Entertainment Television

Chelsea Handler's back and politically uncensored

By Nelson Branco, 24 Hrs

Chelsea Handler is back and ready to tackle the Trump administration. NETFLIX

Chelsea Handler is back and ready to tackle the Trump administration. NETFLIX

She's baaack! And not a moment too soon. Given today's contentious political discourse - especially south of the Canadian border - Chelsea Handler's zeitgeisty Netflix talk show has a lot to tackle and make fun of. For the next 29 weeks, and now streaming a new episode every Friday for an hour (the series debuted last Friday) instead of three times a week in half-hour installments, Handler is eager to shake things up on both sides of the camera. 24 Hours caught up with Handler to pick her brilliant and hilarious mind about all things politics, travelling the world, and dating the Trump brothers.


"Politics is the basis of everything for our show. I mean, I can't ignore what is happening right now in the world. First of all, the comedic value is excellent. On a more serious level, it's not funny - it's really f---ing scary! I feel like a lot of people want digestible information in a non-scary way and that's easy for me to do. It's what I like to do. I'm trying to make fun of it while it's happening instead of being scared all the time."


"We're doing more satire, for sure. We're more formatted with an opening monologue, a bit at the desk, a big movie star interview and/or a political guest, and an explainer at the end of the show. Recently, we had Veep's Matt Walsh explain at the end of the show what a real press secretary does."


"[My dog] Chunk has been replaced! [My new dog] Tammy is on this season. I think she has some bisexuality in her past but she's not a lesbian. Chunk was too distracting some times running freely around the set last sea-son. Tammy just sits there and doesn't move around. She's not as mobile [laughs]! It's her time to shine. [Chunk] doesn't know exactly what's happening but he knows something is up. He started getting a big head and began walking into the audience and putting his butt in people's faces so they could pet him. He got too big for his britches just like my brother did on my old show [E!'s Chelsea Lately]."


"We changed to a weekly, one-hour format because we just didn't have enough time with each half-hour episode. All my interviews had to be condensed to 6 or 8 minutes. Now I can talk to Van Jones or Cory Booker for 15 minutes. I wanted to delve further into subjects and have more thematic episodes. Last season was a bit choppy because of the three segments. It's just better for me - especially when it comes to travelling with the show [for our location shoots]. We're incorporating more travel in a regular way because that was one of my favourite parts of [the Netflix Chelsea Does] documentaries. So now we can have a whole hour about England or India. It's a less frantic pace. We also moved to a new studio but it's the same set as last season."


"I'm choosing to be hopeful because anything else is too depressing, you know? Listen, there's a major movement happening: people are protesting in the streets, people are calling their congress-people, town halls are overflowing and you can see the impact it's having on [U.S. President Donald] Trump not having the ability to get anything done.

People aren't taking it.

They're saying this is unacceptable. I spoke with Gloria Steinem recently and even she said she's never seen anything like it before - including the feminist movement! It's going to be a bad couple of years, yes, but the end result is going to be really beautiful. I will say I'm glad I don't have children!"


"When I'm travelling, people ask me: 'What the hell happened to your country?!'These little girls in India were screaming: 'What happened with Trump! Trump!'During my hiatus, I went to India, Wales, Paris and England."


"Like I needed another reason to drink! Now with Trump ... absolutely, I want to drink more - not less. [When asked about her amazing body these days, she says ...] I do feel like I need to still lose a few pounds. I've felt like this for the past three years so I don't know when that's going to happen."


"I love being a guest [on shows like Bill Maher's Real Time]. For me, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. It's much easier than doing your own show. When you're a guest, you just do your thing and get off the stage. It's a breeze."


"I'm not doing much of that. Right now, I'm doing a little political tour where I'm talking to kids about getting involved in politics - and how they can get involved because I don't want another election like this past one to happen again. I'm not really interested in doing stand-up again. When I turned 40, I stopped. I kind of burned myself out. It was fun but I like taking on more challenging things. I don't have anything book or acting-wise. Listen, I never know what the hell I'm doing in the future; I'm not a big planner."


"Celebrities always have to promote stuff so they are easy to book. Politicians might be a bit harder, yes. But now it's easier to book politicians because we've established ourselves as a show that will make fun of this administration now that we're in sea-son two. I would love to book Justin Trudeau. He's great and excellent - he's like our Barack Obama!"


"I don't know ... why don't you tell me. If you think of anyone, let me know! [When I throw out, jokingly, that the Trump brothers are pretty hot stuff ...] Yeah, especially the two of them together. What a night that would be. That's something I would put Tammy through before myself."