don’t even bother. My fans usually take care of it anyway. If you notice, any time someone says something like, “That was too far” there’ll be 20 other people saying, “F.U. That’s Lisa Lampanelli. What do you expect you douchbag?” So, I have crazy fans that do it for me. What’s funny about that story is that Zsa Zsa and her husband issued a little statement and said that they thought the joke was funny. So, as long as she laughed it’s fine with me.

I love the quote Jim Carrey gave for your book Chocolate, Please. Part of it reads, “Lisa releases us from a prison of cultural guilt.” Where do you think we are as a society right now in terms of acceptance and how do you feel you help or hurt that cause? Sorry for getting so serious all of a sudden.

No, that’s good. Hey, you’re a Latino so that’s considered an A+. I feel like my show is the great equalizer. People come in and everyone is judged exactly like everyone else. Asians are no better than blacks; black are no better than Mexicans; whites are just as bad as you people. Everyone gets equal treatment. I think that helps the cause of race relations because you finally feel what it’s like to be on equal terms with everyone else instead of above or below people. Race is like the last taboo subject. Sex is no longer taboo to talk about. All of a sudden it’s race. No matter what, I’m still getting paid, bitches, so that’s more Toyota Camrys for me.

What about sexuality? Today, gay slurs are frowned upon more than ever. Howard Stern even announced last month he would no longer use the term “fag.” Would you ever get to a point where you would hold back like that?

No, no, no, because I use all the other words and I have to be equal. If you say fag, you have to say spic and chink. My philosophy is that if you’re going to make fun of one group, you’ve gotta make fun of them all. No one gets special treatment in my show. The only word I’m really uncomfortable with is kike. The word sounds very harsh. I think it’s the two K sounds that’s the problem.

So, what do you think of my name Kiko?

I think you should just kill yourself at this point. You’re Mexican, right?

Yeah.

Aw, that’s sad. Well, maybe when you’re on the East Coast you can say you’re Puerto Rican so you can get a little upgrade.

I wanted to get back to your book for a quick second. You’re quoted as saying, “I can’t believe Courtney Cox is still married to that 1-800 retard.” The book was reprinted in Sept. 2010 and the following month Courtney Cox and David Arquette split. Coincidence?

I take full responsibility for breaking them up. I felt she read my book and she said to herself, “You know what? Lisa’s right. I shouldn’t be with this retard no more. I’m gonna upgrade.” So, I hope I really influence other people as well.

What do you think about what Laugh Factory owner Jaime Masada is doing over there at his place with the therapy sessions?

What’s he doing? I haven’t heard.

Basically, he’s offering therapy four nights a week to comedians who want it. Is that something you think comedians can benefit from?

I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea. I don’t know many comics who would want to be that vulnerable. When I was working with Jim Carrey, he said comedians live in the U.S.A. – United States of Avoidance. Comedians do anything to avoid their feelings like making fun of tragedy right when it happens so you don’t have to feel anything. Comics are famous for putting up those walls and using humor as a defense. But I think it’s a pretty noble idea. If comics did allow themselves to be vulnerable, those therapy sessions would be sold out for months because we’re really screwed up people.

Greg Giraldo actually died four days before I was going to interview him in September. How did his death affect you as a comedian?

Well, first of all, I blame you now because he probably found out he had to talk to you and killed himself. Second of all, it’s funny because we have to do this Donald Trump roast in a couple of weeks and I’m like, “Oh my god. Who’s going to lead it off or who’s going to close it? He was always the guy who would do one or the other great. It takes a real talent to do that stuff. I actually wasn’t surprised and neither was anyone who knew him surprised that it happened. His lifestyle was a demon he had to face.

When are we going to get a roast for someone who isn’t such an easy target? I mean, Donald Trump? Pamela Anderson? Flavor Flav? Come on. The jokes write themselves!

I think everyone’s an easy target. Comedy Central isn’t stupid. They want to pick people who are in the public eye and have these big flaws that are fun to make fun of so they can capitalize on the viewership. I don’t know anyone who would be a hard roast at this point. I mean, Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson. Those would be the greatest roasts ever.

I know you consider yourself a dirty girl, but can you tell me the cleanest joke you know?

I only have one clean joke because my little nephew told me it. What’s the difference between broccoli and snot? Kids will eat snot. That’s the only clean joke I know, so can you blame me for being dirty?

Lisa Lampanelli – Dirty Girl

June 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Interviews

Don’t let her innocent June Cleaver-meets-Amazing-Technicolor-Dreamcoat-appearance fool you. Stand-up comedian Lisa Lampanelli is vulgar, vivacious and vicious.

Known in the circuit as the “Queen of Mean,” Lampanelli is currently on tour to promote her comedy CD/DVD Dirty Girl. Someone grab the soap.

So, have you ever been to San Antonio?

No, but if all the spics sound like you I’m coming down a day early and get me some spic juice.

This might be the most obvious question I’ve ever asked anyone, but what makes you a dirty girl?

I cuss a lot. When you say the word cunt four or five times during your act you are officially considered a dirty girl. So, yeah, I’m dirty, I’m proud of it, I’m gangsta’ bitch!

Do you ever worry that you’re going to slip up in the middle of a show and say something that is career-ending?

No! I say a billion times worse things than anyone out there and no one gets mad at me. Can you tell me why? No, because your Latino and therefore not as smart as white people, so I’ll tell you. Because I have love in my heart for everybody, even you dirty, dirty Mexicans.

A lot of people know you because you’re a regular of the Comedy Central celebrity roast shows. Who would you like to roast next?

Really, I want to roast anybody who has a sense of humor. I’m sick of these people who take themselves seriously like the Rosie O’Donnells and the Tom Cruises. Next, we’re roasting Gene Simmons from Kiss. He’s someone that can take it like a man.

I read that you’re going to be performing at Carnegie Hall next year.

Yeah, you’re talking about something major that everyone wants to do. I didn’t think they were going to say yes to me. I thought the only people that played there were these Jap singers and cello players – all this classy shit. But I guess money talks. I’m checking everything off my list this year: Carnegie Hall, bang two black guys at the same time.

I saw that thongs are for sale on your website. Edible?

No, because I’m on Jenny Craig and if I can’t eat shit neither can the whores who buy these things. And by the way, maybe in San Antonio I’ll have a dirty boy thong you can model for my gay opening act because he loves Latinos. He sits outside Home Depot everyday waiting for you people.