Party Foul: Chatting With Lisa Lampanelli
“Hello homo!” she shouts when I answer the phone.
Insult comic Lisa Lampanelli has been staying busy recording an HBO special, working on a talk show pilot, and writing Chocolate Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat, and Freaks. Now she embarks on a new tour hitting the Carpenter Theatre this Saturday night.
“Are there still places to smoke in Richmond?” Lampanelli asks. “I don’t smoke cigarettes, but I enjoy a good cigar after the show.”
Taking a moment from a well-earned vacation, the Queen of Mean caught up with GayRVA to talk about fag hags, GaGa and her fiance’s special gift.
Be warned. Foul language ahead.
GayRVA: Did you ever get any pushback on your humor when you were starting out?
Lampanelli: Early on, when I first started saying racial slurs and fag, I remember this comic came up to me that was supposedly ahead of me in the game. He said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to use those words.” I’m all respectful and say, “okay” – of course I did it anyway, then years later, he came up to me and said he was really wrong for saying that. I said, “I know, asshole.”…You just have to not worry what people say.
GayRVA: Is it easier to push the envelope now?
There are a lot of comics that push the racial or blue-humor, and that’s not really who they are in life so it comes of disingenuous. People are like, “ehh, that’s so fake.” With me, I just talk how I talk.
In my real life if I’m friends with you, I’m going to be like, hey, “you big homo,” “hey cunt, what’s up?” And it’s not meant in a bad way, but if I didn’t talk like that, people would go “hmm…there’s something about her we don’t like. The audience can sense who’s being real and all they want is who’s being real.
Do you feel there are any subjects that are still taboo in comedy?
No, once you’ve made fun of AIDS and rape, where else is there really to go? Getting AIDS from rape? Maybe that’s the next frontier for me. You always think, “No I could never talk about that.” Then you see your next special and suddenly you’re talking about it. The only limit I see is if you can’t make it funny. If it’s not funny, then why bother?
Do you have a lot of gays in your life?
The funny thing is that growing up, I went to Catholic school and was friends with all the priests and brothers. I think they were all just dirty homos in real life. I had one good friend all through junior high and high school and he was “sexually ambiguous.” I still think he’s a big closet case and hasn’t come out yet. So I think all through my life I was a big fag hag or fruit fly as you call them now.
Now, it’s great. All my best friends are gay couples. One started out as my hairdresser. Straight couples bore me to death. And straight women? Kick me in the cunt.
My sister’s throwing me a bridal shower. If something is more deadly than that, I don’t know what it is. I said that it had to be a fag and hag shower because there are so many gays who are important to me that have to come. They make it more lively and fun. Straight couples all seem to have their place in society and I just don’t feel like I do.
What about that term “fag hag”?
You notice how it’s always the fat ones who hate that term? It’s the ugly ones who don’t carry a purse. I’ll take whatever label is funny and wry. I hate when people try to make things cute.
How do you feel about Lady Gaga?
I don’t get her. I think maybe she’s a dude. I’ve grooved to the “Poker Face” on occasion. She’s edgy for edgy’s sake. She’s talented but the stupid outfits I feel are just a tool to get more fags to like her. I don’t know. The jury’s still out on that bitch.
Did you hear about Betty White hosting SNL?
Really? Betty White is such a lady. We did the William Shatner roast together. She was one of the only old ladies that has been on a roast that actually laughed at every joke that was put at her. She laughed like a lady. She’s the coolest chick ever.
What about your show in Richmond?
Smoke them if you got them. I’ll be doing 100 percent different material from my HBO special. I’m afraid people have seen it so I’ll never do any material from it. If I repeated the jokes, they would turn on me or ruin the punchline!
You talk about your relationship with Jimmy Big Balls. How does he respond to your act?
I’ll go on Stern and say real life stuff about the relationship and he’s like “It’s cool.” If there is any off limits stuff, we haven’t found it yet. I make it funny and not mean. Saying someone has a big nutsac is not mean because honestly, he knows it’s huge. It is a kneecap grazer. I haven’t seen anything that big and hairy since I stood next to Rosie O’Donnell at Curves.
Do people come up to him and ask him about things in the act?
All the time and it’s starting to piss me off because he’s getting more attention than me. There’s one star of the Lisa Lampanelli show and that’s Lisa Lampanelli.
Catch Lisa Lampanelli the Saturday, March 27 at the Carpenter Theatre, 600 E. Grace St. Tickets are available through Live Nation.
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