Review: Lisa Lampanelli “Equal Opportunity Offender”
If you’ve heard Lisa Lampanelli’s comedy before or consider yourself a diehard fan, you know what you’re in for before listening to her greatest hits collection, Equal Opportunity Offender.
It’s also why this album is not for you.
If you are one who whines every time they see a greatest hits album, then stop reading this right now, this album is not for you.
But if you’ve happened to surf upon this review because you searched for Lampanelli after seeing her on The Celebrity Apprentice, then by all means pay attention.
First off, yes greatest hits albums can be tricky. Other than Jazz, stand-up comedy is probably the toughest recorded material to make appear cohesive when compiling in this manner. In both instances, they are about a vibe and a feeling set over an album span, not track to track. It’s an art often ignored by the disposable pop music that litter the 2,367th incarnations of Now That’s What I Call Music compilations.
However, in Lampanelli’s case, a greatest hits makes perfect sense at this stage in her career. She’s earned the right to release every special she’s had, consistently delivering with every live set, morning show appearance, and celebrity roast she’s done. She’s taking the next step in her career with an upcoming one-woman show on Broadway and her current run on NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice. This album allows those that just joined Lisa to jump back into her catalog and find out where she came from.
Lampanelli is a great joke writer who often gets Don Rickles comparisons for her brand of “insult comedy” which attempts to shock with words and slaughter sacred cows like race, religion, and sexuality. She’s not worried about what she can’t say, she just says it. It’s in good fun and those that don’t realize this probably take themselves too seriously anyway.
Since the Lampanelii hasn’t done much to change up her joke subject matter, the material does lend itself well to a greatest hits because it’s minimal on references to earlier moments in the set (except for maybe her single vs. married status). Therefore, something from Lampanelli’s first album does sound well next to her fourth. However, her latter material does a better job of highlighting her phenomenal roast work. This platform served her well and attributed much to her success, so featuring it heavily on a greatest hits compilation just makes sense.
Bottom line, Equal Opportunity Offender is going to be the album you tell a friend to check out if they want to hear jokes from that comedy lady they saw on The Celebrity Apprentice. It’s her Wikipedia page of sorts; not her entire character but it will give you the idea of the person after investing just a few minutes. If you like what you hear, do yourself the favor and take the deeper dive.