Insult comic Lisa Lampanelli's loving love-hate relationship with the gays
By Noah Michelson
Photo: Janet Van Hamm
I was called "gay" in middle school for my fruity music tendencies, and Lisa Lampanelli would've fit nicely into the posse that bullied me. Except she's sweat-and-cry hilarious. And damn creative. Calling someone "gay"? So last decade! The insult comic grilled more than at a cook-out during her HBO special Saturday night, "Love Live the Queen" (available on CD and DVD on March 31), unveiling her new -- and third -- list of go-to gay terms of endearment including Poop-Shoot Popeye, Pudding Pusher, Stool Tool, Turd Tickler and Andy Dick.
Sparing no one, the former journalist is an equal opportunity offender. Everyone was fair game but the good thing is the more she skewers you, the more she actually likes you. And the gays got a lot of play.
Two minutes in, she proclaimed herself "The Fag Whisperer" and, as she poked fun of the melting pot in the first few rows, called a guy gayer than "Antiques Roadshow." Later she said we were one of her favorite groups of people, and by taking the time to create the oh-so-charming names she calls us, I felt the love.
Nothing is ever off limits for Lampanelli, and her shtick was dirtier than used dishes siting in the sink for a week. Juxtaposed with her soft June Cleaver look (those custom-made housewife dresses really are something!), she probably shocked any innocent channel surfer who flipped to HBO and caught her talking about dirty nut sacks. And boundaries? She's got none. Even President Obama was roasted: "That's just what American needs -- another black guy asking us for change."
The only kind of change she asked for concerned a disturbing trend, she says, among gay men: Queer guys screwing their overweight fag hags -- "not me," she said, "Margaret Cho." When she half-heartedly gave kudos to her audience's willing victims for taking her red-hot razzing, she urged the crowd to clap for the gays because, "it's their last show, they're dying of AIDS."
So as someone who endured years of childhood mocking, why the heck did I find myself rewinding my DVR every few minutes because my loud cackling swept into the next joke? She shamelessly speaks her mind, pouncing on all the stereotypes society uses. Laughing at them -- together -- just might be the best way for us to realize how stupid those stereotypes really are.
-- CHRIS AZZOPARDI
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