For Diva Week at Pictures & Conversations we will look at 4 modern gay icons as well a special look at the diva I've idealized and followed (and not really fully realized until I read My Diva) since childhood. And no, you won't find out who that is until Friday. Yes, I'm a tease... For Day Three, we take a look at the always hilarious Chelsea Handler.
I first discovered the crazy half-Jewish/half-Mormon/all-ballsy Miss Chelsea through a clip show of TV pranks on VH1. It was from the Oxygen show Girls Behaving Badly, and she sat a bar getting drinks and bumming cigarettes from the guys there before revealing a pregnant belly. It was funny, but I didn't know how funny this girl could be.
I later caught her comedy sketch show on E! before buying her hilarious book My Horizontal Life: A Collection Of One Night Stands. The candid, hilarious and extremely NSFW book features tales of sex, drugs, sex while on drugs, sex while drunk, sex with male strippers, her roommate not having sex and trying to have sex with a gay OB/GYN. It's even more funny than it sounds.
It was about the same time I was reading My Horizontal Life that E! gave Chelsea her own talk show. Her "little nugget Chuy," a fixture on The Chelsea Handler Show joined her on Chelsea Lately in a Gelman-type role. While her sketches (like "Dr. Lately") can sometimes fall flat, I love her devil-may-care interview style. Like her infamous comment to Aubrey O'Day ("You're a lot less stupid than I thought you were gonna be") or the brilliantly awkward conversation between her pickup-savvy self and The Pickup Artist's Mystery:
The best part of the show is usually the Round Table, where she and three guests discuss the pop culture news stories of the day, a style copied by the also funny It's On With Alexa Chung. She always has something funny to say and is not afraid to call out a guest comedian when they are unfunny.
Of course, her love for the gays is one of my favorite things about Chelsea Handler. She made a hilarious anti-Prop 8 video and has always been vocal about her support for the gays who have helped make her books and TV shows such a success. I think she loves her gays at least as much as she loves vodka and fat babies. Which is to say: A LOT!