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Lisa Lampanelli (born Lisa Marie Lampugnale)[1] is an American former stand-up comedian, actress and insult comic. Much of her material is racy and features ethnic humor, centering on various types of minority groups, most notably racial minorities and homosexuals.

Lisa Lampanelli
Lisa Lampanelli Musto Party 2011 David Shankbone.JPG
Lampanelli in 2011
PseudonymQueen of Mean[1]
Birth nameLisa Marie Lampugnale
BornTrumbull, Connecticut, U.S.
MediumStand-up, television, film
Years active1990[2]–2018
GenresInsult comedy, improvisational comedy, observational comedy
Subject(s)Race relations, human sexuality, everyday life
SpouseJimmy Cannizzaro
(m. 2010; divorced)

Early life and journalism careerEdit

Lampanelli, one of three siblings, was born in Trumbull, Connecticut, to a middle class family.[3] Three of her grandparents were of Italian descent, and the fourth of Polish ancestry.[4][5] Her mother, Gloria (née Velgot), worked for the local police department, where "she typed in all the arrests made", and her father, Leonard Lampugnale, worked for Sikorsky Aircraft and later became a painter.[6][7][8][9] Lampanelli attended Roman Catholic schools,[7] studied journalism at Boston College and Syracuse University,[3] and attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard.[10][11]

She worked as a copy editor at Popular Mechanics and an assistant at Rolling Stone.[12] She was also a fact checker and the first chief of research for Spy magazine; a book about Spy describes her then as "your average decked-out-heavy-metal-head-next-door."[13] Speaking later to Maxim Magazine Online, Lampanelli remarked, "I was a real journalist for Rolling Stone, Spy, Hit Parader. I interviewed those fuckin' hair bands: Cinderella, Slaughter."[14]



Lampanelli began her stand-up career in New York in the early 1990s.[15] In explaining her reasons for switching from journalism to comedy, Lampanelli stated not only for the pay raise, but because "I get to say the n-word on stage and get paid money."[16] She made her break at the 2002 New York Friars' Club roast of Chevy Chase,[1] and went on to participate in the roasts of Denis Leary, Pamela Anderson, Jeff Foxworthy, Flavor Flav, William Shatner, David Hasselhoff, and Donald Trump and to serve as Roastmaster for Larry the Cable Guy.[17] Lampanelli is frequently on the dais for The Howard Stern Show roasts, including appearances at the roasts for Gary Dell'Abate, Artie Lange, Andy Dick, and A&E's "Gene Simmons Roast" in April 2008.

Lampanelli released a comedy special on DVD entitled Take it Like A Man in 2005, appeared in the 2006 motion picture Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, and had a cameo appearance in the VH1 sitcom So NoTORIous. She also landed a deal with Fox for a sitcom pilot with the tentative title Big Loud Lisa, which was considered a candidate for the network's 2006–07 television season. Lampanelli taped her stand-up special Dirty Girl in the fall of 2006, which aired on Comedy Central on January 28, 2007. Her Dirty Girl CD and Dirty Girl—No Protection DVD were released by Warner Bros./Jack Records on January 30, 2007. Lampanelli was also featured in the movie Delta Farce starring Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall, and D.J. Qualls, which was released early in 2008, and in Drillbit Taylor starring Owen Wilson.

Her style of humor was influenced most by the Dean Martin roasts that televised when she was growing up; she did not start watching other stand-up comedians until she became one herself.[6][18]

Lampanelli performing in 2008

On November 21, 2008, in Santa Rosa, California, Lampanelli taped her first one-hour HBO Special at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. The special, Lisa Lampanelli: Long Live the Queen, which aired January 31, 2009, was directed by Dave Higby, who also directed her Dirty Girl special.[19] In December 2010 she reunited with Higby when he directed her Tough Love special for Comedy Central that aired in the spring of 2011. She is scheduled to debut a one-woman show, Bring Back the Fat Chick, on Broadway in 2012.[20]

In May 2012, she headlined at the Night of a Thousand Gowns, a huge charity gala in NYC, where she also filmed a cameo for Adam Barta's new "Q&A" music video.[21]

Lampanelli's album Back to the Drawing Board was nominated for Best Comedy Album at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.[22]

On October 30, 2018 Lampanelli announced her retirement from stand-up comedy on The Howard Stern Show.[23]

The Celebrity Apprentice 5Edit

Lampanelli was a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice 5 (also known as The Apprentice 12). She was criticized by viewers and had numerous outbursts and clashes with other contestants, including Victoria Gotti, Arsenio Hall, Lou Ferrigno, and Dayana Mendoza.[24][25] Lampanelli refused to apologize for her treatment of other contestants and racist remarks about Hispanics. In spite of her behavior and relations with other contestants, she raised $130,000 for Gay Men's Health Crisis winning two out of three of the challenges she took on as Project Manager. Lampanelli was fired on May 6, 2012 during the Final Four interview because John Rich and Marlee Matlin thought she was overly emotional.[26]


