Heralded as “more than a standup — a standout,” by comedy legend Jim Carrey, Lampanelli has won accolades from The King of All Media, Howard Stern, who called her “a true original and a brilliant comedy mind who’ll steal the show every time.” Known for saying things that most people are afraid to think, Lampanelli is wildly popular at theaters across the U.S. and Canada. Lampanelli is a regular on late night television, and a frequent guest and guest host on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM satellite radio shows.
I have seen Lisa live a few times and she is always so funny she literally has me in tears, so it was a pleasure to sit down with the queen of mean for this exclusive Hotspots interview.
Were you a comedian/storyteller as a kid?
I think I was just the one in the family who would make my mom laugh…now that I have gotten enough therapy I realize it was my place in the family to lighten the tension. When I hit 30, I decided I was going to try it.
What was your first professional Gig?
It was the most horrendous sad terrible gift ever. The truth is you never learn from good gigs, but you do from bad ones. My brother is a sports editor, and got me a gig. I had been doing comedy for maybe a month…and I needed to have 20 minutes of material…..out of ignorance I took the show for a sports writer’s convention in Connecticut. I can’t even look at tape now as it was horrendous. I learned from that experience that I could quit anytime I want…but I decided I was getting up the next day I was going to keep trying to do comedy. This gig taught me to keep going.
When did you know you wanted to be a stand-up comedian for a living?
The night I did my first open mic. From the moment I left the stage, I said to myself, I am a comedian forever. I called in sick the next day to my day job and that was it.
I know this was a long time ago, but I think you became famous from the Friars club roast of Chevy Chase. Although you have done many roasts since then and have even been the roast master, can you take us back and let us know how I felt to roast Chevy Chase?
Yeah, because everyone was bombing that night. 16 roasters and all pretty that bad. I got up 10th and I thought to myself…this is my shot, and I took it. I knew if I didn’t kill I wouldn’t be on TV again. All the stars aligned, and I ended up doing so well they moved me up to 3rd in the broadcast.
You should have won Celebrity Apprentice, there I said it, but how exciting was it to do the show and to raise more than 100,000 for Gay Men’s Health Crisis?
My whole goal was to earn that money for the charity and stay on until the stupid people got fired. I needed to make it further then Lou Ferrigno or else I would have killed myself…his ears are stupider then the rest of his body.
It was horrible, and the hardest thing I ever did in my life. 24 hours a day six days a week with douche bags you hate.
Believe it or not the Trumps were the high point of the whole thing.
You have now had five stand-up specials. Are they still exciting to film?
It doesn’t even require much sweat anymore. In the past I sweated every detail out. It does get easier over the years. Now I am at the point where they don’t edit things out, so it makes it so much easier. It feels like another night of standup.
You are now famous for losing 100 pounds? How hard was that and how has your life changed since losing the weight?
It was very hard to keep it off, despite the surgery. I work on it every single day. I do workshops to help. I am learning you can’t eat your emotions, and instead need feel them.
Now that you are single again, has your taste changed? What are you looking for in a man?
I don’t have any urge to date at all because I realized I have to work on myself first.
Speaking of weight loss, you have written and star in your own stage show “Stuffed.” How this come did about and how is it different then stand up?
It’s a play with four actors, so its dialogue instead of monologue. It was extended after its original run and hopefully it’s coming back to NYC, probably in 2017. It’s also wild working with other actors as you are not alone on stage and you are not carrying the ball yourself, I think I will dedicate six months to stand up and six months to the play. The whole play is about helping people, and talking to the people after the play.
What should the South Florida audiences expect from your stand up this year?
Tap dancing…probably mime….and I am going to pull and end table out of you’re a$$hole.
What’s ahead for Lisa?
To just keep working on myself, and I want to do three more plays with the same four women on different subjects. They will be about issues I want to address and write about. I also want to be more myself every day and to get people to understand I care about them. If you don’t love everybody you can’t make fun of everybody.
Is there anything else you want to say?
Please ask all the corn holders and taco bumpers at the home depot to come out.
Tickets to see Lisa, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 8 pm, range from $40 to $60. All seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at myhrl.com, or at ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. Doors open at 7pm.