Understanding The Personality of Lisa Lampanelli, Her Career Success and Failed Marriages

When life gets unbearable, comedians like Lisa Lampanelli have proven to be the voice of escape we need from the misery of living, smoothening the rough edges of our lives at different points in time. She is equally an actress and has made some appearances in a few productions. Lisa recently announced her retirement to the disappointment of many. She retired as a larger than life personality who was never afraid to make anyone the butt of her jokes. According to reports, she is now engaged as a lifeguard.

Lampanelli’s love life is equally a matter of interest among her fans as the Connecticut native has tied the nuptials a couple of times. She has equally seen the inside of a divorce court two times as her two marriages ended very fast. Lisa is presently presumed to be single as she is not maritally linked to anyone. But we still have a whole lot more to reveal about the Queen of Mean.

Who Is Lisa Lampanelli?

Though she retired as a rich comedian, that wasn’t always the reality of Lisa Lampanelli. The veritable entertainer was born to a middle-class family in Trumbull, Connecticut on July 19, 1961, as one of the three siblings of her family. One of her sisters is named Nancy Lessard and functioned as the matron of honor at Lisa’s wedding to Jimmy Cannizzaro. Born with the given name, Lisa Marie Lampugnale, the stand-up comedian goes by the pseudonym ‘Queen of Mean’.

America is known as the land of immigrants, this is a fact that is expressed in the origins of Lisa whose grandparents are of Italian and Polish descent. Though he later started working as a painter, Lisa’s dad, Leonard Lampugnale, was once a staff of Sikorsky Aircraft. Her mum, Gloria (née Velgot), on the other hand, was under the employ of the police department; there, her work portfolio involved keying in all the arrests made.

The Comedienne is a Harvard Alumni

A formal career was the initial path for Lisa Lampanelli who attended Roman Catholic schools and studied at Boston College and Syracuse University, majoring in journalism. The young talent completed the acquisition of her journalism credentials at Harvard for the Radcliffe Publishing Course.

Before she abandoned the pen for the microphone, Lampanelli made stops at Popular Mechanics where she worked in her capacity as a copy editor and at Hit Parader as a journalist. She worked at Rolling Stone as an assistant and her days at Spy magazine were spent as a fact-checker and the first chief of research. Lisa was described in a book about Spy as “your average decked-out-heavy-metal-head-next-door.”

Her Career as a Comedienne Set Sail in the Early 90s

Lisa Lampanelli
Lisa Lampanelli and Donald Trump (image source)

As for the reflective reason that prompted a change in career for Lisa, she has never actually said what it was but she regularly claims her desire to get paid to insult and make racial slurs was a motivation for the switch. Her exact words were “I get to say the n-word on stage and get paid money.” Whatever her true motivation was, it took root in the early 1990s, when she began to appear on stages in New York as a stand-up comedian.

Lisa Lampanelli had already put in more than a decade in the entertainment industry before she had her big break in the roast of Chevy Chase at the New York Friars’ Club in 2002. As a somewhat roast master, Lisa Lampanelli has been on the panel for the roast of personalities like Pamela Anderson, Denis Leary, Flavor Flav, William Shatner, and Jeff Foxworthy.

The roast expert was also present at the roast of the present POTUS, Donald Trump, and David Hasselhoff. She was a regular feature on The Howard Stern Show, featuring on the roasting of Artie Lange, Andy Dick, and Gary Dell’Abate. In April 2008, she appeared for “A&E’s “Gene Simmons Roast”.

She Started Releasing Specials In 2005

With her popularity well established in the American comedy scene, Lampanelli devised other ways of boosting her fame; this was accomplished by releasing specials on DVD. Subsequently, her debut special entitled Take It Like A Man was released in 2005 and was succeeded by a few others

As a follow-up, the blossoming comedienne went to work in the fall of 2006, recording her stand-up special known as Dirty Girl; this was viewed on Comedy Central on the 28th of January 2007. This particular special birthed a couple of CDs namely Dirty Girl CD and Dirty Girl—No Protection DVD which came to light on the 30th of January 2007 from the stables of Warner Bros./Jack Records.

