Lisa Lampanelli is garnering praise after losing a lot of weight -- a jaw-dropping 80 pounds. The weight loss is due to a gastric sleeve operation she had in April. Known as comedy’s "Queen of Mean," Lampanelli saw her career trajectory skyrocket after she began appearing on Comedy Central’s annual celebrity roasts. Now, some fans are wondering if Lampanelli’s good news will end up hurting her career.
In the five months since the surgery removed 85% of her stomach, Lampanelli’s Twitter feed has been blowing up. She’s been posting pictures of her new look to the delight of her almost 400,000 followers. You can find the images by clicking here.
The Twitterverse is happy for her healthy new lifestyle, but there is a fear that Lampanelli could become the next Jonah Hill or Ricky Gervais, two comic actors who started receiving decidedly less than enthusiastic reviews after their own dramatic weight losses.
After stealing the scene in comedies like “Superbad” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” Hill lost over 40 pounds. But he also lost the John Belushi-like appeal that made him so attractive to fans, according to the Daily Mail. Starring alongside former male stripper Channing Tatum in “21 Jump Street” also made movie audiences question his decisions, as that film never reached the cult-like following his previous efforts had.
Hill, who is 28, told the Daily Mail that his weight loss made him a better fit for more serious roles.
“I think it’s about the work you are doing,” he said. “Getting in better shape is a sign of maturity. I think you are taken seriously.”
Hill’s latest role, “The Watch,” was a bomb at the box office, earning just $13 million in its opening weekend despite a cast that included Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn.
Ricky Gervais also saw his reputation take a hit after shedding his spare tire. Gervais, who rose to fame on the back of the BBC version of “The Office,” was criticized for being too mean during his monologue at the 2011 Golden Globes. It was a complaint that didn’t resonate with every fan, but some critics wondered if it’s just easier for people with fragile egos to take a joke from someone that is overweight.
Lamapanelli doesn’t seem to be worried about going down the same path. She can hardly be blamed for wanting to get healthy, and it’s likely she’ll have even more comedic avenues to go down rather than just making fat jokes about herself.
Still, TV Guide reported that Lampanelli assured Howard Stern that her comedic sensibilities are still intact, perhaps uncomfortably so.
“Don’t worry, I still hate myself from the neck up,” she said. “That’s a different operation.”
Lampanelli is currently preparing for her upcoming one-woman show on Broadway.