Everyone wants to work at Chelsea Lately. That was made very clear in a soul-crushing monologue Chelsea Handler did a couple weeks ago where she mentioned that they don’t have any jobs available because no one ever leaves. I can’t blame them… it seems like an ideal work environment.
When I met Chelsea Handler at a book signing last summer, my dad came along. I had just gotten off work and was taking the train every day so he was kind enough to pick me up and drive me to Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse – which, if you couldn’t guess, is a gay bookstore. I think Lance Bass signed books there once. It has since closed, probably because finding parking there was terrible and not because of Lance.
My dad hung out in line and was doing an acceptable job of not embarrassing me until he insisted I give Chelsea my PRSSA business card. I balked at the idea because Chelsea clearly must get zillions of interested weirdos and I didn’t want to be added to the list of individuals who are deluded enough to think Chelsea actually wants to be their pal. However, my dad made a good case: give her the card or when I got to the front of the line he’d do something so embarrassing that I might never recover. He might not have really gone through with this threat but I wasn’t taking any chances. I figured I’d slip her the card with a suave mumble and be on my way.
I watched chumps try to give her bottles of vodka and get politely rebuffed. Her patience astounded me because number one, she probably has a lifetime supply since she is the face of Belvedere, and number two I’m pretty sure every bottle offered to her had a roofie in it. Can you say “a roofie”? That seems odd when it’s singular. Or is it only a verb? Anyway. When we finally made it to the front, I shoved the card at her, mumbled something incoherent (just like I’d planned!) and she politely thanked me and handed it off to someone else.
Chelsea, let me assure you, that was not the best impression I’ve ever made on a person. I am hoping we can overcome that initial awkward meeting, and here are a few reasons why….
1. I’m a fan but I won’t make a suit out of anyone’s skin
I love all things Chelsea Handler and thanks to Chelsea Lately I have learned about some hilarious comedians. Before I started watching the show, the only comics I knew were Kathy Griffin and Sarah Silverman. My parents were really worried about me because when I started watching Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List I told them my life’s dream was to be Kathy Griffin’s assistant. They were hoping I’d want to be an environmental lawyer or a doctor or an eccentric billionaire who also helps cats.
My favorite kind of humor is in story-telling. I had read everything Augusten Burroughs had written, and while clever his stories also made me want to kill myself a little bit, so Chelsea’s style was a nice change of pace. I have read all of her books several times. Not because I’m plotting her assassination but because they are genuinely hysterical, occasionally touching and always fun to read. I wrote a book report on My Horizontal Life for a human sexuality class and I have lent all of the books to friends so they could also appreciate how funny Chelsea is. Unfortunately, lending people things apparently means you don’t get them back. Luckily, I now have three copies of Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me for no particular reason. I love Chelsea Lately because I get to hear new stories every night. Also, whenever Chelsea mentions “hauling ass” on any food group, I laugh. So I’m pretty easy to please.
My penchant for not making skin suits also applies to possible famous guests. I love celebrities. I love celebrity gossip. Somehow, I manage to remain relatively cool around them, mostly because if I love them a lot that love expresses itself through indifference. I met Andy Cohen the other day and literally said two words to him: a not incredibly enthusiastic “Hey…” and, after he signed my copy of his book, a grateful but monotone “Thanks.”
I prefer the interviews on Chelsea Lately because it seems like my favorite celebs don’t have a publicist breathing down their necks. I believe this to be the case because Chelsea Lately is where I learned about Amanda Seyfried’s passion for creating miniature murder scenes and Aubrey Plaza’s love of candy… two phenomenally awkward yet hilarious interviews that I don’t think would have been allowed to happen on most other late night shows.
P.S. I can probably protect the CL crew from Amanda Seyfried. I saw Jennifer’s Body and I think I could take her if it came down to it. Megan Fox would totally be able to beat me up though.
2. I’m a good listener
I’m getting a degree in Public Relations, New Media and most importantly: Psychology. Do you need a friendly ear? I have two! My family and friends use me for free advice all the time but I like all of the comics of Chelsea Lately more than them, so we can consider any previous advice practice.
- Jen Kirkman, if you need to vent about the fact that apparently no one on Twitter knows what jokes are, I will be there for you girl.
- Heather McDonald, I am very good at responding appropriately to stories about reality television. The other day I tried to make my dad understand why I was mad at America’s Next Top Model and he just didn’t. Do you need to complain about what’s happening on any version of the Real Housewives? I learned every possible way I shouldn’t respond and will avoid those, leaving only sympathy and appropriate nods and sighs of agreement.
- Sarah Colonna, I marginally understand baseball. I’ve been to games. I understand the rules. I am a secret sore loser in any game so I will be very sensitive to any Angels losses. Also, a review of your book was one of the very first things I posted on this blog and it still gets me new hits so I owe you one.
- Chris Franjola, please can we discuss this year’s Miss USA? No one will talk about it with me! You watched it right? They lip-synced to Call Me Maybe, why doesn’t anyone else understand how great that is?!
- Brad Wollack, I am sure you have a lot you need to say. With a new baby, you’re probably getting less attention.
- Ross Mathews, you don’t have any problems. I would love to hear about your adorable dogs though.
3. I think you’re funny
I love when someone laughs at my jokes, almost to a fault. It’s a great feeling. I think the Chelsea Lately comics are hilarious, I love the sketches and the interview segments are some of the best on television. Chelsea doesn’t suck up to the people she is interviewing but if she has a good rapport with them it shines through. This can only be matched by Craig Ferguson’s interviews but I can’t always understand what he’s saying so Chelsea wins by default.
If I thought I was at all funny on the spot, I’d want to be on the round table. Unfortunately, my humor is less observational and more talking about something mundane and laughing uproariously until someone else follows suit. But I love the round table and I feel like After Lately has given me a basic understanding of how everything comes together behind-the-scenes. Quite honestly I may like After Lately even more than Chelsea Lately; I’ve always been a big fan of mockumentaries, including Christopher Guest’s work and anything starring Cheryl Hines. And, yes, I do believe that from watching the finished version of a show I am qualified to take part in the creation of that show. I’m 21 so right now I think I’m good at everything.
Despite my personal failings when it comes to humor, I can appreciate it. Even in places where it is maybe not meant to be found… such as in repeated viewings of Wild Things: Foursome or re-readings of Jodie Sweetin’s autobiography. I believe the crew of Chelsea Lately has a similar outlook on comedy – finding humor in everything.
In fact, I could definitely help find awful clips to discuss in the monologue because I have watched everything terrible ever and am willing to take that bullet for the Chelsea Lately crew.
You can find more of my attempts at humor on Twitter @emhig. If you want to know more about any movie of the Wild Things franchise, hit me up, I’m your girl. If you would like to talk about me becoming Gary’s wrangler, also hit me up, because he is a cutie.