Lisa Lampanelli was at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, California, on the 21st of November 2008, when she recorded her first one-hour HBO Special. The special known as Lisa Lampanelli: Long Live the Queen aired On the 31st of January 2009 and was directed by the same man who manned her Dirty Girl special, Dave Higby.

She reunited with Higby in December 2010 when she employed his services to direct her next special Tough Love for Comedy Central; this aired in the spring of 2011. Her one-woman show, Bring Back the Fat Chick was scheduled to debut on Broadway in 2012. She did a two-woman show Fat Chance in 2019.

Lisa Lampanelli’s Early Influences Include the Dean Martin Roasts

During her formative years in Connecticut, the emerging talent watched a lot of the Dean Martin roasts that aired in her early years. Consequently, this influenced Lisa’s style of humor as she didn’t start watching other stand-up comedians until after becoming one herself.

In May 2012, a huge charity gala in NYC titled Night of a Thousand Gowns had Lisa as the headliner and it was also there that she filmed a cameo for Adam Barta’s new “Q&A” music video. At the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, her album Back to the Drawing Board was nominated for Best Comedy Album; this was in 2016.

Her Appearance On The Celebrity Apprentice 5 Drew Criticism From Viewers and The General Public

Celebrity Apprentice 5 also known as The Apprentice 12 has had Lisa as a contestant alongside other celebrities. While on the show, the famed comedienne was criticized by the viewing public following her incessant clashes and outbursts with other contestants. Throughout, she was at loggerheads with people like Victoria Gotti, Dayana Mendoza, Arsenio Hall, and Lou Ferrigno.

She made numerous racist remarks and treated other contestants badly, but the worst part of it is that she was adamant in her decision not to render any apologies for her wrongdoings. Lisa Lampanelli’s behavior and relations with others notwithstanding, the entertainer was able to raise a total of $130,000 for Gay Men’s Health Crisis.

Apart from that, Lisa also won two out of the three challenges she took on as Project Manager. She eventually got the sack during the Final Four interview on the 6th of May 2012. The reason behind her dismissal was because Marlee Matlin and John Rich thought she was going overboard with the emotional stuff.

Lisa Lampanelli Has Also Appeared in a few Movies Roles

The Connecticut native started making movie appearances in 2006 and made her debut with an appearance in Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector. This was succeeded by a cameo appearance in the VH1 situational comedy known as So NoTORIous. Subsequently, the versatile entertainer secured a deal with Fox for a sitcom pilot tentatively titled Big Loud Lisa; which was considered as an entry for the network’s 2006–07 TV season.

The movie Delta Farce that was released in early 2008 saw the talented comedienne sharing the screen with the likes of Larry the Cable Guy, D.J. Qualls, and Bill Engvall. Lisa Lampanelli acted in Drillbit Taylor with Hollywood great, Owen Wilson in the starring role.

She Is A Passionate Supporter Of The LGBT

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community (The LGBT Community) has her as one of its supporters. A show she held on the 20th of May 2011 in Topeka, Kansas was threatened by the members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

The church planned to launch a protest against Lisa’s show which led her to promise to donate the sum of $1000 to Gay Men’s Health Crisis for every protester that attended. This was the same charity that benefited from her effort during The Celebrity Apprentice.

The initial count culminated in 44 protesters but Lampanelli rounded up the donation to an even $50,000. She credited the donation as being “made possible by the WB”

Lisa Lampanelli Became An Author With The Release Of Her Memoir

In addition to all her career successes, Lampanelli has gone ahead to earn a place as an author, penning a memoir, Chocolate, Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat, and Freaks. The book was released in 2009 by publisher “It Books” (HarperCollins).

She dedicated more than 30 pages to her search for the “perfect black man,” and moves on to outline her career in standup comedy – Lisa explored her roles from handling hecklers to her appearances on The Tonight Show… Seeking the roots of her humor, the veritable comedienne recalls her childhood as an “attention whore”: According to the Connecticut native eating to get attention was one behavior she continued into her high school days.

