Lean, Mean, Queen and no, she’s not in drag— she’s Lisa Lampanelli

By : Kirk Hartlage
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Let’s face it—we’re Lisa Lampanelli’s bitch. We’ve interviewed her just about as many times we’ve run stories on gay-hate-spewing conservative politicians getting caught having some clandestine man-on-man lovin’ in an inappropriate place, and at least as many times as the phrase “anal leakage” appears in small type in one of those pill-of-the-week ads printed in these very pages.

Shocking, yes. But that’s just how Lampanelli likes it.

Though she’s performed in Central Florida numerous times before, her last Gay Days Weekend appearance was in 2007. Kathy Griffin was also here that year, so we pitted the two comic divas against each other in an epic showdown both on the cover and inside that year’s Gay Day issue. When Lampanelli learned a ticket to Griffin’s show included DJs and theme park rides while hers did not, the Queen of Mean suggested letting audience members ride her instead. She also offered up rides on her then-opening act Gay Wendall, calling him the teacup ride of gays: “You’ll get in if you’re desperate, but you won’t really tell your friends about it.”

Since then, Lampanelli has developed a softer side. Though her current tour is called “Leaner and Meaner,” she’s far more the former, and just a little bit more of the latter. As before she still skewers anyone and everyone, but in this outing she also turns the tables on herself, sharing far more personal stories than ever before. Lampanelli gives audiences an insight into her life after marriage and divorce, gastric bypass surgery and the loss of 107 pounds.

Lampanelli appears Saturday, June 6, at Hard Rock Live at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40-$55 and are available at HardRock.com. Her new standup special “Back to the Drawing Board” will premiere on EPIX on Fri., June 26th.

WATERMARK: Lisa! We’re so excited to see you back here for Gay Day!

LISA LAMPANELLI: Ah yes, Gay Day. Also known as the day Jesus wept.

Last time you were here for Gay Days Weekend we put you and Kathy Griffin together in a comedy diva smackdown.

I remember seeing the cover of Watermark with me and Kathy and opening it up hoping Kathy didn’t think I hated her, because it’s just business. Thank God we didn’t make enemies! She and I have since become friends so you homos not only didn’t do damage to our relationship you brought us closer together. So, thank you gays for giving me one of my few celebrity acquaintances in the business.

You are welcome! For what it’s worth we’ve interviewed you far more times than we have Kathy.

Awww, but you’ll catch up. You’ll jump on her bandwagon as soon as she gets another TV show, you bitchy queens.

Do you still hang out with your gays, watching reality TV?

Well, I cut down watching those shows a little bit since Celebrity Apprentice, because once you’re on one of those shows you see how they really are, especially after you’ve watched yourself be menopausal on a full season of The Apprentice. Now I’ve cut down to only The Real Housewives of New York and The Real Housewives of New Jersey, because I love a mob aspect, and a jail aspect. I have to keep up on my Teresa and see how that jailbird’s doing. And I also watch, of course, my Dancing With The Stars, because some little dancer, even if they don’t say they’re gay, I think they’re all gay. That’s the only way I can reconcile the fact that Derek Hough will never ask me on a date. They must be gay or they’d all be asking me for dates.

Having been through the reality show experience, can you see yourself doing Dancing With the Stars?

I can, but I don’t think the (ABC) network can. I think they’re probably afraid to put me on TV. But I would do Dancing With The Stars in a second. But I think everybody else is too. That’s the problem, they have enough stars. It’s the hottest ticket because it looks like so much fun. You can lose weight from it. You can be around a sweaty Russian, who’s angry. I mean, that’s my dream: to be around a sweaty, angry Russian.

I hear you’re going to be on The View.

Can you believe it? Because I have made fun of that show for years! I used to hate a lot of the hosts. But now that it’s Whoopi—and that’s my girl—she gets comedy. She understands that you’re allowed to make fun of everybody, and she’s done it in her act and defended me. I can’t wait! Part of it is that I just want to thank Whoopi for always being a supporter of comedy.

I noticed they put you on a Friday.

That’s probably because they can tape it on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, edit out any time I say the “C” word so it doesn’t get out live. Trust me, I know their little games.

But since its ABC, maybe if you’re a good girl they’ll decide you can be on Dancing With the Stars and they won’t have to keep their trigger finger on the “edit” button.

That’s true, although I do like saying the “C” word a lot. I don’t know, I will have to weigh it out.

Thinking of the title of your tour, I couldn’t understand how you could be meaner now that you’re leaner. But then there’s this girl I work with who had that gastro surgery too. I didn’t think she could become more of a cunty bitch, but she has.

I bet I’m worse than her, because I’ve made a complete effort to not be that way offstage. Five days a week I don’t curse offstage, I don’t yell at people anymore, so I save it all up for the weekend. So Friday and Saturday all bets are off. I hold it all in all week and then go insane on stage. Plus I’m hungry, for God’s sake! I can’t eat! You know if there’s one thing that makes a bitch funny and angry, it’s not eating.

As a bear I completely, completely understand.

You tell that bitch at work to get her head out of her ass and into some therapy. Because clearly she’s not doing it right if she’s still a “C” word.

Speaking of big girls, how do you feel about Meghan Trainor? When I first saw her I thought, “Lisa has a daughter she didn’t know about and Meghan’s totally stolen Lisa’s look!”

The thing about her… it’s so hard. I was never able to embrace my size the way she’s able to. So part of me really admires that she’s confident despite weight issues or looks issues or anything. But the other part of me goes, “Just lose the weight, you fat whore,” and that’s probably the bad side of Lisa that does that. Probably.
So, I don’t know! I’m kind of torn between it. I love women who let themselves go there, but I could never get my head around it. I think I’m kind of jealous that I never had that self-love. But hey, God bless her! I have a feeling what’s gonna happen is she going to get really famous and then lose weight. They all do. There are all these girls who embrace their weight, and suddenly they go to Hollywood and they’re tiny—like America Ferrara, Jennifer Hudson. I think she’s going to come out a blond skinny bitch. I think in two years we can judge her more.

But isn’t some of that the pot calling the kettle black?

Nope. Because I never embraced it, I never said I liked the way I look. I never put out a song or a bit that said I was comfortable with my weight, or I think I’m beautiful. I don’t think I’m beautiful now! So I would never have had that confidence. That whole idea that women should have curves was never part of my vernacular, it’s so hypocritical. So if she loses weight, I’ll resent her; if she stays fat, I’ll support her. I think that’s pretty nice of me, don’t you?

we now have gay marriage in Florida, but we also have divorce. Any advice, since you’ve experienced both?

In my experience, always marry somebody who probably is a little dumber than you, and won’t read the pre-nup you put in front of them. Get yourself somebody who’s a little simple, a little blue-collar. If he won’t sign it, get him drunk first, cornhole him, and then do it.

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