We may be shocked by men crying, but Mark Ellis says Lisa Lampanelli’s tears on Celebrity Apprentice were the most shocking sight of all.
The Good Men Project is always starting up dialogues about men and crying, precisely because as a culture we don’t typically associate men with crying, Even in this ostensibly evolved day and age men openly crying is still considered the exception rather than the rule.
Just so I’m in the club, Nancy Reagan’s speech about Ronnie’s Alzheimer’s at the 1996 Republican Convention would be a good example of something that gave me a good cry.
But let me tell you something; men crying ain’t nothing compared to what I saw last night on Celebrity Apprentice: Lisa Lampanelli crying. That’s right, all choked up, possibly close to a meltdown as she sat across from The Donald and fought for her survival like a Megatherium trapped in a tar pit. It wasn’t exactly a pretty picture, but it did show me something that I hadn’t seen in the Queen of Mean before, a heart big enough for that gargantuan chest.
As team leader on Trump’s reality-fest, after going Type-A anal on her cohorts’ asses, she did survive, even after losing a Medieval Times-themed installment to a men’s team featuring anger-mismanaged Lou Ferrigno and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider in Maid Marion drag. It was hard to watch mob daughter Victoria Gotti get fired, and Lampanelli pulled out all the stops to make it happen. Now I wonder if my new favorite comedienne might end up sleeping with the fishes.
I was always a huge fan of that toreador of the insult, Don Rickles, so it figures that Lampanelli’s ravages appeal to my comedic sense. But we’re talking a whole new level of intrapersonal scorched earth here. Lampanelli packs a repertoire of scatological and body-image shots that Rickles, as quick a draw as ever zinged a zinger, could never have gotten away with.
The first time I laid eyes on the woman it was brutal. A Comedy Central roast, David Hasselhof, and I think he must have been drinking, I know I would have. She said things to him that night that would cause a longshoreman to throw up a little in his mouth.
She doesn’t spare herself. In a roast of mega-mogul Trump himself last year she spoke of her own genitalia in terms that would make even the most inveterate chubby-chaser reassess an overture.
There’s a collective myth about how sometimes in life the meanest people onstage are often real sweethearts behind the scenes. Trump even referenced the possibility of that being the case for Lisa. Maybe, but given what I saw onscreen last night, which was passion referenced by a somewhat authoritarian rage for order, I wouldn’t want to bet any of my own body parts on it.
I came away hoping that Lisa Lampanelli becomes the next celebrity to withstand the regimen of America’s most visible taskmaster. It’s not all good, but it’s all big, and in Trump’s orbit, the bigger the better.