Arts & Entertainment
Lisa Lampanelli Loves (To Hate) You
Comedian Gives The Skinny On Ann Arbor Gig, The Gays & Her Words To God
By Chris Azzopardi
Originally printed 11/29/2012 (Issue 2048 - Between The Lines News)
You know how some people show affection with hugs and kisses? Lisa Lampanalli's idea of love is racial slurs, gay jokes and every so often calling someone that other word for vagina.
Her "equal opportunity" act has landed her on Comedy Central roasts and even on the most recent season of Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice," where the Queen of Mean was let go during the final four interview and walked away with $130,000 - all of which she donated to the Gay Men's Health Crisis.
Now that's love.
You're coming back to Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater on Dec. 8. The last time I saw you there was in 2009.
How have you survived?
Well, I get enough of you on TV. Actually, that's not true - I don't get enough of you anymore. I get 90 pounds less of you.
Hey, make it 93! Don't even chop those three off, bitch. Oh my god, what a pain in the cunt to be overweight. I hope I keep it off - because if not, I might as well just kill myself.
How has losing all this weight affected your gay fan base? You know how we gravitate to the chubby chicks.
Not anymore! You're an old-school fag. They used to like fat chicks and they'd call them fag hags; now they like the fruit flies, so maybe I'm an elderly fruit fly for them, instead.
You've performed in both Ann Arbor and Detroit. What's the difference?
Obviously the demographic. You have to ship black people into Ann Arbor to scare whities. So come on, black people - come out and scare those kids at the university.
Before your gig here, you're going on vacation, I hear.
Because the hurricane was so horrendous and set us all back. Like, I have to get my whole deck fixed. I'm devastated! So I'm like, let me take two weeks off just to get back to my Zen place. God forbid I start overeating and suddenly I'm back to fag hag status once again!
Now that you're watching your figure, the news of the defunct Twinkie hasn't really affected you, has it?
No - I was never a big fan because, as you know, with men and with food, I always liked the chocolate. Though I went back to vanilla men when I came to marrying Jimmy Big Balls, chocolate desserts - that's still my thing.
Are you really as embarrassed talking about his balls as you were during your recent appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman"?
I really didn't think (Dave) wanted to go there that much - that's what was cracking me up! I go, "I'm gonna mention Jimmy's name just to crack Dave up and we'll move on"; then he couldn't let it go. I was dying. I couldn't believe David Letterman was so interested in Jimmy's nutsack. I'm very proud. He was into it. I was like, "Gurrrl ... what's going on there?"
It's different if a gay guy wants to talk balls, isn't it?
Oh, of course! They're allowed to. It's in your rights. You can get married in nine states and you can talk about balls in 14.
If you're so repulsed by the male genitalia, which you seem to be -
Oh, I hate it.
Wouldn't that make you a lesbian?
No, because I'm repulsed by the female genitalia too! It makes me repressed and Catholic.
Does being with Jimmy change how much you talk about banging the blacks in your show?
Out of respect for Jimmy Big Balls, I don't talk about the blacks. Although when he's not at a particular show, certainly I'll say, "Hey, I've had more black behind me than Obama."
So they're still a target.
Oh my god. I make fun of everybody still. Are you kidding me? I can't help it. What's wrong with me?
I thought Jimmy might've softened you up a bit.
I know! I think I got more angry because I can't eat anymore.
I do love that you've been so open about the weight loss surgery. You could've played it off like a new diet fad or talked about how you started exercising.
Oh, I know - I love that whole thing. It's like, "Oh, I did Weight Watchers." You did not, you lying cunt.
Star Jones did, didn't she?
I think Star lied about it, but it came back to haunt her, so I kind of learned from that. You know what, I've been honest my whole life. I've done shameful things - I dated black guys. This is much less bad than that.
Let's talk "Celebrity Apprentice" and how hated you were on that show.
With "Celebrity Apprentice," the right people loved me - basically hard-working people who've had to actually deal with idiots. People come up to me on the streets and they're like, "Oh my god, I hated every bitch you had to work with and you were so right to yell at them." Also, the deaf community isn't really thrilled with me because I made so much fun of Lou Ferrigno, but whatever - he couldn't hear me!
Would you ever do a reality show again?
I wanted to do "Dancing with the Stars" because Adam Carolla and Penn Jillette told me it was really fun and physically exhausting but emotionally and mentally very uplifting. I don't think I can do it because they say you can't do it if you've already done a competitive reality show. Maybe they'll change the rules, because I wanna do it.
Maybe try out for "American Idol"? Can you sing?
I'm the best singer, like, maybe in the world.
I thought so.
