Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.
This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Lisa Lampanelli. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email email@example.com.
I don’t know about you, but I just can’t get enough of the Queen of Mean, Lisa Lampanelli – there’s truly no other comedian performing today that could not only get away with doling out racially-charged insults, but be absolutely adored in the process. Thankfully, the loveable veteran comedian releases her first greatest hits compilation today, Equal Opportunity Offender: The Best of Lisa Lampanelli. The album collects all-time favorite riffs from the woman Howard Stern calls “a true original and a brilliant comedy mind.” Lampanelli, who is starring alongside Adam Carolla, Arsenio Hall and others on the current season of The Celebrity Apprentice, will also be on tour across the country beginning this weekend and continuing through the summer.
Equal Opportunity Offender gives fans Lampanelli at her very best, sampling the comedienne’s most laughable and risqué jokes from her specials Long Live the Queen, Dirty Girl, Tough Love and Take it Like a Man – all exceptionally put together to create an almost seamless, individual-show feeling overall. Unlike a lot of other best-of collections (I’m looking at you, Dane Cook), one could easily mistake Equal Opportunity Offender as simply a brand-new special in itself.
As fans of Lampanelli will attest to, the Queen of Mean is not just another insult comic. Finding yourself fitting into the social demographic Lampanelli is lampooning has evolved into a badge of honor – if Lisa insults you, you feel grateful and complimented rather than singled out and made fun of.
“I love that you’re a Spic in the front row,” Lampanelli states to an audience member early on, in a bit taken from Long Live the Queen. “Now, are you a border hopper or a river swimmer? I’ll get back to you when you can speak English. Yaaaaaaaaay!”
It’s that last little ‘yay’ which epitomizes Lampanelli ability to get away with just about anything and be loved for it, as the crowd erupts with delight at her perfect illegal-immigration. Her insult style works so well, not only because she’s insanely clever about it, but because overall, Lampanelli is a gracious class-act. In one breathe she can reduce you to a racial stereotype, and in the next, have you hugging it out with her and smiling. It’s that balance of wit and empathy that affords Lampanelli such freedom in her comedy.
Heralded as “more than a standup — a standout” by comedy legend Jim Carrey, Lampanelli is a cross between Don Rickles, Archie Bunker, and a vial of estrogen. Her raunchy, gut-busting performances are wildly popular at theaters across the U.S. and Canada, and her roasts of Donald Trump, David Hasselhoff, Flavor Flav, and Gene Simmons (among others) are the stuff legends are made of. A regular on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Howard Stern’s Sirius satellite radio shows, Lampanelli entered the ranks of comic greats in 2009 with the premiere of her first ever one-hour HBO comedy special, Long Live the Queen. That same year, her autobiography, Chocolate, Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat and Freaks, hit bookstores to critical acclaim. This fall, Lampanelli will bring her talents to Broadway and the big screen, when she mounts her one-woman show, Bring Back the Fat Chick and stars alongside James Gandolfini in the upcoming feature film Not Fade Away, from “The Sopranos” creator David Chase, scheduled for release October 19th.