Chelsea Handler mouths off

E! Entertainment

Chelsea Handler has a big mouth and you never know what’s going to come out of it.

Nothing is sacred with the 34-year-old comedian and entertainment talk show host, and, like many other comics, day-to-day experiences are fodder for her stand-up act.

“I just talk about my personal life,” she said while explaining her stand-up act over the phone from her home in L.A. “I talk about my family, my friends, (and) my boyfriend. It’s much more personal than my show.”

The very funny, sometimes scathingly sarcastic comic will bring her brand of humor to the Hard Rock this weekend. She performs at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday night.

The New Jersey native does her best to take life’s lemons and make lemonade. Or, when it comes to her stand-up, to take humiliating scenarios and turn them into hilarious routines.

Embarrassing situations quickly turn into belly laugh-inducing bits: Stories of childhood humiliation, relationship woes, and goings-on within the Handler family are used as fuel for the funny fires and, in classic Handler fashion, she holds nothing back.

Handler’s friends, colleagues and acquaintances should therefore consider themselves warned: They may very well wind up as the punch line of one of her onstage jokes, or the kicker in one of her books’ short stories.

Meanwhile, her TV show, Chelsea Lately, is far more star-focused.

The five-times-weekly program has earned Handler a lot of fans and attention – and caused people to think her last name is “Lately,” instead of Handler.

Surprisingly, instead of driving them away, Handler’s repeated lampooning of many high-profile personalities has actually drawn them to her show

Hotel Heiress Paris Hilton and Heidi and Spencer Pratt of The Hills are among Handler’s regular targets.

Instead of hiding from Handler’s scathing wit, however, many shameless attention-seekers, Hilton and “Speidi” included, have requested airtime on Chelsea Lately.

“They’ve tried to come on the show, they’ve had their publicists call to be on the show but it’s like, I don’t want people who I completely disdain on my show,” Handler said.

She says it’s not about ratings; she’s just not that into them.

“I don’t care that much about trying to get some big rating with Heidi and Spencer,” she said. “They’re too gross.”

She doesn’t seem to be worried about making a few enemies here and there.

“I’m sure there’s plenty of people that hate me but … they haven’t confronted me,” she said, adding, “I haven’t really been cursed out or anything. Yet.”

Again, Handler doesn’t seem to be all that concerned about what socialites and reality-show personalities think of her.

“It’s not like I care about those people anyway,” she said.

Handler has enough on her plate without celebrity feuds.

In addition to stand-up shows and regular episodes of Chelsea Lately, Handler is in the midst of writing another book, Chelsea, Chelsea, Bang, Bang.

She said the third title, which is due out next spring, will be much like the two books that came before it, My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands and Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea:A collection of “short stories about (her) life; funny things that have happened to (her), with (her) boyfriend, with (her) childhood.

Again, she doesn’t plan on sugarcoating the truth -- or, in this case, her past.

Among the pages of the still-to-be-completed book will be the tale of how she was once caught publicly exploring her sexuality at school.

“My parents (found) me masturbating when I was eight years old on the school playground,” Handler says, nonchalantly.

While these things used to be embarrassing, Handler now embraces mortifying moments and exposes them for all to see.

For readers, it’s funny; for Handler, it’s cathartic.

Still, she said her third book will probably be her last one for a while.

“I’m just going to … take a break from writing books because after this book tour I’m sure I’m going to be spent -- and I really don’t have much more to say,” she said, figuring, “I think I have to live a little bit more before I write another book.”

Handler is dating Ted Harbert, who, coincidentally enough, is the CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group, which oversees E!.

While E! recently extended its contract with Chelsea Lately through 2012, Handler said she has “no desire to work for the next 10 or 15 years, steadily” and denied the couple are plotting anything big, professionally.

“I think the only thing we’re scheming is to retire,” she said, laughing. “I wouldn’t mind retiring in two years.

“I’d love to just save all my money and go live on a beach somewhere. But who knows if that will ever happen.”

Three questions with Chelsea Handler

Who are your favorite and least favorite celebrities?

I love Jenny McCarthy and Jennifer Aniston. I can’t stand John Mayer or Heidi and Spencer [Pratt]; I call them Herpes Simplex 1 and Herpes Simplex 2.

Do you prefer bad boys or nice guys?

I went through the wild, bad-boy types in my 20s, so I like the stable ones now. I’m bad, so I need someone good in my life.

The Details

Chelsea Handler
June 20, 8 p.m., $41-$146.
The Joint, 693-5583.

What was it like growing up with a Mormon mother and a Jewish father?

I was basically raised Jewish; [my mother] told me no drinking, no drugs, no alcohol, and I was like, forget it! So I didn’t take her Mormonism very seriously.


Jennifer Grafiada

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