Lisa Lampanelli, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Mean” is returning to the Pearl Concert Theatre in the Palms Hotel & Casino this Saturday at 8 p.m.
“Expect to see a whole new hour of material,” promised Lisa. “Much of it will be about the craziest experience of my life…spending 16 weeks competing on ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’” Donald Trump’s reality show on NBC.
“I LOVED it!” she screamed. “I watched myself on TV afterward. I was such a mental patient on that show! I got SO much material though, and it’s such great exposure. It raises your profile.
“There’s the only problem. The minute I finished doing the show, I was getting recognized every single day in the city of New York, and I was loving it…Then I go and lose 105-plus pounds and no one recognizes me! I’m not getting free coffee anymore…I’m not getting FREE anything!
“So it’s a double edged sword, this weight loss,” she continued. “I’m less famous, because I don’t look like me anymore…but maybe now I’ll live until I’m 70, instead of dropping dead.”
Perhaps it was that philosophy that led to Lisa’s decision to get gastric by-pass surgery.
“I just got tired of hating the way my body looked in the mirror!” she explained. “There were a couple of incidents that happened on the Apprentice that triggered me to want to do something about it. It wasn’t that alone, of course. It was many things over the years. In fact, we’re working on a one-woman Broadway show about my life, and we get into this and explain how it came about.”
At age 51, Lampanelli is making the effort to live a life of balance. She takes time off to enjoy her home on the water in Connecticut, and has three assistants and a few dollars.
“I really think comics are afraid to improve themselves, because they’re like: ‘I won’t be funny if I get thinner,’ or ‘I won’t be funny if I go to the shrink and get more healthy mentally and emotionally.’ But there’s always going to be so much twisted stuff about us, I don’t think we ever have to worry about being too healthy for comedy.
“I’ve been in-therapy for many years. I think I took a cue from Howard Stern. He has become a better human being and performer by going to therapy three or four times a week. I don’t do that, but I take a lot of workshops; I also have a house at Kenya Ranch Health Spa, in Tucson, Arizona, where I work on myself from a spiritual and psychological point of view. Plus I go to a six-day retreat for emotional eating because I don’t want to gain the weight back. Weight is about emotion and not about food.”
Lampanelli is still a “heavyweight” in comedy, and would never be one to be accused of going light in her show.
Her full interview can be heard on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio & Web Show, Thursday, Feb. 14 from 6 p.m.-7 p.m.