Lisa Lampanelli knows people don’t want to see her being nice. But the popular insult comic, who made her name by mercilessly — and hilariously — roasting celebrities on Comedy Central, found she couldn’t quite be the Queen of Mean in her latest TV appearance.
Not that she wasn’t tempted.
“It was very difficult to not call everybody the C-word when they came over and destroyed my house,” Lampanelli says.
That would be her way of describing the production of HGTV’s Friday, Dec. 14, edition of “Celebrity Holiday Homes,” in which Lampanelli and husband Jimmy Cannizzaro were stunned to see how designer Bryan Rafanelli had converted their beachfront Connecticut home into a Christmas-on-the-beach paradise.
“Me and Jimmy were so blown away by how awesome a job he did that we didn’t even make fun of him,” Lampanelli says. “It was probably the first time that I’ve been on TV and not even thrown a jab anybody’s way. It was off-putting, to be honest. I had to go take a shower afterward.”
Rafanelli — a Boston-based event designer whose resume includes having planned Chelsea Clinton’s wedding — used driftwood from the beach to create Christmas trees and also utilized several seashells to fulfill Lampanelli’s wishes of bringing the outdoors inside.
Beyond the impressive job he did in the house, he also managed to completely alter the comic’s harsh opinion of designers.
“I had the worst experience ever with a designer living in my apartment in New York City,” she says. “She just wanted to spend my money, and it was all about her taste, and she would force her taste down my throat. So when I talked to Bryan, I was like, ‘At least listen to me, hear what colors I like.’ … He actually listened and brought his notes with him. The guy actually cared what I said. I had hated designers up till then, but after working with him I was like, ‘OK, maybe I’ll have somebody actually do this house for me.’ So yeah, I got to admit, he changed my mind. And he wasn’t bitchy, which was very strange.”