Queen of Mean, Lisa Lampanelli, on High-Maintenance Whores and Joey Ramone's Bad Breath
The result? Rants about The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Sarah Jessica Parker's resemblance to her dog, and a period in her life where she rocked a tragic Flock of the Seagulls haircut.
New Times: Before you were a comedian, you worked as a journalist. What made you switch careers?
Lisa Lampanelli: The $12,000 a year income, that kind of sucks. And I pretty much interviewed everyone I had held in high regards. Back then, I was a total prog-rock fan so I liked bands like Rush, Jethro Tull, Yes, and every other nerdy band on the planet. So, once I'd interviewed all them, I was like "Shit, now I'm stuck interviewing Cinderella and Slaughter."
Who was your favorite interview?
Fred Gwynne, who played Herman Munster was the best! He was my first celebrity interview and I had a lot of respect for him. I knew he had gone to Harvard, I saw him play Claudius in Hamlet, he even wrote children's books. He wasn't this one-dimensional dummy on this goofy sitcom, he had other things going on.
You say that you can get away with your mean humor because it's done with love, explain that.
Well, only make fun of people you like. Because if you don't like someone and you make fun of them, people can sense it, and it'll come off nasty rather than funny. That's why I never make jokes about the French.
You must really love black people, then.
Yes! Especially their palms, they fascinate me, but I'm sure it's a mystery to all people of the superior race.
And who's the superior race?
You know, the white devil. That's why they call that show The Amazing Race because it's about white people, isn't it?
Well, they do jump higher and run faster, so that'd make sense. And by the way, if people can't tell that I'm not serious and that these are jokes they can go F themselves. It cracks me up when people take comedy too seriously. Isn't there something more important to protest?
Who's your favorite black person?
I did enjoy Chris Brown up until all that beating stuff, that was pretty horrible. Although Rihanna was probably asking for it, and that's not off the record, so please include that in your interview. And I like that 50 Cent. He's rumored to be dating Chelsea Handler and I don't know if that's true but I got mad respect for anyone who dates a female comic because we're high maintenance whores.
You recently married. How does your husband handle your ego?
He's had accomplishments in his life already where he doesn't have to put all the focus on him. So, he'll pick up the slack. Like I'll take him to radio interviews and when I get too tired to answer all the dummy's questions, I'll look at him, and he kind of takes over. He's a good wingman. And he's big enough to beat the shit out of anyone who heckles me, which I like, it makes me feel small, like I'm not the big dyke-y looking thing in my relationship. You want to feel like a girl.
Why did you give your husband the nickname, Jimmy Big Balls?
Because he has huge nuts! His sack is fucking off-putting. I'll tell you what, seriously, it looks like the thing a hobo ties to a stick and puts over his shoulder. I mean, it's like a 20-pound sack! I'll weigh them right now if you want me to put you on hold.
And you married him despite his balls?
Well, none of us are perfect, except for me. So, I have to make some exceptions. And again, me making fun of his balls is just a joke. And he gets that. That's why I love roasts, they're supposed to be about fun and gentle ribbing out of love.