If you’re a fan of Lisa Lampanelli, and truth be told, who isn’t, … ( rhetorical question – means it answers itself, … schmuck!) then you’re in for a treat. This Sunday night, Lisa will be in all her glory with a one hour Comedy Central special called “Tough Love.”
Lisa Lampanelli and Jeffrey Gurian at The Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump
I have it from Lisa herself that this special, … if you can believe it, … will be EVEN EDGIER than her last few specials. This from a woman who when honored with a luncheon by The Friars Club, called her mother the “C” word, and referred to her Dad as something like “that old deaf f*&k”. And not only were her parents there, but they laughed harder than anyone else!
Lisa Lampanelli flanked by her proud parents who are still laughing, at her Friars Club luncheon, 2_27_07
And that’s cause everyone can tell that Lisa comes from a place of love. She’s not a mean spirited person, and has no hatred in her heart for anyone. On stage watch out. But in person, ( and I don’t want to spoil her image, … but) she’s a sweetheart!
She told me that she and her husband, affectionately known as Jimmy “Big Balls”, … ( only Italian guys get good nick-names like that. Jewish guys NEVER get good nick-names. Whaddaya gonna call him, Sol “Thrifty” Schwartz? What’s the worst he can do? Give you the wrong change? )… so Lisa and Jimmy BB, just happened to catch one of her old specials on TV the other night, and she said she was “shocked at how much more Comedy Central is letting her get away with this time. I think there were only 6 bleeps in the whole thing”, she said. ” “They really let me push the limits!”
Lisa and husband Jimmy celebrating her killer performance at the Donald Trump Roast!
Lisa, and comics like Russell Peters, who is also a good friend of mine, fall into the category of what I refer to as “The Messiahs of Comedy.” I put them together although they are actually very different. But what they have in common is they bring Healing to the world and bring everyone together by making all ethnic groups see the humor in themselves as well as in other groups. All stereo-types have some basis in truth, and Lisa just points that out.
As a treat for my readers, I have permission from Lisa to give you a little taste of what to expect. Some inside info, so to speak! Now if I give HER some inside info back, do I run the risk of being arrested for insider trading! (Do they let you wear scarves in prison???)
Lisa Lampanelli and Year Round Scarf-Wearing Jeffrey Gurian at Carolines!
Lisa as you know is Queen of the Roasts. As a matter of fact, several years ago before Lisa’s career blew up, she and I were actually going to start a Roast business, creating Roasts for the corporate world. I had been writing for The Friars Roasts for many years, and we thought it would be a great idea. She was The Queen of the Roasts, I was gonna be The King, and she had an opening act at the time that was going to be The Prince!
As I recall, he was Gay and was arguing with her over who should be The Queen!
We had several meetings at The Friars Club, and got as far as making up fliers for our company, but before we had a chance to do our first gig, her career took off, and that was as far as it got!
Anyway, Lisa is incorporating her love and affinity for doing Roasts into her special by doing what she calls , her first annual ” Roast of Worthless Americans,” where she will have a podium wheeled out and she’ll do “a good ol’ fashioned roast of everyone from the Situation to Kate Gosselin to Jennifer Aniston.”
Lisa Lampanelli and Jeffrey Gurian, in the Green Room, when Lisa was the Roast Master for the Friars Roast of Pat Cooper-2007
Lisa’s quote was, “Since I am so fond of doing the roasts, I wanted to do a roast of people who took themselves too seriously to sit in the hot seat like Donald Trump and David Hasselhoff did. It’s a first for me and a total blast.” She really respected both Donald and David for taking the heat and subjecting themselves to what can be a brutal experience if you’re not mentally set for it.
Before Donald Trump was roasted by The Friars Club, he happened to ask me, ” Do you think I can take it?” My answer was, ” If anyone can it’s YOU Donald.”
Lisa Lampanelli and Jeffrey in the street after her interview for the book he's writing on the history of The Comic Strip.
Lisa also gave me a great interview on her early days in comedy, and her experiences at The Comic Strip for the book I am doing on the 35 year history of that legendary club. I will give you a taste of that interview in upcoming blog postings.
In the meantime just let me say that I know Lisa for a long time, and I’m so happy for her and all of her success as she deserves every bit of it. No one knows how hard you have to work to make it in this business, and she’s literally worked her butt off, ( by at least 80 pounds!)
Lisa Lampanelli and Jeffrey Gurian dancing, from his rare "Dancing With Comedians" series!
So, to wrap up, once again, the special is called “Tough Love” and airs this Sunday, March 27th, at 10 p.m. EST on Comedy Central. You can also go to http://www.ComedyCentral.com for additional airings.