We would say we’re big fans of Chelsea Handler, but we’d by lying. We’re actually obsessed with her. We sat down with the crass comedienne to dish about everything from getting her 7UP fix to the most mortifying thing that can happen in a kayak.
Sitting down with Chelsea Handler is like playing a game of verbal Russian roulette — you never know what might happen when you pull the trigger on any given topic.
But, hey, that’s part of the fun, right? When we caught up with Handler, we couldn’t wait to hear the comedienne’s opinion on all things pop culture. But first, we wanted to get real with the funny lady about her New Year’s resolutions — and how she and 7UP TEN have teamed up to help others with their resolutions, too.
The 7UP TEN Challenge
“Year after year, people make unrealistic resolutions and resolve to give up sweets, give up being a couch potato, give up being miserable at their job and resolve to find their one, true soul mate. And believe me — that’s just my list. But these lists just go on and on. Frankly, I’m sick of it,” says Handler.
As such, the late night lady says she wishes people would quit with the “big swooping resolutions” and just try “changing a couple components here and there” like, in Handler’s case, “instead of going and having a bunch of candy, I have a 7UP Ten — you know, that’s my thing that kind of puts a little pep in my step, and it’s a lot safer than some of the other liquids I’m imbibing.”
And we imagine Handler needs all the pep she can get in her step these days since she’ll be kicking off a national stand-up comedy tour in March in support of her new book, Uganda Be Kidding Me.
Her latest book
The book — her fifth and, likely, another best seller — recounts some of the most hilarious (and absurd) misadventures she’s amassed during her travels, along with some to-be-taken-with-a-grain-of-salt advice on travel etiquette, hot spots and frequently asked questions.
So we gotta know… why a travel book?
“Well, I’m a little girl from New Jersey who grew up with, you know, just a normal, middle class household,” Handler explains, “and I’ve managed to come into this life that is kind of ridiculous — and I laugh at it all the time — so I’m able to go on these ridiculously luxurious vacations and get to bring lots of my friends with me and, you know, act like American idiots.”
Oh boy, sounds like trouble. And Handler assures us that is exactly what it is. “It’s just one disaster story after another,” she promises. “And so I thought it would be fun to share these stories, because we go to some of the most beautiful places in the world, and I really have no business being in any of these places, and the way that I conduct myself isn’t really respectable, the amount of alcohol we consume isn’t respectable… I know, it’s very hard to imagine. That’s why I had to put pen to paper, so I could give a dose of it to everybody.”
The real problem, Handler says, is the sad fact that as her celebrity perks have grown, her ability to perform higher functions has shrunk. “My friends are like, ‘How did you forget all of this information?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t know! But you have to hand me that soda and open it, because I don’t have a can opener.’ They’re like, ‘Well, you don’t need a can opener.’ And I’m like, ‘You don’t?’
Naturally, then, it makes sense that Handler gets a little mixed up when she travels. And, well, that confusion leads to hilarity more often than not. “I’m still the same girl, I just have a lot more money, but I’m still just really stupid,” Handler elaborates.
A sneak peek
The book starts out in Africa, where Handler goes on safari with five of her girlfriends and decides she wants to bag her safari guide.
“I didn’t even consider he might not want to sleep with me,” she says, amused. “And so I just assumed that was going on, I was like, ‘OK,’ and I flew him to our next safari and he was like, ‘Oh, OK… I’m not a safari guide in Botswana.’ I’m like, ‘That’s OK, you’ll just come with us,’ thinking he totally understood ‘You’re going to be my boyfriend for this trip, you’re a male prostitute and that’s how it’s gonna work.'”
But, of course, it didn’t. Ignoring her sister’s advice to actually talk to the tour guide instead of assuming he’d be interested in having sex with her, Handler pressed forward. “When we got there, he’s like, ‘I’m not a male prostitute.’ I’m like, ‘You’re not?'”
All’s well that ends well though, right? The guide may not have become a conquest hanging on Handler’s wall, but he did become something more. “He’s a good friend to this day… we made up,” she says, adding, “His name’s Rex, he’s in the book.”
But, amazingly, that isn’t the most embarrassing moment Handler shares.
“There’s this story in the Bahamas that is so embarrassing, um, that happened to me after I came back from Africa,” the comedienne teases. “And if you ever go to Africa, you know that it’s very hard to go to the bathroom there for some reason — there’s something in the food or it’s the travel, I don’t know — but then I went to the Bahamas, and that wasn’t a problem anymore.”
Reticent to come right out and say what went down, Handler pointedly asks, “Why don’t you picture a kayak and a beach and see how scary it gets for you — ’cause that’s what happened.”
In addition to sharing her mortifying debacles, Handler offers some, er, unique insight and travel tips. “It’s just bad advice all around,” she laughs. “It’s the worst advice. It’s like hot parenting tips from somebody whose never had a baby, or how to lose your baby weight after a baby — I wouldn’t know, but I can tell you how to do it.”
On the critics
Having reached a level of celebrity status where she can write about s***ing her pants and still get paid, Handler has accordingly accrued a few haters along the way.
“Oh, everybody hates me,” Handler says. “I don’t pay any attention to that. Everybody’s gonna hate everybody. There’s only a guarantee that people are going to dislike you — you know, there’s only a very small window that people are going to like you, so if you have any people that like you, you’re already ahead of the game.”
Her solution? Just ignore it… which isn’t to say Handler doesn’t still troll the Internet like the rest of us. When we ask the sassy blonde if she Googles herself, she responds in typical Chelsea fashion.
“Yes, I do… cause I want to see what I wore and where I was if I don’t remember.”