By Drew Olson Special to Published Apr 11, 2008 at 5:23 AM

A generation ago, comedy fans filed into theaters to see a performer named Gallagher, who wore a striped T-shirt and a beret while using a giant sledgehammer to smash watermelon and other fruits and vegetables into oblivion and spray the first 10 rows with pulpy shrapnel.

That's pretty much what's going to happen Saturday night at The Pabst Theater.

Except that Lisa Lampanelli will headline the show. Instead of a beret, she'll wear a June Cleaver dress. Instead of an actual sledgehammer, she'll use a sledgehammer delivery to spray the first 10 rows with a stream of racially driven insults and sexually charged rants.

You want fruit. Lampanelli will make fun of homosexuals in the first 4 minutes. You want vegetables. She'll probably slip in a ribald reference to a cucumber or zucchini.

In a phone interview from Connecticut earlier this week, Lampanelli described her game plan.

"I'm going to verbally cornhole ‘em," she said. "I'm going to bend them over the couch and have my way with them."

Lampanelli, who has gained a level of fame and fortune with a string of appearances on Friars Club roasts, "Howard Stern Show" appearances and non-stop touring, delivers material salty enough to make a truck driver blush and mild-mannered fans double over in laughter.

In less than 15 minutes on the phone, the woman dubbed by The New York Times as "The Lovable Queen of Mean," ripped a handful of different ethnic groups and delivered a stream of hilarious, profane stories that, unfortunately, are unsuitable for a family Web site.

There were a few serious moments, though. Asked how she was able to perform her down and dirty act amid a sea of political correctness, Lampanelli, a 47-year-old comedy vet who began her career in journalism, said it was the delivery.

"I don't do it out of anger," she said. "I think if you do it with hate, people can see through that. If you're a likable person with a good heart, people can sense that."

Lampanelli often is compared to Rickles (and never to Gallagher) and is linked with Stern, two men who mix startling racial rips with doses of self-deprecation.

"We all have our things," she said. "Stern is always saying how ugly it is, but I think he's sexy as hell. Rickles put down his own race, the Jews. I put down my own Guinea bastard roots and talk about the fact that I have to date black guys because white guys won't go out with me."

Asked about her visit to Milwaukee last year, Lampanelli talked about two Downtown landmarks: George Webb restaurants and the Grand Avenue Mall.

"George Webb! I ate every single meal there last time I was there," she said. "They've got some no-tooth bitches working there. It was great. And what's the mall Downtown? I walked around there to kill time before the show and it was total ghetto. I loved it. I can't wait to get back."

When told that Waukesha native Frank Caliendo recently did a run of shows in Milwaukee, Lampanelli gushed about the star of "Frank TV."

"I love Frank," she said. "I'm so happy to see a chubby guy like him make it big. And, he's found a broad that he's actually married to and had a few kids with. That gives me hope."

Though her act is based on people and stereotypes, Lampanelli keeps up on current events. Asked about former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his penchant for prostitutes, Lampanelli said: "He had to pay for sex -- I totally understand that. That's what happens to me when I go out with all these black dudes. I end up paying their child support. I think Eliot should get a hooker and bring her to my show. Everybody should do that. Then, I can buy another Toyota Camry."

Asked if the Camry would be a hybrid, Lampanelli replied: "Eff the environment. I'm not worried about that. I'll be long gone before any of that (expletive) happens."

On Barack Obama, Lampanelli said: "I'm waiting for him to pull out a gold tooth. You know it's coming. I can't wait to see it."

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.