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Lisa Lampanelli: One Mean Queen

There’s nothing like hearing a familiar voice on the other end of the line, and Lisa Lampanelli’s is just as I remember it: loud and mean, like she’s burping up Sue Sylvester.

“What’s up you big fag face?” She razzes in her bawdy blurt. And I’d be shocked, like I admittedly was during our first interview just over three years ago, had this not been our fourth chat together. So how she’s doing now?

“Sick of straighties!” She says. Which is unusual for the self-dubbed “Lovable Queen of Mean,” who’s typically trashing the minorities. But the insult comic’s bad-mouthing, like the greeting she swooned me with, is just her way of scooping you up into a big bear hug and gently placing a soft kiss on your forehead — like you’d imagine from someone who looks as bingo grandma as she does.

Ridicule doesn’t exactly express a tender fondness, but Lampanelli dishes it out fairly, so at least nobody feels left out. Now that’s love.

She’s experiencing the real thing lately, falling for a guy she wouldn’t typically, if you know Lampanelli, go for: a white one. “I know — I’ve disappointed everyone,” she pouts. “But he’s Italian, so when I tour The South he’s still looked at like a colored, so it all works out.”

The wedding is set for October at the historical Friars’ Club in New York, and unlike most stars, the Connecticut-born comedian’s hungry for any kind of publicity. Her people even suggested it as a talking point.

“I’m whoring out everything, are you kidding?” Lampanelli admits. “Who wants to talk about their wedding? Me! ’Cause I’m, like, fucking romantic, okaaay?”

Will she hire a gay wedding planner? “Nooo! Screw those dirty faggots. I’m not going to support you and your gay lifestyle. You guys should’ve listened to Howard (Stern) and heard my price because I’m not telling you, because you fucking faggots are all jealous of me and my $300,000 wedding … oh, did I let that slip out?!”

Then we logically jump into gay marriage, and in her own lovingly backward way she wonders why it’s such a big deal to us because “you have the best out in the world.”

She continues: “We should say yes to gay marriage but outlaw gay divorce and see how you like it.”

Does that mean divorce is imminent for the soon-to-be newlyweds?

“I got my prenup all set,” she says. “Signed, sealed and delivered!”

Lampanelli’s always on top of it, always getting the last laugh; she clobbers the hell out of mankind (gay kind, black kind, old kind, handicap kind) with a mouth that never lets up — onstage, during TV interviews, during this interview.

She toned her dirtiness down for a recent Chelsea Lately appearance, but that wasn’t all that seemed unusual: Viewers, myself included, sensed awkwardness between the comedian and the show’s host, Chelsea Handler.
Lampanelli settles that: “No, you read it wrong, because when we came off we were like, ‘Oh my god, wasn’t that so much fun?!’ — like two giddy schoolgirls. You know what it is? You faggots love to stir up trouble! Like, ‘Hey, let’s make Kathy Griffin hate Lisa; hey, let’s make Lisa hate Margaret Cho.’ Well, guess what? You don’t have to make me hate Margaret Cho … because I already do!”

Lampanelli backpedals, slipping out a light laugh that’s more sweet than sour, and says she doesn’t really abhor Cho, a constant among her targets. She doesn’t even know the fellow queer-loved comedian, but “I always have to make fun of her because she’s a dirty Asian.”

So there’s no rivalry among female comedians?

“Not from where I sit, because I’m, like, better than them all,” she explains, mentioning that Handler is actually producing her upcoming reality show that’s still in negotiations and can’t be discussed. “There’s none between me and Kathy because she’s tough, man. She doesn’t care whom she fucks with; that’s beautiful! A lot of people allude to celebrities, but she just says it, and I’m like, that’s balls! I love that.”

But Lampanelli’s own saucy remarks sweep up a lot of attention, too, just as they did after she opened the Roast of David Hasselhoff in August on Comedy Central, where she’s also roasted Joan Rivers, Pamela Anderson and William Shatner (next up, she hopes: “The fat lesbian roast. I’d love to do Rosie O’Donnell … and Oprah Winfrey.”)

For Hasselhoff’s time in the hot seat, Lampanelli said his black and bloated liver could’ve starred in Precious and that his career “has crumbled worse than downtown Haiti.” Even Perez Hilton thought it was too much.

“Oh, she just had her period! She was just a little annoyed, and I get it,” Lampanelli says. “But where’s the line? And who’s gonna draw it, some arbitrary FCC or whatever? If you can make it funny — which I obviously did, because I’m, like, the best comedian who ever lived — then obviously it has not gone too far.”

When Lampanelli was on the receiving end, the roasters went for the obvious — her love for black men and her voluptuous size. After opening up about her self-esteem battle in her book Chocolate, Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat, and Freaks, recently out in paperback, you might wonder if she was more affected than she looked. Not this time, she says.

“If they’re funny, I don’t mind them. And they were funny,” Lampanelli says, naming Gilbert Gottfried as her favorite that night. “In the past there’s been jokes that aren’t that great and you’re just like, that kind of hurts. But when the joke is really good, you almost appreciate the comedy more than what they’re saying. These were really clever and I said, ‘OK, this is not affecting me.’”

Lampanelli breaks off for a bit, mulling over her thoughts a little more until she swings back in: “I mean, it hasn’t yet. Oh my god, maybe now that you mention it I’ll go and binge this afternoon. You faggot, leave it to you to fuck up my life!”

Payback’s a bitch, Lisa.

On her upcoming comedy special, Glamour-Puss, out in early 2011
“I’m sure it’ll be nominated for a Grammy, but I won’t win again because I like to be consistent. I like to never win anything and always be slightly less than everyone. I’m an insult comic, so I will never depart from those roots because they are so precious to me — and by precious, I don’t mean the fat, black chick.”

On her upcoming reality show
“I have to shut my mouth because I got in trouble last week. They’re like, “You’re gonna queer the deal by yapping about it and naming the network.” And I’m like, “I gotta be proud of something!” Shit, all I lost was two pounds for my wedding — and (my fiancé) Jimmy lost 60. Fucking AIDS!

On Jimmy’s testicles
His nuts are huge. It looks like that thing a hobo ties on a stick and puts over his shoulder; it’s freakin’ enormous. You gays like the big nuts; I’m not crazy about ’em, but what can I do? It’s more painful for him; he got one caught in the zipper … of his boot, which was really fucked up.

On doing the talk show circuit
They let you talk about anything edgy, you just can’t use language, which is really easy. That would be hard to go on and kind of just be sweet … because sweet don’t come naturally.

Chris Azzopardi

Chris Azzopardi is the editorial director of Pride Source Media Group and Q Syndicate. He has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey, and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.

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