It Books (HarperCollins) is the publisher of Lampanelli's memoir, Chocolate, Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat, and Freaks (2009). Publishers Weekly reviewed:

After more than 30 pages on her search for the "perfect black man," Lampanelli moves on to outline her standup career, from handling hecklers to doing The Tonight Show... Seeking the roots of her humor, she recalls her childhood as an "attention whore": "Eating to get attention is a behavior that I continued into my high school days." She follows her memories of "fat rehab" with a variety of topics, from the Virgin Mary to vegans. Much is quite funny, and Lampanelli never pulls her punches. Despite her raw language and raucous writing, honest reflections and stark self-insights emerge as she probes her past.[27]

Personal lifeEdit

Lampanelli married in 1991 and divorced soon afterward.[1] She married Jimmy Cannizzaro, a former tavern owner from Valley Stream, New York, on October 2, 2010 at the New York Friars' Club.[1][28] In May 2014, she filed for divorce from Cannizzaro after four years of marriage.[29]

Lampanelli is a supporter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.[30] When members of the Westboro Baptist Church planned to protest against a show she held on May 20, 2011 in Topeka, Kansas, she promised to donate $1000 to Gay Men's Health Crisis (the same charity she contributed to during The Celebrity Apprentice) for every protester that attended. After an initial count of 44 protesters she rounded the donation to an even $50,000, crediting the donation as being "made possible by the WBC."[30]


  1. ^ a b c d e Martin, Douglas (2010-10-15). "Vows – Lisa Lampanelli and Jimmy Cannizzaro". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  2. ^ Condran, Ed (November 14, 2003). "Some of you want a good slap in the face". The Record. Bergen County, New Jersey. Archived from the original on December 25, 2005.
  3. ^ a b Farmer, Ann (2008-02-10). "Fearlessly Foul, and on the Verge of Respectability". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  4. ^ Queen of Mean: Lisa Lampanelli | Visual Arts | NUVO News | Indianapolis, IN. Retrieved on 2012-04-26.
  5. ^ What's So Funny About New Jersey? – Page 3 – New York Times. (1999-11-07). Retrieved on 2012-04-26.
  6. ^ a b Scott Marks (2009-06-07). "Insult queen Lisa Lampanelli comes to San Diego". Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  7. ^ a b Farhi, Paul (2009-01-24). "Lampanelli Adds Insult To Ingenuity". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  8. ^ Joe Amarante Bunker, Rickles, Clay and ... Lisa Lampanelli? New Haven Register (2010-03-19)
  9. ^ "Sunday Herald - Google News Archive Search".
  10. ^ Lisa Lampanelli talks journalism background, Harvard, & Bon Jovi, retrieved 2018-06-11
  11. ^ "Lampanelli is building career on celebrity roasts". Evansville Courier & Press. 2006-12-22.
  12. ^ "Interview with Lisa Lampanelli". The Onion's The A.V. Club. 2006-12-21.
  13. ^ Andersen, Kurt; Graydon Carter; George Kalogerakis (2006). Spy: The Funny Years. New York: Miramax Books. p. 28. ISBN 1-4013-5239-1.
  14. ^ Dobrow, Larry (January 2007). "Whoa Lampanelli". Maxim Magazine Online. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-24.
  15. ^ Hyman, Peter (2005-11-07). "Queen of Mean". Radar Online. Archived from the original on 2007-03-03.
  16. ^ Lisa Lampanelli insults her way through NU | The Huntington News. (February 2008). Retrieved on 2012-05-05.
  17. ^ Comedy Central Roast of Larry the Cable Guy – About the Show. Retrieved on 2012-04-26.
  18. ^ Dylan P. Gadino (2006-02-05). "Lisa Lampanelli: Highly Insulting!". Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  19. ^ "HBO Special". Retrieved 2008-12-21.
  20. ^ "Reality TV star to bring her 'queen of mean' humor to Indy". 2012-03-08. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "58th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees". Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  23. ^ "Lisa Lampanelli Tells Howard She's Retiring From Comedy to Become a Life Coach". Howard Stern. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  24. ^ 'Celebrity Apprentice': Lisa Lampanelli Unloads On Lou Ferrigno, Arsenio Hall And Dayana Mendoza (VIDEO). Retrieved on 2012-04-26.
  25. ^ 'Celebrity Apprentice' recap: Aubrey O'Day won't be bullied (that's her job!). (2012-04). Retrieved on 2012-04-26.
  26. ^ Ross, Dalton (May 6, 2012). 'Celebrity Apprentice': And the fired celebrities are... Entertainment Weekly
  27. ^ Publishers Weekly, July 27, 2009.
  28. ^ Downs, Gordon (2011-01-26). "Interview With Comedian Lisa Lampanelli". Archived from the original on 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
  29. ^ Boardman, Madeline (2014-05-01). "Lisa Lampanelli Files for Divorce from Husband Jimmy Cannizzaro". Us Weekly. Retrieved 2014-05-05.
  30. ^ a b Blankenship, Bill (May 25, 2011). "Comic's check to AIDS center credits WBC". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved 25 May 2011.

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