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Lisa Lampanelli talks new television show and comedic career Special

Posted Jun 19, 2015 by Markos Papadatos
World renowned comedienne Lisa Lampanelli chatted with Digital Journal about her television premiere of "Lisa Lampanelli: Back to the Drawing Board."
Comedian Lisa Lampanelli
Comedian Lisa Lampanelli
Dan Dion
This show will take place on Friday, June 26 at 10 p.m. EST on EPIX. Her hour-long special is part of the network's new line-up of Original Comedy Events, and it will be available across all EPIX platforms. It was produced by Comedy Dynamics, directed by Jay Chapman, as well as penned and performed by Lisa Lampanelli. "It deals with the struggles that I had in my life, which include my weight loss surgery, my body image struggles, diets and my divorce. It was a good thing to kind of get it all out there, and tell the truth about it and make humor out of it," she said. "The show is really good. I actually like this a whole lot, since it has a lot of more stories about me, and the things that I went through and dealt with. It can help people who went through similar things," she added.
This marks the acclaimed comedienne's fifth stand-up special, and her edgy insult comic is new, improved, and funnier than ever. In it, she explores her weight loss which exceeded 100 pounds, her funky haircut and her latest divorce.
On February 6, Lampanelli performed at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury on Long Island, and she praised the venue and her New York audience. "I love Westbury," she said. "I am always shocked as to how many people from Long Island actually know my name. That's one of my favorite places and the money is great, so that never hurts."
She subsequently complimented her fans on Long Island for being "civilized," especially since there is the possibility of "attacking" her, while performing at "a theater in the round" such as the NYCB Theatre at Westbury.
One of her most memorable television appearances was being on the fifth season of Celebrity Apprentice, which had the largest-ever lineup of famous faces competing for charities of their choice. As one of the final four contestants, Lampanelli raised over $130,000 for her charity, the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC). "I got fired once in my life, and it was on national television," she said, prior to noting that she is self-employed. "I knew I wasn't going to last forever. I knew I was on borrowed time and my time had come, but I earned my $130,000 for GMHC, and no harm, no foul," she added.
This past October, Lampanelli was able to handle herself well during a female heckler incident at her Hard Rock Casino show in Vancouver, which went viral on YouTube. "It lasted around 20 minutes, and she said the one thing that you should never say to a comic, especially me. She said something like 'I am paying you, and you have to do what I say,' as if I were her slave or indentured servant. It really just got me and I just could not stop. To be honest, it was a lot of fun and I love those kinds of things," she said.
Dubbed as the "Queen of Mean," Lampanelli is a Grammy nominee, and on NY Friars Club Roast on Comedy Central, she was able to slay such names as actress Pamela Anderson, rapper Flava Flav and business mogul Donald Trump. "That was wild," she said. "I will ride that forever. Anytime a guy tries to break up with me, I will be like: 'At least I got nominated for a Grammy, bitch.' The Grammy nomination medallion is the coolest thing. I have a picture of myself with it and I have it on my shelf. It is super-cool," she said.
Speaking of roasts on Comedy Central, she noted that these aforementioned roasts were her three all-time favorites. "The Flava Flav one was great because there was a lot of material there," she said.
When asked what motivates her each day, Lampanelli responded, "Right now, I really like it when I watch something funny on television. It makes me laugh and get through the hard times. If I don't have a couple of Nurse Jackie's or Will and Grace's, I could stay in a really bad mood. What really keeps me going is thinking that my comedy gives other people a kick out of it, and they will be distracted with what is going on in their everyday lives. That's what keeps me going on stage."
She had nothing but the greatest remarks for radio king Howard Stern and her appearances on his show. "I love it! Those are the best moments. First of all, when you get acceptance from your hero, there is nothing better than that. You don't want the guy you look up to think that you are a douche-bag. Honestly, he is the best broadcaster of all time, and I am just flattered that he will have me on sometimes," she said.
Lampenelli paid homage to the late Joan Rivers, especially since she learned something valuable from her: to not apologize for anything. "That's a big lesson that she taught a lot of comics out there. Joan was a really strong broad with an amazing work ethic, probably better than anyone who has been in entertainment. If we can just learn to be ourselves and unapologetic, you are going to be half the legend that she was. Joan was a total inspiration," she said.
On her comedic writing inspiration, she said, "Anything that pisses me off on a daily basis. For example, when somebody does something to me as I am driving, or as I am eating at Starbucks. They have to be talked about. A lot of it deals with things that annoy me, bug me and hurt my feelings."
For aspiring comics, her advice is simple. "Quit the business if you are a pussy," she said. "I am sick and tired of comics who don't want to work hard. Unless you are willing to sleep in your car, quit the business, because it is going to be rough and you need to not be complaining about it."
When asked to reflect upon the last decade in a rear-view mirror, Lampanelli said, "Wrinkles and cellulite but no stretch marks, so I feel really lucky."
In the little spare time that she has, Lampanelli enjoys going on yoga retreats and she revealed that this will be featured in her upcoming television special. "I like downtime," she said.
Lampanelli stays connected with her fans on her social networks. "I ignore them on Twitter and that seems to bug them," she said with a sweet laugh.
The "Queen of Mean" defined the word success as "peace." "It's not about money or fame. It's about being able to lay down at night and go to sleep, knowing that you did the best thing you could that day," she concluded.
For more information on Lisa Lampanelli and her new television show Lisa Lampanelli: Back to the Drawing Board, check out her official website.