Her Thing Is Always On 

Lisa Lampanelli's schtick evokes the comedians of yesteryear — with all the slurs.

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Lisa Lampanelli is a funny bitch. Known for her appearances on Comedy Central roasts, the 48-year-old insult comic is a throwback to the days when alcoholism was comical and political correctness meant voting on the right day. She's trashed stars such as Flavor Flav, Sandra Bernhard and Pamela Anderson to their various strange faces and lived to joke about it. Her audiences aren't safe either, as she lampoons racial and sexual stereotypes in an effort to expose their absurdity. It's a calling.
The next move for the former journalist and copy editor is a resume changer for stand-up comics: the HBO special. “Long Live the Queen” premieres at 10 p.m. Jan 31. Lucky for Richmonders, the queen of mean was booked at the National before that special airs to potentially catapult her career.

Style: What kind of people come to a Lisa Lampanelli show?

Lisa Lampanelli: Lots of coloreds. Negroes and colored people enjoy me very much. Filipinos have taken a liking to me. Homos, I would say. … they don't like me as much as they like Kathy Griffin. I think I tap into their profound self-hate. Eighteen-to-34-[year-old] males … I'm probably the only woman comic that appeals to men.

Why do you think you have such a large African-American following?

The colored people, they think they're going to have sex with me. Usually, they are not disappointed and I do put out. On a serious note, black people can sense real racism versus entertainment racism done for a specific reason.

How did you go from being a copy editor to a comedian?

I got sick of earnin' 12 grand a year. How can I say the “n” word and “c” word and get paid millions a year? Stand-up comedy, n—ga!

How did you know that you had a talent for insult comedy?

When you can say words like [numerous expletives deleted] and you don't get beat up, you say, “Wow, I have knack for this.” Thank goodness you can make a living at this.

Have you ever had someone in the audience get upset?

I had a cripple in a wheelchair get annoyed with me once, 'cause I didn't make fun of him. He's gonna chase me out to my car? Run over my foot? I know nobody dislikes me, because I have my assistant delete all the negative e-mail.

Aside from your HBO special, what else do you have in the works?

The HBO special will be released on CD and DVD on March 31st. I got an autobiography called “Chocolate Please,” sort of a nod to my love for the African-American colored, and a sitcom.

What's the premise of the sitcom?

I am playing 100 percent myself and I have sex with a lot of black guys and I'm a comedian. Executive produced by Jim Carrey. It's called “Is This Thing On?” S

Lisa Lampanelli will be at the National on Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35.75. Call 612-1900 or visit www.thenationalva.com.


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