By Jano Tantongco
The raucously funny Lisa Lampanelli will stop by The Paramount on June 29 for her “Unleashed” benefit show, which will benefit Port Washington-based no-kill organization North Shore Animal League America.
After performing for the North Shore Animal League’s annual gala for several years, she eventually decided to give back and adopt her own dog, Parker, about a year ago.
“Despite my reputation as the ‘Queen of Mean’ — which is absolutely true — I also do have a little bit of soft side for the little animals, because I’m sitting here right now with my dopey little rescue dog Parker,” Lampanelli said.
Surprisingly, adopting her new four-legged companion has helped her heart become more open, she added.
“You end up liking every other dog and every other person. It’s really insane,” Lampanelli said.
But, Lampanelli will still be slinging her comic insults left and right at her upcoming show, targeting anyone and everyone — whether they’re on four legs or two — especially now that she’s lighter on her feet.
“They used to be safe if they didn’t sit in the front when I used to be overweight, but now that I can run around the theater, I don’t think anyone can hide from me. It’s a lot of fun with the cordless mic,” she said.
Lampanelli’s scathing humor found its origins in the early parts of her career. After a stint as a journalist, which included interviewing rock ‘n’ roll greats like Rush and Jethro Tull, she decided to follow her passion for stand-up comedy.
At one of her shows, she was heckled for being overweight. From then on, she started creating an arsenal of insults, being ready to get them before they got her.
“I was just armed and dangerous after that. It’s weird how one thing can shape your whole life,” Lampanelli said.
Over time, she also included making fun of herself as part of her act, spreading the hilarious misanthropy all around.
“You can’t do this kind of thing if you don’t include yourself,” Lampanelli said.
Though her show may be a bit intense for some, she loves the local crowd, since they can take a punch or two.
“New York and Long Island audiences are ridiculously great because they’re hardcore, and they like hardcore humor,” Lampanelli said. “If you guys have dealt with the Islanders for this many years and are still standing, you guys have got balls.”
The show begins at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at Paramountny.com or at the box office for $39.50-$99.50.