Chelsea Handler is unfiltered, vaccinated and horny

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Chelsea Handler in a pool with a rainbow flag
Chelsea Handler in a pool with a rainbow flag

The underdog of comedy is now on top of the world

Chelsea Handler walking her dogs
Chelsea Handler walking her dogs Bert and Bernice

Chelsea Handler started her career as the underdog of comedy. Today, she is on top of the world, having succeeded in everything from stand-up comedy to anchoring late-night TV. She is now producing documentaries and authoring books.

Handler is a New Jersey native and discussed experimenting with women to attending a shocking dinner at Jeffrey Epstein’s home to playing therapist—Chelsea tells all.

It is nice to speak with a New Jersey native who also happens to be today’s queen of comedy!

Chelsea Handler: Where are my Jersey people at? Oh, that’s right they fled—and the ones who haven’t yet—are planning to! (Laughs)

Where are your roots in the Garden State? Do you still visit or are you just happy to be out?

CH: I do visit New Jersey frequently, at minimum several times a year. I grew up in Livingston. I have a brother who lives in Verona. My other brother and sister both live in West Caldwell. My entire immediate family as well as my cousins are still in New Jersey. I don’t believe I own any New Jersey real estate however there is a good chance I own my sister’s house and don’t remember purchasing it.

You are very self-deprecating and open about your chaotic life growing up in New Jersey with your dysfunctional family. Where do you stand today?

CH: From the time I was five years old I wanted to be an adult and get in on the action. I wanted to move out, divorce my family because I did not believe we were related, and have sex with strangers. Once I finally got away it brought us closer together. I did not have to be away long to miss them and appreciate the traits I could not stand before. I just wanted my own identity.

From Chelsea Lately to authoring New York Times Best-Selling books to performing sold-out tours: You have accomplished so much over the past decade. What are you most grateful for?

CH: I am most grateful for my family because I feel in life our backgrounds mold us and shape our personality. I am grateful for having that New Jersey tenacity which I credit for making me outspoken, being able to laugh at myself, and not taking anyone’s shit. I lick my wounds and get back up.

Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler on HBO Max “Evolution.”

New Jersey gets a bad rep. In life, we get rejected often: in relationships, in our careers, and in social circles. I credit my background for instilling in me ambition, a drive to succeed, and the ability to stand up for myself as well as stand up for others. In New Jersey, you don’t just sit by and let something wrong happen, you get involved. That is not a very Los Angeles thing. Fortunately, enough people loved these traits, and it has afforded me a great career and longevity. When you come out to Hollywood from New Jersey, it is a real added benefit to be from somewhere that is so salty, because you are able to deal with rejection and cut through the fakery.

You’ve recently made the move to podcasting with Dear Chelsea which, while comedic, seems very education based. What was your inspiration behind your podcast and was it an adjustment?

Chelsea Handler on stage
Chelsea Handler on stage

CH: I love to give advice. I have been giving unsolicited advice out to strangers for years, so I figured why not make it official and have people actually ask me what to do rather than me telling them without asking. I was not going to do a podcast unless I had an original concept. I love information and I absorbed so much from my experience in therapy that I wanted to convey it to others. I consider myself to be one of my psychiatrist’s best students because I listened, I learned, I changed, I applied it to my life and now I am ready to share it with others.

I am not a trained professional, but I act like I am. I want to be everyone’s stronger big sister and give them the courage to leave that loser, end that relationship, quit that job, take a leap of faith, and move. I have no skin in their game, so I am giving them pure truth.

People know me for not mincing my words and Dear Chelsea is a great meeting in the middle of my skill sets. At the end of the day the biggest issue everyone is facing boils down to their self-esteem and how they see themselves. A little encouragement and pat on the back goes a long way in providing people with the self-assuredness they need to make the right decisions. I miss the days of Dear Abby. I want to be that voice for people today.

You are very open sexually and have always been in committed relationships with men. But have you ever experimented with women?

Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler

CH: Of course! I have hooked up with women many times and even had threesomes. It was always a fun time. I experimented enough to discover I am straight (laughs). I have enjoyed women sexually, but I am really attracted to men, so I can’t see myself dating a woman. However, I never rule it out because any time I say I won’t do something, I do it!

Is it true you attended a dinner at Jeffrey Epstein’s house, and if so, what happened? Spill it all.

CH: It was a pretty weird experience. I went to Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan home with Katie Couric once at least 12 years ago. I did not know who Jeffrey Epstein was at the time. The dinner consisted of Epstein, Prince Andrew, Charlie Rose, Woody Allen, Woody’s daughter wife Soon-Yi Previn, Katie Couric, and me. There was no chance in hell I could sit in that group of people and not say anything to Woody Allen about him marrying his own daughter. Hence, when dessert arrived and Woody put a piece of apple cobbler in his mouth, I looked directly at them across the table and said, “How did you two meet?” Needless to say, Katie dragged me out of there and that was the end of that dinner.

Second to Epstein who was the weirdest person at the dinner?

Chelsea Handler "Vaccinated and Horny" tour promo
Chelsea Handler “Vaccinated and Horny” tour promo

CH: Everyone there is a sexual predator except for Katie and me. How was I at the dinner is a better question! What was the plan? What was the original plan to invite me is the real question… And although older men do tend to hit on me, I was definitely too old for those men!

Chelsea Lately had a very successful run on E! After it ended, Heather McDonald spoke poorly about you in the press, and it was rumored she sold stories about you in exchange for positive press. Did you two ever make peace and do you stay in touch with anyone from the show?

CH: Yes. I stay in touch with a lot of those people except for Heather McDonald. However, Heather and I saw each other at Chuy’s memorial and there were no hard feelings. I am not sitting around thinking about Heather either. When you are fresh off of something like that, there is a lot of raw emotion, but then you have time to regroup. Life is too busy and too enjoyable to hold any resentment.

What is it like to finally be on tour again with Vaccinated and Horny?

CH: So much fun! We set out on 30 dates of standup originally and are in the process of adding 30 more shows. I am just so excited to be a reason that people are coming back together, and I have a lot to share.

What can attendees expect? Any hints?

CH: I have material about how I handled COVID, dating during COVID, and how my family invaded my house during COVID—which led me to sell it. I am ready to make fun of what happened over the past two years because you have to laugh at it. Otherwise, it is just too depressing and morbid.

I will say now that we are done making fun of black and brown people, I have shifted my focus to straight white men. I discuss why so many women are transitioning into lesbians: they are turning us against them and towards each other!

See Chelsea Handler Live: 

• November 26th | Borgata | Atlantic City, NJ
• November 27th | The Wind Creek Event Center | Bethlehem

Will Loschiavo is Out In Jersey's entertainment editor. Will has written for various publications and worked for multiple Top 40 radio stations in New Jersey and New York. Will is the host of the Will Love Listen podcast available on Spotify and all mainstream streaming platforms. Instagram: @WillLoveInc.