She then followed her memories of “fat rehab” with a selection of topics, from the Virgin Mary to vegans. Much of the work is quite hilarious, and Lisa never pulls her punches. In spite of her raw language and raucous writing, stark self-insights and honest reflections emerge as she probes her past.

We Got To Hear About Her Retirement Plans On The Howard Stern Show

On the show where she frequently appeared throughout her career, The Howard Stern Show, she announced her retirement from stand up comedy on October 30, 2018. According to the celebrated comedienne, she was giving up her comedy to go and work as a life coach. Her new portfolio as a life coach entails running a transformational food and body-image workshops as well as performing issue-oriented storytelling shows.

In a Facebook Live Q&A session, she explained her reasons for leaving comedy. According to Lisa, it was done out of fear of sending mixed messages with her type of insult comedy as she doesn’t want to cause anybody pain. Lampanelli also acknowledged that it’s no longer the era of Don Rickles. Her transition from comedy to broader storytelling and life-coaching is not a common one, but she views it as a natural departure from stand-up, which the celeb entertainer knows was never the only thing for her.

On the whole, Lisa Lampanelli has had an amazingly successful career with several highlights. One of them includes a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album. Another thing that is definitely worth celebrating is the fact that she was on television in various capacities for over 25 years.

Lisa Lampanelli’s First Marriage To James Stock Lasted Barely One Year

If you define the success of a marriage by its length, then one could say that Lisa hasn’t been as successful in her marital life as she has in her career. She has been married twice with both marriages ending in divorces within a very short period of time.

Her first attempt at matrimony was with James Stock, the details of their time together are not readily available but they tied the nuptials on the 2nd of October 1993. According to reports, the couple quickly realized that they were never meant to be and called it quits the next year. However, they remained friends since their divorce.

She Met Jimmy Cannizzaro On the Valentine’s Day Of 2006

When Lisa Lampanelli, met Jimmy Cannizzaro on the 14th of February 2006, she insulted him on the spot using an anti-Italian slur. She didn’t even care if Cannizzaro, a hefty 6 feet 3 inches tall man who can bench-press 500 pounds, heard her comment. This happened during her visit to the studio of the comedian Jim Breuer when he had his show on Sirius Satellite Radio in New York. Cannizzaro, a friend of Mr. Breuer’s didn’t take any offense, however, he did notice something beyond her profaneness and tumbling blond hair. According to him, she has the kindest eyes.

Cannizzaro, who owns a bar and gas station with his brother-in-law, sent an email to Lisa in March 2009. The mail included a headshot of himself and a message “I think you can use a big Italian in your life.” Lisa later requested for his phone number and they spent all of three hours on their first call.

After the phone call, they arranged to have lunch in Manhattan as a first date. The lunch, like the telephone call, lasted three hours. They watched a New York Yankees game on their second date after which Jimmy declared his love for Lisa – who thought that things were moving too fast for them. She, however, reciprocated his feelings with an “I love you too” a couple of hours later. They began dating exclusively from then on.

The Couple Got Married In 2010

Lisa Lampanelli
Lisa and Jimmy Cannizzaro image source

The duo was at the Carnegie Club on the 24th of October 2009 when Jimmy dropped his 300-pound frame onto one knee and popped the big question. After he received an affirmative answer, they moved in together in December 2009, living on the Upper West Side. Their pre-wedding days saw them visiting several cities together as Lisa embarked on her comedy tours.

On the 2nd of October 2010, the couple was joined by interfaith minister, Rev. Dr. Jonathan Ellerby at the Friars Club in New York. Their nuptials was conducted in the presence of 125 guests comprising of both family and friend, and Lisa’s sister Nancy Lessard was the matron of honor. Unfortunately, their union did not last long, ending barely three years later in 2014. Lisa lives alone and her Instagram posts suggest that she is an animal lover.

Lisa Lampanelli’s Weight Loss Journey

Lisa has been struggling with her body weight and excess fat. Her struggle with obesity became a form of identity as the entertainer regularly made jokes about her weight during her routines. In 2012, Lisa gave up the identity by going under the knife for gastric sleeve surgery after she slimmed down. With a combination of exercise and dieting, she has been able to maintain a healthy body size since and is now 80 pounds lighter.


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