Lisa Lampanelli’s Heading to Harlem for You Know What!


Comedy’s queen of mean, Lisa Lampanelli, is now the queen of lean—she has lost 102 pounds, which means she basically shed a Sarah Silverman. But she hasn’t lost her edge. Lithe Lisa has been working the circuit with her sticklike figure and devastatingly tart tongue. She hits the Apollo on Wednesday, January 30, at 8 p.m., and people are already lining up to get ripped a new one. Knowing what a ribald riot this woman is, I foamed at the chance for a tête-a-kvetch.

Hi, Lisa. The Apollo! Your sexual fantasy, right? Here’s the problem. I’m married. I’m playing this damned theater about five years too late. I’ll fantasize a little and leave it at that.

Is “dinge queen” a correct phrase to use? Nothing’s really politically correct anymore. But I was definitely a dinge queen. I had more black guys behind me than Obama. But I wanted to marry a guy with no kids, so I married a whitey.

At first, I thought you said “a guy with no dick.” No! His nickname is Jimmy Big Balls, and that sac is raging!

So now you’re a recovering dinge queen? It actually got hugely exaggerated in the press and the roasts. I had one black boyfriend for three and a half years, which is nine years in black.

Speaking of dinge, do you feel soiled that you worked for Donald Trump on Celebrity Apprentice? No, because he was good to me, in all seriousness. I know he’s sort of a controversial figure, but he kept me on to the final four. I can’t crap on him too much. On the show, I raised $130,000 for GMHC. I only took 10 percent, which is a pretty good cut! [Laughs.]

As for another potential cash cow, will you play yourself in the Broadway show you’re writing about your life? I’m thinking maybe I’m gonna hire some bitch to play me because I might not want to do eight shows a week. At first I thought, “This Broadway thing is a jewel in the crown.” And then I said: “Wait, I usually work two days a week. What the fuck am I getting into?” Maybe Camryn Manheim is available.

If she’s slim. Tell me about your astounding weight loss. I don’t have a gunt anymore. That’s a gut and a cunt melded into one.

Let me look and see if I have one. If you have a cunt, I’m in trouble.

No, I’m in trouble. I’ve still got a taint. That’s the thing between a pussy and an asshole. Anyway, last April, my husband and I got gastric sleeve surgery, where they rip out 85 percent of your stomach. Jimmy lost 85 pounds. We know it’s all about the emotional eating. I’m going to seminars and retreats to make sure this never happens again. I was always thin growing up. I didn’t start gaining weight till I was 18. I had a date rapist who took no for an answer! How low is your self-esteem when a date rapist says “Forget it”? Now I feel I’m back to where I was back then. This is the real Lisa.

Do you see a new person in the mirror? With clothes on, it’s fantastic. But with clothes off, eww. Anybody over 40, keep your goddamned clothes on. You’re disgusting. Even if you’re a supermodel, there’s always a cunt hair hanging out or a mole or a vein.

You went from journalism to comedy. How do I do that? At age 30, I said: “I’m gonna take a class to find out how to write material. If I do well once, I’ll continue, but if I bomb, forget it.” Well, I tried it and did really well. My first open mic was at Jokers Wild in New Haven. I still have the tape of my five-minute set, and I killed. I was loud and had a sort of attitude, but I definitely had the Lisa personality.

Do people ever get pissed off by your cracks, or can they make the intellectual leap that you’re being satirical? Because I’m non-racist, non-homophobic, and non-prejudiced, I can get away with it. You can only make fun of people if you like them. At roasts, I only roast people I get a kick out of. So I have very few hecklers and walkouts. They like me. They know I don’t mean it. They know I’m trying to make fun of prejudice. If you’re retarded enough to think I really mean all Latinos don’t work, you’re the problem!

Why are so many women comics caustic? That’s just what we are, and to be a comic, you have to be damaged and crazy. My therapy takes place offstage. Onstage, I’m just being who I am at the moment. If it’s the enlightened Lisa, that’s great. If it’s the unenlightened whore, that’s even funnier.

Give me your enlightened views on Jodie Foster. I understood her point that people are allowed privacy. I personally have always been like, “People should come out and be brave.” But it’s a free country. Anyone over 60, I give a pass on not coming out, like Barry Manilow. Back then, you wouldn’t have had a career. But younger than 60, come out and suck a dick in public.

Wait, you’re outing Barry Manilow. I’m assuming.