Lisa Lampanelli (born Lisa Lampugnale; July 19, 1961) is an American stand-up comedian and insult comic. She is noted for her racy and raunchy style of comedy, which frequently includes taboo subjects such as race and homosexuality.
Lampanelli, one of three siblings, was born in Trumbull, Connecticut, to a middle class family of Italian descent. Her father worked for Sikorsky Aircraft and later became a painter; her mother worked for the local police department where "she typed in all the arrests made." Lampanelli attended Roman Catholic schools, studied journalism at Boston College and Syracuse University, and went through a graduate program at Harvard. She worked as a copy editor at Popular Mechanics and an assistant at Rolling Stone. She was also a fact checker and the first chief of research for Spy magazine; a book about Spy describes her then as "your average decked-out-heavy-metal-head-next-door." Speaking later to Maxim Magazine Online, Lampanelli remarked, "I was a real journalist for Rolling Stone, Spy, Hit Parader. I interviewed those fuckin' hair bands: Cinderella, Slaughter."
Lampanelli began her stand-up career in New York in the early 1990s. She made her break at the 2002 New York Friars' Club roast of Chevy Chase, and went on to participate in the roasts of Denis Leary, Pamela Anderson, Jeff Foxworthy, Flavor Flav, William Shatner, and Donald Trump and to serve as Roastmaster for Larry the Cable Guy. Lampanelli is frequently on the dais for The Howard Stern Show roasts, including appearances at the roasts for Gary Dell'Abate, Artie Lange, Andy Dick, and A&E's "Gene Simmons Roast" in April 2008.
Lampanelli released a comedy special on DVD entitled Take it Like A Man in 2005, appeared in the 2006 motion picture Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, and had a cameo appearance in the VH1 sitcom So NoTORIous. She also landed a deal with Fox for a sitcom pilot with the tentative title Big Loud Lisa, which was considered a candidate for the network's 2006-07 television season. Lampanelli taped her stand-up special Dirty Girl in the fall of 2006, which aired on Comedy Central on January 28, 2007. Her Dirty Girl CD and Dirty Girl .. No Protection DVD were released by Warner Bros./Jack Records on January 30, 2007. Lampanelli was also featured in the movie Delta Farce starring Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall and D.J. Qualls, which was released early in 2007, and in Drillbit Taylor starring Owen Wilson.
Her style of humor was influenced most by the Dean Martin roasts that televised when she was growing up; she didn't start watching other stand-up comedians until she became one herself. It Books (HarperCollins) is the publisher of Lampanelli's memoir, Chocolate, Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat, and Freaks (2009).