You’re touring to support your latest book, Uganda Be Kidding Me. Will this weekend’s set at the Chelsea heavily focus on the book? Well, yeah, I show a lot of photos in this tour. I have a big slideshow that goes along with my standup, so there are a lot of different references in the show to my personal life and there are a lot of flattering and unflattering— mostly unflattering—photographs that go along with a lot of the stories that my friends have taken of me along the way. So I am very generous with showing that—some are with clothing, some are without. I wanted something to kind of keep me in a certain order during the show, because I’ll just go off on a tangent and then I’ll miss certain bits. I figured a slideshow was a great way to do that as a reminder to get these bits in, so that’s what it started out as but now it’s kind of like the star of the show.
You said in a promo video that you were “much more sober” for the first half of your tour, and your two shows in Vegas this weekend are some of the tour’s last. How drunk will you be at the Cosmopolitan this weekend then? I don’t think I’ll be drunk the first night because I think I’m getting in right before the show, but then I’ll be spending the night there. So, who knows? Anything can happen on Saturday night. But Friday night, I mean, you want to put on a good show for your fans. I mean, a little drinking is okay, but hopefully I won’t be on any drugs.
I think I can guess one of them, but what are the top three items on your rider? Well, a lot of people would be surprised to learn that there are grapefruits—real grapefruits—slices of fresh turkey breast and then, of course, vodka. I like to get all my food groups.
The last time I spoke with you I think you were a devoted Belvedere drinker. What’s in your cocktail tumbler these days? I’ve been drinking Chopin. Sometimes I’ve been drinking tequila. It’s called Delana? Shoot, I don’t know; we have it at the house. Delano? I’m not really sure, but it’s a white tequila.
Chelsea Lately ends later this summer. Your departure from E! means late night will now be a total boys’ club. If you could choose the next female late-night host, who would it be? Oh, God. I don’t know, there are so many good girls out there that would be really funny at it. But a lot of girls are in their own niche, like Amy Schumer’s got her own show but she’s great. There’s Sarah Silverman; I doubt she’d want to do a late-night show, but she’d be great. I think any of those girls would be good at it. I don’t know if they necessarily want to do it. It’s a different kind of beast. Being on the air every night is much different than doing something that you really love and get to work at all week and then three weeks of work amounts to one episode. When you’re doing the show every day, it’s like, you don’t even have time to like it. It’s like, “Oh sh*t, we’ve got to do another interview, another guest, another topic, a bunch of topics about today’s news. So it’ll be nice to get a break from having to be somewhere every day, because my life, I never planned on being anywhere every day, so I kind of have been like, “I got slapped in the face with an accidental career.”
What are your plans for when you leave? I’m going to take some time off and I’m definitely going to travel. And I won’t be on TV for a while. But I will be coming back with a show after, in the future. I have a deal, I just haven’t announced it yet.
You tweeted recently about not wanting to take a job that someone already had. Were you specifically referring to the rumors of your inclusion on the shortlist for David Letterman’s job? Would you ever host a late-night show on a network? That is what I was referring to, and no, I would never consider doing that job.
Why is that? It’s just not for me. I’m not a network kind of girl.
You have such a unique brand of humor. It encompasses so much, from the self-deprecating to celebrity commentary. Who influenced your comedic style? Who are your comedic idols? You know what? I didn’t really have any comedic idols because I was never planning on being a comedian. It just kind of happened by accident. I started doing standup because somebody suggested I should do it, and I thought, well that’s not a half bad idea. So I never really looked up to anyone comedically, I just wanted to do it. And you know, I think when you do start working as a comedian it’s best not to pay attention to what other comics are doing, because you can easily end up mimicking someone without even trying to.
I thought I’d use some of this time to get your thoughts on a few celebrity items. What do you think about … the KimYe wedding? I haven’t really thought about it—while it was happening or after.
Justin Bieber acting a fool? Well, I mean, he should obviously be put in a hospital for a short- or long-term stay.
Jay Z and Solange—what side are you on? I don’t know, I have no idea what their fight is about so I would never presume to be on anyone’s side. But I like the way she kicked him in the elevator; I thought it was very entertaining.
A lot of your Chelsea Lately regulars play here in town. Are you bringing anyone with you this weekend to open? Josh Wolf and Jiffy Wild are opening for me. They do a bunch of songs together.
You’re here for the weekend. What will you be doing when you’re not at the Chelsea? I don’t know. I’ll probably be gambling a little, I haven’t been gambling in a long time—I haven’t been in Vegas in a long time. So I presume there will be some gambling, maybe the pool. We’ll see how hungover we are the next day and what time we get to bed.
Any funny Vegas stories to share? I woke up with my Invisalign in my underwear, so that will give you an idea of how my trip [went].
Chelsea Handler June 13-14, 8 p.m., $85-$125. The Chelsea, 702-698-7000.