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A Wickedly Funny And Ferocious Performance That Loses Some Bite As It Progresses
on March 28, 2011
The reigning queen of insult comedy has got to be Lisa Lampanelli. Brassy, bold and oh-so-naughty, Lampanelli rose to prominence with memorable performances on many of Comedy Central's celebrity roasts. The self proclaimed "lovable Queen of Mean," she has been compared to Don Rickles and has a take-no-prisoners approach to comedy. With Lampanelli, there are no sacred cows--every topic is fodder for her humor. Political correctness goes out the window as she skewers everything from ethnic stereotypes to religion to vivid anatomical imagery. Even Lampanelli herself is a prime target for her own material, and I think it's this openness that makes her so likable and accessible even when she's being nasty!
So why the lengthy introduction? Well, if you know Lisa Lampanelli then you know what to expect from her new comedic concert performance "Tough Love." And she comes out of the gates swinging! With the orchestra pit stacked with a diverse cross section of the public, she launches into an insanely funny dissection about what makes each fan in this group particularly unique and valuable. We've certainly heard some of the jokes before, but she has such a vicious momentum that it all seems fresh and new.
After being convinced that the entire concert was going to slay, however, things taper down by the middle section. There is so much testicular humor, and it goes on for so long, that I was yearning for a complete change of topic. When we finally get there, she revisits her attack on the audience--but now it plays as a bit of a rehash. And in another big section, she roasts various celebrities that she thinks deserve the deluxe treatment. A nice idea, but her targets are so easy--commonplace pop culture icons/jokes--that, while there are some funny lines, it just seems a tad obvious.
Look, I love Lampanelli and she won't get a harsh word from me. I'll just say that after busting a gut for the first part of her performance, things started to feel a bit familiar. A solid set, overall, but not necessarily the stuff dreams are made of. KGHarris, 3/11.