Lampanelli, a regular on Comedy Central roasts who is also known for her candid, insult stand-up acts that leave audiences shocked with laughter, said the project came about after sitting next to Zweibel at the Friars Club.
"I have no idea who I'm sitting next to, and I go to him, 'So, what do you do?' And, he said, 'Oh, I'm a writer. I helped with Billy Crystal's show, and I worked on Martin Short's one-man show.' Just as a joke, I said to him, 'Well, you wanna write my one-person show based on my co-dependency issues?' I think at the time I said the title was I've Been Dating for Forty Years and Boy, Is My C*** Tired," Lampanelli told Playbill.com.
Zweibel took Lampanelli up on the offer, and the duo held a reading of several stories for a handful of invited guests two weeks ago. Lampanelli said the readings helped her explore "getting comfortable with not doing stand-up. It was so awesome. It felt like a total fit to tell stories that were hilarious but also serious, too."
The comedian is setting up meetings with potential directors, but plans to take the next couple years to hone the material. "I would project 2013. Either summer or by the Tonys," she said.
"You usually do these shows for 13 weeks," Lampanelli said of a Broadway run, adding that she's eager for a break from the road. "But, if someone said, 'Hey, you wanna do the show for six months?' I'd say, 'Just get me a car service and get me to that theatre!'" The piece will explore Lampanelli's personal life and her food issues. "It's not completely based on my book 'Chocolate, Please,' and it's not stand-up. Look, I went to food rehab twice," she said. "I've been up and down dieting all my life since I left home at 18. I'll also talk about my Italian background and how that plays into food.
"I even had skinny women come up to me after the readings and say that they identified because they said, 'I never liked my boobs.' A man came up to me wearing a Spanx top and said, 'I get it honey, I GET it.' And I thought, 'This is cool.' Because just by telling what I went through, because most of the stuff you go through, even if your feelings get hurt, it is funny. It's just great that people understand the struggles of whatever you're going through."
A self-professed show queen, Lampanelli said Broadway would be a dream come true. "Oh my god. I have seen every musical ever made! I'm brainwashed. I totally drank the Kool-Aid."
So, will she sing? "Sadly, for my audience, I stick to speaking, but I may do a big musical number at the end. I'm afraid to sing in front of people, [but] it might be fun to do it."