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Can you Handler?

By |2008-08-07T09:00:00-04:00August 7th, 2008|Entertainment|

Chelsea Handler
Book signing
5 p.m. Aug. 9
2800 S. Rochester Road
Barnes & Noble, Rochester Hills
8 p.m. Aug. 9
Meadowbrook Amphitheatre, Rochester Hills

You probably don’t want to bring Chelsea Handler home to mom. Unless mom drinks excessively. Has a one-night-stand list longer than Santa’s naughty/nice tabs. And cuddles with midgets. As a consummate celebrity-nailing quipster (and bestselling author, columnist, gay-loving hetero, lush …), she also might have trouble not wielding mama jokes.
But on a recent morning, the 33-year-old comedian – who hosts E!’s “Chelsea Lately,” the platform for interviews with gay-faves Tila Tequila (“She was really boring”) and more-charismatic Sandra Bernhard – is heading to her L.A. office. Sober.

Now the new book, “Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” – how many bottles of Grey Goose did you go through while writing it?

You know what? I don’t know. I know I definitely wrote a lot in the morning after I’d had ‘a night,’ because that’s usually when the funniest things happen. So, uh, but I don’t usually drink while I write, because then you – there’s a lot of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. And then you just have to – it’s like reading a book when you’re drunk; you’re gonna have to end up reading it again anyways.

Your editor would probably be pissed at you, too.

Yeah, well – she can suck it.

Do you remember your first drink?

Yeah, I think I had my first drink at my sister’s wedding. I was 14 and I said, ‘What doesn’t taste like alcohol but will get me really buzzed?’ and they said, ‘Long Island Iced Tea.’ And then I had about six of those.

You must’ve been trashed.

Yeah, I was a pretty hot mess. My father took me upstairs to the hotel room, put me to bed, went downstairs – and I missed half the wedding. So that was a nice prelude to the rest of my adulthood.

I read your interview in a recent Entertainment Weekly article, and you said you drink like a man. Who taught you that?

Um, I don’t know. I just don’t really get drunk. I just drink. People are like, ‘Oh god, you drink so much!’ I don’t drink so much; I just drink often. Like I come home and I have a cocktail, which a lot of people don’t do anymore. It was much more popular in the ’50s – where I belong. But I just don’t ever get drunk or sloppy; it doesn’t affect me that way.

Your system’s used to it?

Yeah, we’ve developed a very good camaraderie.

I also read your Soap Box article in Instinct magazine, and you said you’re just waiting for your penis to poke through.

Yeah, I definitely think that I have a penis somewhere inside me. And not in the good way.

When you get your penis, what will be the first thing you’ll do with it?

High-five it.

Now you have a lesbian stylist. Well, she obviously has picked out some really, really cute clothes for you – but were too many pantsuits or athletic wear ever a concern for you?

No, she’s a very girly lesbian. I mean, sometimes she comes into work with a pair of ridiculous combat boots and a short skirt – and I mean, she looks like a complete jackass and I’m like, ‘You’re suppose to be a stylist, act like it.’
I mean, I was on the set of ‘In the Motherhood,’ and she came out and Leah Remini and I are sitting outside, and this girl comes in and she’s wearing these like really butch cut-off Capri pants that are shredded and these combat boots and this wife beater and I never, ever look at her (like), ‘Oh God she’s totally butch.’ But I looked at her (Remini) and she’s like, ‘Who is that?’ And I’m like, ‘That’s my stylist.’

People are most familiar with “Chelsea Lately,” but what should people expect from your stand-up show?

It’s much more personal. I make fun of my family a lot more, I talk about myself, my dating life a lot more. My friends – and, ya know, friends who are jackasses. People in general who are jackasses. I talk a lot about people and what their problems are. (Laughs) Obviously I have my act completely together, and I can give everybody solid advice on how to change and improve their lives.

You won’t be getting all Amy Winehouse on us?

I don’t think so, how do you mean?

A little drinky-drink before, or during –

During my show? Oh, yeah, I always have a cocktail during my show, but I’m far from Amy Winehouse (laughs). Courtney Love is far from Amy Winehouse.

You’ve obviously done a lot of inappropriate things. What stands out the most to you?

I don’t know. I mean, there’s so many humiliating things that it’s really hard to pinpoint one. I’m always – I really have to think about that more. I’m constantly – on a weekly basis, something happens that is completely horrifying. I just have a tendency to get myself in situations that most normal humans can avoid.

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.