Lisa Lampanelli, famous for stealing the show at Comedy Central roasts, celebrated the premiere of her first HBO special, Long Live the Queen, Saturday night with a viewing party at New York City’s Friars Club. After the couple hundred guests gave her a standing ovation – and a cake – PopWatch grabbed a minute with her highness and asked her to give us a quote that, unlike 99.9 percent of the special, we could actually print. “Hmmm, what can I say that’s clean? I’m called the Queen of Mean. I make fun of every race, creed, and color, no matter how lowly they are. Or smelly. Or [something we can’t print]. So I feel that my show brings all people together,” she told us. “And if you don’t believe me, just watch HBO, ‘cause trust me, they’ll run it so many times. ‘Cause [something we can’t print].” Well, she tried.
Lampanelli said she wasn’t nervous about how the special would be received. “I know it was all great. That’s not out of conceit, it’s just when you know you’re taping HBO, you can’t screw around. You have to only bring your best stuff,” she said. “But the Sarah Palin stuff was the harshest, and it went over the best in this room. Now that may be because my family and friends are the sickest people on the planet, but I just think it’s because it’s a funny joke. The special alone is worth watching just for that joke.” (We won’t attempt to make “the warning shot of the reproductive system” translate in print. Watch a fan-shot video of Lampanelli’s TV-MA Barack Obama and Palin material from a different performance here.)
Borrowing a line from her act, Lampanelli summarized her feelings on the evening’s accomplishment thusly: “I now feel that with this HBO special, I’m up there with George Carlin or Chris Rock… but I’m not dead or black, so I’m better. That’s quotable! I didn’t even say [something we can’t print]!”
So what did you think of Long Live the Queen? I’d give it a B+. I thought she was even funnier than she is on roasts. Would I want her brand of humor to be the only comedy out there? No. But I like knowing that in today’s world, people can be in on the joke and laugh along. I did, consistently.