Before she landed her talk show on Netflix, Chelsea Handler was the queen of the E! Network. She hosted her own show, “Chelsea Lately,” for seven seasons beginning in 2007 — and before that, had her own sketch show called “The Chelsea Handler Show.”
She had some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry appear on her show, along with roundtable regulars that included fellow comedians Kevin Hart and Ali Wong.
And while Handler did enjoy moderate success on her cable network show, she told “The Howard Stern Show” in 2020 that she felt like a “self-absorbed lunatic” during that period of her life.
“I was self-absorbed. It was all about me. And that’s not a way to operate. And so I had to remove myself from that situation to get myself in a better headspace,” she revealed, adding, “Just the gossiping, you know, about celebrities felt empty and vacuous after a while and then it started to feel mean.”
Though Handler might sound like her own worst critic, she admits that there was one guest on “Chelsea Lately” who really drove her up the wall. Strangely enough, the guest that she liked the least was also one that she apparently had the most in common with.
Chelsea Handler’s worst guest turned out to be a bad joke
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Even though Brand had appeared on her late night talk show three times, she told Grazia in an interview that Katy Perry’s ex-husband was a true pain — and she certainly didn’t hold back on her criticism of the “Get Him To The Greek” star.
Handler recalled (via Her): “I would never want him back. He stopped all of our production schedules because he needed three espressos before he could even come on for his interview.” If that weren’t enough, things got rather awkward when Handler joked about Brand’s ogling at the time. She told him (in a since-deleted clip), “The way you’re looking at me makes me want to cover up my vagina,” to which Brand responded with, “Madam, if I had rubber gloves, I’d do it for you.” Yikes.
And while Handler certainly didn’t have the best things to say about the comedian, Brand was apparently the kind of guest who helped her in the ratings game. In an interview with W magazine in 2008, Handler said there was a key element in ensuring that each episode of her show would turn out to be a success — claiming that bad guests made for great television viewing. “The worse the guests are, the more pathetic they are, the funnier the show is,” she told the publication.
Russell Brand is in a better place now
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Russell Brand has not yet responded to Chelsea Handler’s comments and criticism, but then again, he even admits that he’s in a much better place now, both mentally and spiritually.
While promoting his book “Revolution” he told The Guardian, “I know I’m narcissistic. I know I’m no different from anyone with ego problems, showing off, going, ‘Love me, love me, adore me, give me attention,’ but it ain’t just that,” he explained. “It’s something else. And that thing, I’ve got to do something with it.” In an interview on “The Jonathan Ross Show,” Russell said that he feels closer to people now that he is sober. “When I feel connected to people, when I listen to other people… when I’m of service to other people, I feel a different type of connection that has more value,” he revealed (per the Irish Independent).
It sure sounds like Brand would be an entirely different guest on Handler’s talk show today. And, interestingly enough, his self-realization about needing to be less self-absorbed sounds a whole lot like Handler’s, right?