Audio Mixer: Josh Morton.
Recording information: The Rialto Square Theatre, Joliet, IL.
Editors: Maggie Houlehan; Dave Higby.
Photographer: Gerardo Somoza.
Having worked the shock-jock radio show circuit hard while making sure every celebrity roast had a little "queen of mean" on the panel, comedian Lisa Lampanelli had earned herself a loyal audience by the time Tough Love was released. You could even call them die-hard fans, which is a good reason this set feels more casual and loose than her previous releases, and best of all, it is much more celebratory. The racial slurs and sexual demands that kick off Lampanelli's Moms-Mabley-meets-Kathy-Griffin-meets-Andrew-Dice-Clay set are shot off like fireworks, each one exploding triumphantly in front of an audience that "oohs" at jokes about unemployed Latinos and "aahs" at lines like "He's so gay he poops skittles." "I can see by your Flock of Seagulls haircuts that we have some Lesbians here" ramps up to a mean joke about Whoopi Goldberg ("am I the only one who thinks she looks like the Predator"), but it is Chaz Bono that gets the hardest with "Most women get surgery to look like eye candy. She got surgery to look like John Candy". The set ends with a great bit where Lampanelli imagines celebrity roasts with folks who really deserve it, including the cast of the Jersey Shore, who get skewered. Needless to say, this is much more "tough" than "love", and while it's simple, loud preaching to the perverted converted, her fans wouldn't have it any other way. ~ David Jeffries