The US comedian and talk-show host brings her stand-up show to the Palais Theatre for one night only
Off the back of her US tour, Chelsea Handler, formerly the host of late-night talk show Chelsea Lately, is bringing her show Uganda Be Kidding me to Australia for a limited set of dates.
Chelsea, for the uninitiated (those without cable television or the internet): Who is Chelsea Handler?I'm an American blonde who enjoys making fun of anything and everything, from celebrity to myself. I start with myself, end with myself, and then the cycle repeats itself.
While we're in explanation world, tell us about your book Uganda Be Kidding Me?
This is my fifth book, but the difference between this one and the previous is that I focus solely on my travel adventures. My true calling in life is travel and I have worked concisely for the past seven years in the hopes of travel becoming a full time job. I love adventures, and more often than not I like to corral a group of friends, boyfriends, family members, (basically anyone) to join me. The greatest joy in my life is being able to see the world in the way I like to see it. In hotels and not on a campground.
Did you go to Uganda just because you thought of that pun?
I never even went to Uganda! I went to South Africa and Botswana on my safaris. Uganda was just the perfect country to go along with the title of my book. I suppose I now have to get my ass over there just out of respect for the success the name of their country has given me. Is that how it works? I doubt it.
How does your stand-up show compare to the book?
Everything is better live and all the stories I tell are true, personal, and humiliating. I also use a slideshow with pictures to help everyone get a better understanding of the friends I am talking about and the humiliating experiences I no doubt always find myself in. I love to take the piss out of myself. It helps keep my feet on ground.
Rolling Stone just called you "the most caustic woman in comedy," you were named on TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list, and you were named by a virus protection software company as the ninth most dangerous celebrity in the world (Jimmy Kimmel is the most dangerous), how does it feel to finish one spot behind Jon Bon Jovi?
I have no idea what that means, but I guess I am in good company. I'm always on some list that's either dangerous or making me sounds like a nuisance to society. I'm used to it, so the effect has waned. It's probably quite similar to living next to the Empire State Building. It stops being that impressive when it’s in your back yard.
Recently your seven years on E! with Chelsea Lately sadly came to a end, is it liberating to head back to stand-up or do you miss the desk?
I ended the show because I was bored with my job. The last thing I want for myself is to coast and just bring in money because you can. I want a challenge, and that’s exactly what I'm getting with Netflix. My favorite thing about doing stand-up is that I get to talk about myself rather than idiotic celebrities and who was the most recent derelict who got caught for driving while drunk. Is that a crime in Australia? I remember the first time I went to Sydney, the cab driver wouldn't let one of my friends in his car because he was too drunk. I remember saying: "Isn't that the point of taking a cab?"
Any other memories of Australia?
I’ve been to Australia twice and I love it there. The beaches, the ocean-fed swimming pools, the harbour that goes on for miles. People like to drink there. I like to drink. It’s a place I've always dreamed about living, but who knows if that will ever happen.
The dog in your tour poster is adorable!
That dog is my dog. Chunk. I rescued him six years ago when I was trying to get out of a relationship. He turned out to be my soul mate. I am convinced he is my dead mother reincarnated, but people seem to think that’s disrespectful to my mother. I think it's a compliment.
We're expecting language, rude photos and that fabulous 'caustic' humour, but is there anything audiences should be wary of coming to the show?
No. I have a very specific point of view, and people seem to love me or hate me, but my responsibility is to the people that love me. I love them back and take these shows seriously, in that I want people laughing so hard there are several accidents in the aisles. There is nothing better than uncontrollable laughter.
Finally, what's your favourite bit of the show?
The last bit of my show details an account of me having an accident in a kayak in the Bahamas. it wasn't pretty and at the time in the midst of my humiliation, I sat there thinking: "If I make it out of this alive, it's going to make for a great story." Bring your boyfriend or girlfriend or mother and you will end up leaving thinking that your life is really together.