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Lisa Lampanelli

Personified, the rapidly changing face of stand-up comedy circa 2017 might look a little bit like Lisa Lampanelli. The self-crowned “Queen of Mean” rose to royalty through her memorable appearances on Comedy Central Roasts (of Hugh Hefner, Larry the Cable Guy and the current President of the United States), where she dished out vulgar takedowns of everyone in sight but saved some of her best slams for herself. Her stand-up act turns her savage sights on the audience itself — Don Rickles style. But Lampanelli recently took a break from rapid-fire insults to write and star in Stuffed — a Women’s Project Theater-produced stage play about eating disorders and, surprisingly, self-acceptance. She came out of roast retirement in October on Howard Stern’s show to prove she can be just as offensive as ever, but the insightful storyteller who’s emerged in her play and her appearance on The Moth probably won’t be silenced on stage, even by the Queen herself. The audience will probably remain as unsafe as ever.

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