Don't ever forget, mister. I'm a triple threat. I can't sing, I can't dance ... but I'm a cunt.
You have a lot of gay friends too, I hear, and you donate to a lot of gay causes. What's your gay circle like where you live in N.Y.?
Well, I have no bitchy queens allowed in my entourage. If there's gonna be one bitchy queen, it's gonna be me - that's it. So, my friends: I have Gay Taylor, Gay Michael and Shawn, Gay Frank and Jim and Gay Tommy and Kenny. It's nice because they're really cool people.
Do you always use the gay moniker when you refer to them?
Well, usually I just call them Faggot 1 through 7, but Jimmy likes to put a name to a face.
Is he friends with all your gay friends, too?
Yeah! You know what's funny? Seriously, I made sure he wasn't a homophobe from our first conversation. I wanted to test him. So when I met him over the phone, I said to him, "Oh, I was out with my friend faggot so-and-so," and I wanted to see if he'd laugh and if he was a homophobe. He goes, "Does this guy have a name? Because I'm sure he'd rather you call him that." And I'm like, "OK, so Jimmy likes the gays." And it's nice! He always says, "Isn't it crazy that the happiest couples we know are our gay friends because they don't have kids and they're just really, really grounded?" I'm like, "Yeah, the faggots are better than us!"
You've been doing this for, like, 100 years.
How's your gay fan base changed since the beginning?
I'll be honest with you: The gays always liked me, but the dykes used to be very bitchy. They used to get their cunts up in an uproar all the time over politically incorrect jokes. But I've noticed in the last five years - and I don't know what happened - but they lightened up, and I think dykes are catching up with gays in sense of humor. I'm very impressed with the lesbians.
Are you conscious of not recycling old material during your stand-up?
Totally, because it makes me very nervous that somebody is gonna yell out a punch line at me - that's a real thing! I have very punchline-y jokes; it's not tons of stories. There's so much that annoys me on a daily basis that there's no reason to come to a show a year later and still be doing the same stuff. This show that I'm doing now, there's so much about the "Apprentice" that I'm supposed to not be talking about and it's all like, "Oh, confidentiality agreement," and I'm like, "You can't fire me twice, NBC. Suck it!"
How often do your minority friends help you with a joke?
I don't have minority friends because I'm white. Come on, please. Let's get with the program.
What's your role in the upcoming movie "Not Fade Away" with James Gandolfini?
Honey, I'm hardly in the movie. I'm just proud that I got to work with those guys. But guess what I found out that's even better? I just did this and you might be the first reporter I'm telling this to: I just filmed a "Simpsons"! That's so iconic. It's like a bucket list thing to do.
No. I definitely acted how Lisa would act, but I play this woman Marge makes friends with, and the woman overreacts and thinks Marge is banging the husband. So, I'm a battle-ax and a half, a real fucking warhorse - so yeah, I'm hardcore Lisa. And my husband is played by Seth MacFarlane. Isn't that cute?
Trying to get the mental image of you together.
Don't, don't. Keep the clothes on, believe me.
You always refuse to apologize for anything you say, whether it's on "Celebrity Apprentice" or with your stand-up. Why shouldn't a comedian apologize?
Well, I shouldn't apologize because I say it in humor. You only apologize for stuff you mean, so if I've unintentionally done a joke that hurts your feelings, it's like, "Sorry, dude, live with it; it's called a joke."
I just think if we started apologizing for one joke, it's gonna be another one, and then another one, and then pretty soon you're not being yourself anymore. I understand why people have to apologize if they have a network job, like how Tracy Morgan had to apologize - you're on a network, you have to kind of play ball. I'm not employed by anybody. I'm self-employed, so you can all suck it.
There are people who don't understand your comedy. They think you're prejudiced against everyone in the world.
Which makes no sense, because I hate white people, too - hello!
What offends you?
People really meaning the racial jokes. I know in my heart I'm only making fun of the people I like. But if you hear people who sound like they really hate gays or blacks or Asians, that's kind of fucked up.
When was the last time you defended a gay guy?
I used to have an opening act that was a gay guy and noticed some people calling him a faggot during his set, and I had them kicked out. I just wouldn't put up with it. I'm like, "Nobody calls anybody a fag during a Lisa Lampanelli show except Lisa Lampanelli, bitches. Let's get that straight."
If you were gonna die tomorrow, what would be your last words?
"Let the fags get married, God. You don't give a shit, right?" I'm telling you, there's no God up there going, "Everyone but gays should get married." You know, the only two people who shouldn't get married are ugly people, all right? Have you seen what results when ugly people get married? Three words: Honey Boo Boo.
8 p.m. Dec. 8
603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor