'Queen of Mean' returns to Ryman

Having played the Ryman Auditorium before, Lisa Lampanelli knows what to expect. And, to her way of thinking, a former church packed full of sinners is just what she deserves.

“It’ll be full of homos, and we don’t allow you in our real churches,” Lampanelli said. “So it feels like we’re breaking the rules that Jesus intended. There also will be blacks and other sinners, all those people who are abominations, all in one place, one church, because I brought them together. I feel like I’m the high priestess of comedy.”

Lampanelli’s brand of comedy has no idols – race, creed, gender preference; it’s all game. And while it may not be fun for the victim at any given moment, it’s a good ride for everyone else in the theater. The jab-and-attack mode has been a staple for years — think Don Rickles — but it takes a fair amount of brass to carry it off. And brass, Lampanelli’s got, a fact the world was made more aware of during her appearance on a Pamela Anderson roast Comedy Central aired a few years back,

“I noticed that ticket sales were up right after that,” Lampanelli said. “Thank God Courtney Love was there and misbehaved really heavily. There was a huge clip of it on CNN, and then everybody had to see it. I pretty much owe my career to that crazy cunt.”

That led to other appearances, such as a roast for Gene Simmons, which in turn have spawned hundreds of YouTube clips. It also led to Lampanelli moving from comedy clubs to larger theaters, where she’s at today.

With a successful comedy career comes a certain amount of sexual allure, and Lampanelli has certainly capitalized on hers. Sadly, she’s not only sworn off African-American men, her love of which is a longtime staple onstage, but she’s out of the whole dating pool altogether.

“I’ve just discovered my love for the vanilla,” she said. “I have a lovely boyfriend, a lovely white devil, and I have committed my sexual life to him. The black women can have their men back — enjoy the child-support payments, bitches!”

So these days, what with a man at home tending to her every spoken and unspoken need, not to mention a full roster of tour dates, it’s a good life. Even so, it’s the smart foul-mouthed woman who plans ahead, and Lampanelli is no exception.

“Everywhere I go, people are coming to see me,” she said. “How cool is that? I figure I can ride this shit out for at least the next three years, then when they stop turning up I can get my own reality show.”

Visit ryman.com to purchase tickets.

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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