Tag Archives: Lisa Lampanelli

Lisa Lampanelli’s Food Obsession, Body Image, Belly Laughs

Food and body image issues are no laughing matter.

Unless you’re Lisa Lampanelli.

For 30 years, the comic has won raves (and laughs) talking about — among other things — what she eats and how she looks. She’s been on Comedy Central, Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show,” and Howard Stern.

Lampanelli sold out Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall. She raised $130,000 for Gay Men’s Health Crisis on “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Six years ago, she had bariatric surgery. She lost more than 100 pounds.

Lisa Lampanelli, in 2007 and 2013.

Westport is an important part of Lampanelli’s story. After majoring in journalism at Syracuse University, then working for Rolling Stone and Spy magazines, she changed careers. She followed her heart, and became a stand-up comedian.

Lampanelli lived in New Haven, but honed her skills at Saugatuck’s Treehouse Comedy Club. Revered by comics, it drew talent like Jim Gaffigan from as far as New York City.

In fact, Lampanelli says, its Wednesday night open mics were “better than any New York club.”

As for audiences, “Westport wasn’t ‘Westport’ back in the ’90s, It didn’t seem as wealthy. People went out every night and had fun.”

At the Treehouse, Lampanelli, Gaffigan and her fellow comedians learned how to work each crowd. They tested material and deliveries.

And after every Wednesday show, they headed to the Sherwood Diner. There they hashed over what worked, what didn’t, and why. They came up with new jokes, too.

“There was so much camaraderie,” Lampanelli recalls.

Four months ago, she moved from New York to Fairfield. She feels as if she’s “come back home.”

But she’s moved back — and on — from pure comedy.

Lisa Lampinelli today.

In 2015 — after earning a 2nd Grammy nomination for her stand-up special “Back to the Drawing Board” — Lampanelli realized that her radically different look and true stories of weight-loss struggles resonated with fans. Many fight similar battles.

She wrote “Stuffed.” The play motivated fans to embrace a healthier life through self-love and self-acceptance. It enjoyed 2 off-Broadway runs.

That inspired Lampanelli to shed her image as insult comic. She vowed to help others through storytelling events, workshops and 1-on-1 coaching.

The result is a double helping for area audiences.

“Lisa Lampanelli’s Losin’ It” makes its world debut this Saturday (November 3, Fairfield Theatre Company, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.)  The 90-minute storytelling show features Lampanelli and a cast of actors, storytellers and surprise guests. Their credits include “The Daily Show,” Sirius XM radio and “Orange is the New Black.”

A generous helping of the proceeds benefit The Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport.

A week later (Saturday, November 10, Liphe Balance Center, Weston, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Lampanelli offers “Love Your Body, Feed Your Soul: From Starving & Stuffed to Fulfilled & Enough.”

The day-long workshop — co-led with yoga instructor Thea Martin — uses storytelling, sharing, meditation, journaling, brainstorming, deep listening, and self-reflection, to help participants end their obsessions with food and body image.

Plenty of men, as well as women, have already signed up for the Weston event.

That’s no laughing matter.

Then again, with Lisa Lampanelli, it is.

(Click here for tickets and more information on Lisa Lampanelli’s FTC “Losin’ It” shows. Click here for tickets and more information on her “Love Your Body, Feed Your Soul” workshop.)

 

Lisa Lampanelli’s Fat Girls

Lisa Lampanelli is one of America’s most popular (and edgily hilarious) comedians.

She’s a regular on Howard Stern, a staple on late-night TV, and a 2-time Grammy nominee for “Best Comedy Album.” She was a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice,” and participated in a roast of Donald Trump.

Later this month, though, she’ll do something a lot heavier.

Lampanelli has just written a legit play. It gets its 1st-ever public reading on Saturday, March 19 at the Westport Country Playhouse. The event is a benefit for Bridgeport’s Center for Family Justice.

Fat Girls InterruptedI’m not as funny as Lampanelli, but you gotta admit that my “a lot heavier” line is good. The play is “Fat Girls, Interrupted.” It focuses on weight, body image and food issues from the perspective of 4 women, with 4 different problems.

“The play will do for weight and food issues what ‘Vagina Monologues’ did for women’s nether regions,” Lampanelli says.

I’m not touching that with a 10-foot pole.

The venue is a coup for the Playhouse. How often does a theater offer a world-premiere reading?

Lisa Lampanelli

Lisa Lampanelli

But it’s also a coup for Lampanelli. A Trumbull native who now owns a Fairfield beach house, she calls the Playhouse “a bucket list thing for me. It’s always seemed so classic and iconic.”

The booking came about through her friendship with internationally acclaimed “chick-lit” writer Jane Green, a local resident. (“She’s all the good things about Westport, without the bad,” Lampanelli says.)

Green introduced the stand-up comic to Michael Ross, the theater’s managing director. He loved “Fat Girls.”

“How did I end up, at 54, in this very cool world?” Lampanelli asks.

In part, through a lot of hard work. She began creating a play 6 years ago with Alan Zweibel. He’s written for “Saturday Night Live,” Garry Shandling and Billy Crystal.

Most of “Fat Girls” took shape over the past 2 years, though. It’s insightful, important and poignant — and at times very, very funny.

Speaking of funny: What about that roast of Donald Trump? The narcissistic blowhard now bullying his way to the Republican nomination for president doesn’t seem to be the type of guy to laugh at himself.

Lisa Lampanelli, roasting Donald Trump.

Lisa Lampanelli, roasting Donald Trump.

“He was one of the best sports ever,” says Lampanelli. She should know: She’s also roasted Chevy Chase, Denis Leary, Pamela Anderson, Jeff Foxworthy, Flavor Flav, William Shatner, David Hasselhoff and Larry the Cable Guy.

“I could say the most crazy, incendiary stuff. I attacked Trump for his hair, his taste in women, the dopey ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ which I was on — and more stuff I can’t say in print.”

That was at New York’s Friars Club. Lisa Lampanelli’s next act opens soon — right here in Westport.

(Tickets are $100 [with a post-reading “Meet the Cast” dessert reception], $50 and $25. To order or for more information, click here or call 203-227-4177.)