Lisa Lampanelli Believes She Can Use the Word 'Nigga' Because It Has an A on the EndS

Yesterday, self proclaimed Queen of Mean and center square of Comedy Central roasts Lisa Lampanelli took part in a 5,246 word interview with XO Jane in which she basically said sorry not sorry for using the word "nigga" in a recent tweet.


From the interview:

Pia: On the record, I'm familiar — wait, "familiar" is silly. I know your comedy. I do. I am a fan from the old school, and I — with my little voice that a few people have heard — I've even spoken out in defense of you, of other comics because it is a skill, it is an art. I'm the first person to say ‘relax', which is why I personally thought this was kind of a bigger deal, because when I'm the one going ‘Whoa, hey, wait a minute!', you know, I have to check myself and my little feelings too.

Lisa: I'm shocked that you went ‘Whoa, wait a minute' knowing what a difference there is between saying the N-word with the A on the end versus the N-word with the R on the end-versus getting offended at comics at all, because comics aren't Senators or anybody else, y'know, it's humor. And I'm actually surprised that anyone who knows my comedy would get offended in the least. It's just ridiculous.

She said it with an "a" on the end, guys! And, as we all know, adding an "a" onto the end makes it totally okay for white people to use as they see fit. Still put off by it? Well, that's your fault. You just don't understand her highly artistic comedy.

Besides she's playing a character:

"Any time I'm on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, it's not Lisa the Person, it's Lisa the Comic. Any time I put something out there, it's because it's Lisa the Comic at an event, or Lisa the Comic having fun but still being comedic about it."

Yes, just like Daniel Tosh is in character when he jokes about replacing his sister's pepper spray with silly string or saying that a heckler deserves to be gang raped. By the way, I think the Irish are a disgusting people. Don't get mad, I was writing in character.

For the record, as a big fan of both free speech and comedy, I do think that a comedian should be able to say whatever they want even if it's horrifically offensive. I also believe that people in real life are often not the same as the characters they portray on stage. Regardless, a character is an extension of its creator. While Lisa Lampanelli might never say the n-word in real life, she is still deciding to say it (and say it often) on stage. Her onstage persona does not take on a life of its own and she doesn't get to hide behind it when someone inevitably reacts poorly.

There are lots of great character comics who can get away with saying some really awful shit. Anthony Jeselnik, for example, has tons of jokes about uncomfortable topics ranging from AIDS to suicide. Sarah Silverman makes frequent jokes about race, as well. The difference, I would say, between these two and Lampanelli is that their work shows off a high level of skill and craft. Watching them, you can see irony and intelligence at work. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said if your entire repertoire relies on jokes about how being fat led you to fucking a bunch of black guys.

But back to the interview. As previously mentioned, Lampanelli makes no apologies about saying "nigga" on Twitter/Instagram:

"I have, I think, over 800 likes of it on Instagram, I forget the number, I have to look it up. But here's the thing, I'm not being pejorative, I'm not being dismissive, but I have to say I don't care. And you wanna know why I don't care? ‘Cause the minute a comic starts caring about every single person's opinion, they become watered down, and horrible, and have no sense of relevance whatsoever."

Honestly, I think we should be glad that she doesn't care and didn't issue an apology that everyone knows would be insincere. Her way wastes far less of our time and, more importantly, it's also a blessed opportunity for us to dislike her on her own terms. There's nothing wishy-washy about the situation — Lisa Lampanelli is an asshole who is unapologetic about being an asshole. She asks for no forgiveness, which is great because we don't want to give it.

Lisa Lampanelli Defends the Lena Dunham Tweet That Upset the Twitterverse — To Critic Pia Glenn [XO Jane]