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Lisa Lampanelli at SoundBoard, 5 Things To Know
Comedian. Actress. Playwright. Social activist. Weight lost advocate. Yoga enthusiast.
Lisa Lampanelli does a lot, and she's not slowing down. The Connecticut native who's made a mark with her irreverent and politically incorrect humor has made headlines recently losing nearly 110 pounds -- and not only joking but writing about it in her stage show "Stuffed," which is hopefully on its way to Broadway. She survived a divorce in 2014 (yes, that's part of the act now, too) and also survived a run with Donald Trump "The Celebrity Apprentice 5."
Life has given Lampanelli enough knocks to keep her act and pen well-fueled. So in any encounter with her be ready to laugh -- and possibly duck...
Like many of her colleagues, Lampanelli, 55, sees a personal silver lining in the Trump presidency. "I'm loving that I have four more years or however long of amazingly inside jokes and his behavior on 'The Apprentice,'" Lampanelli says by phone from Massachusetts. "I love the fact there's four years of things we never imagined could happen in the U.S. Its a good time for comedy -- maybe a lousy time for everyone else, but it's good for us."
That said, Lampanelli has some warm remembrances from her days in Trump's presence. "Honestly, he was never bad to me," she says. "He was always a gentleman, always a guy who was fair in business. It wasn't like we had tons of contact with him. I did get to study his head up close for 26 weeks, and I honestly still don't know what's going on up there. But he was very affable and had a good sense of humor, which is why I roasted the hell out of him in the show. I'll keep coming til he tweets about me and gets me banned. Then I'll be even more famous!"
Lampanelli considers herself still to be "an insult comic," and she doesn't spare herself in the act, either. "I talk about my journey -- my weight-loss struggle, surgery, divorce, dating. I put myself in it, so people can be open and honest about what they're going through and laugh at themselves and feel really good -- Like, 'If she can laugh at herself...,' that kind of thing. But my job is to be judgey and funny. It's great to be able to still make fun of every race, creed, color, sexual orientation and still be doing it with a hard edge. I think people can tell that, at heart, I don't mean it."
Her own weight and eating issues are good fodder for the act, but Lampanelli is also a role model for successfully combating them. What does she miss most, though? "Y'know, I can still eat whatever type of food I want, but it has to be very small portions," she explains. "I miss the idea of going, 'Man, I'm (angry). I'm depressed' and I miss the days I could get a bucket of ice cream and pretzels and go to town. Now it's like, 'Omigod, I have to work through this and FEEL my feelings. That sucks! I'm a celebrity; I shouldn't have to do this, but I do...'"
And even though she loves yoga, Lampanelli finds plenty of funny material in that, too. "Omigod, it's hilarious!" she says. "I go to a lot of different places and just this week I had a teacher recognize me and go, 'I'm gonna find my way into your act, aren't I?' and I'm like, 'You don't even know...' People who do yoga can be so overly serious. I take it with a lot of grain of salt, so trust me there's several yoga moments in the show. If you can't combine a little humor and a little judgment into everything you jsut become a creepy robot."
8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17.
SoundBoard in the Motor City Casino and Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit.
Tickets are $30-$45.
Call 1-866-782-9622 or visit motorcitycasino.com
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