Queen of Sass meets the Queen of Mean

The “Queen of Sass” – author of the best-selling memoir Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship Cathie Beck (aka ColoradoBiz Magazine’s “The Wine Wench”), put a question or two to Emmy Award-winning stand-up comedienne, “Queen of Mean,” Lisa Lampanelli, last week. Lampanelli appears at the Comedy Works Wednesday through Saturday, honing material for her upcoming Comedy Central special.

Lampanelli married for the first time a few weeks ago to a 300-pound Italian guy named Jimmy. Lampanelli’s act often included her dating life and her predilection for “enjoying” black men.

Will being married change your act?

Well, being married has its own stressors. Like one night I found myself getting jealous and I couldn’t figure out why I was angry. Jimmy was watching Jim Gaffigan (stand up comic) on TV. I realized that I was legitimately jealous because he was laughing at another comic. I’d rather he cheat on me than laugh at another comic. So no, there’s plenty of material and my act won’t change much.

What’s cool is that now I’ve got a 300 lb. body guard protecting me – I’ve gotten fearless.

So at 49-years-old, you got married a few weeks ago to a white guy. How many times has someone said to you, ‘Oh, no. Now ALL the black men on the planet are going to be heartbroken.’

From the day I started dating Jimmy I started talking about it on stage – you’ve got to put it out there. It’s tired by now, but what’s funny is that people say to him, ‘You’re white’ and he’s really a nice guy so he acts like it’s funny, like it’s the first time he’s heard that. But after about the 800th person …

You are completely uncensored and, in my estimation, gave women everywhere free reign to use any cussword any man’s ever used – and to talk, in public, and in colorful language, about sex. Who are your comedic inspirations and how are you she received by other comediennes?

I really was influenced by Dean Martin roasts. I was always a fan of roasting. And Howard Stern was an influence on how to be honest and not edit your self and just say it.
Kathy Griffin was terrific and Chelsea Hammer has been amazing. She’s helped me with deals and she has me on her show. Whitney Cummings, who is just coming up, was really nice.
Those women comics who are on a good, high, secure level are very receptive.

Sorry to circle back to your husband – but is he funny?

Oh, God, yes. And he doesn’t know it and that’s funny. He’s so funny I take him with me on radio shows because he can pick up the slack.

You’re doing so many shows this week in Denver. That’s a lot of work. Why Denver?

I’m doing a new Comedy Central special and it’s coming out the first quarter of 2011. We tape it December 4 and that’s why I’m coming to Denver.

We had to look at markets with actual reactions and Comedy Works has always been good to me. I get to do my special for the people there and it’s really good stuff – material that’s never been seen on TV before.

With these specials it looks like it just comes from off the top of your head. But a lot of it you have to run by the network, not that they tell you to cut stuff out, but you’ve got to do that and the whole thing is just a lot of practice.

What do you want your fans to know about you that they don’t already know?

I’m so out there that everyone seems to already know me. I’m really honest. On Stern’s show, there’s nothing I won’t say – so if there’s self-hate or self-doubt – it’s out there.

One good thing about me is that you don’t have to worry about getting surprised. I’ve always said that my publicist is lucky. She’ll never get ‘that surprise phone call’ where someone says, ‘Oh my God! There are naked pictures of Lisa on the Internet!’ She’ll never get a surprise; she’ll never get that call.”

Read more about Lisa Lampanelli’s upcoming appearances, interviews and shows at www.insultcomic.com. The Comedy Works hosts Lampanelli several times this week. A full schedule is at www.comedyworks.com.

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