Chelsea Handler on Love and Comedy During COVID
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because Chelsea Handler is never afraid to tell you what she thinks.
By Sean Braswell
Comedian Chelsea Handler sat down with OZY’s co-founder and CEO on The Carlos Watson Show to talk about her new HBO comedy special, Evolution, as well as some of her observations about life, love and having empathy for Republicans. Here are some of the best bites from their hourlong conversation, which can be found on The Carlos Watson Show podcast feed.
On Doing a Comedy Special During COVID
Carlos Watson: What have you done differently during this COVID time? Has COVID changed you literally as a human being in any meaningful ways?
Chelsea Handler: Yeah. I mean, I think it cuts out all the noise. … It cuts your social circle, for one, because you’re only going to spend time with people that you really want to see. The other thing … I just shot my first stand-up special in six years. … My agents, my managers, everyone was like, “If you want this to happen, we will make this happen, but it’s going to be difficult.”
And I was like, “No, COVID is not going to box me in.” It’s how I feel about cannabis. Cannabis isn’t going to do me, I’m going to do cannabis. Nothing’s going to get over on me. So, instead of being stuck in that box, I was like, “I’m going to go to New Jersey. I’m going to film this. And I’m going to keep everyone that needs to be safe, safe, but I’m going to do it, because nobody else was doing it. And people need comedy right now. They need it.”
On Empathy and Not Screaming at Republicans
CW: Talk to me a little bit about empathy, because you’ve said in some of your work that that was something that you realized you didn’t have and that you went through a process, including therapy, of trying to discover a little more empathy.
CH: Well, I went to my psychiatrist the first time because Trump was elected and I was out of my tree. I would go check in at the first-class lounge when I would fly somewhere, then I’d go right over to the Fox News section and just start going off on people. I’d walk in, I’d be like, “You racist.” And then I’d run out. And I’d walk back, I’d be like, “Do you want your daughter to have rights, you fucking asshole?” And then I’d run out. And then I’d run back in. I mean, terrorizing the Fox News lounge. And so, I had to get my anger under control because I wanted to do this cross-country tour and actually talk to conservatives and understand that I was an elitist, that I was living in a bubble. I had to recognize all of these things and reconcile them, and I was happy to do it.
On Love, Persistence and Avoiding Diet Soda
CW: What would you tell your younger self you’ve learned about love?
CH: Well, the sooner that somebody’s out of your life that’s causing harm or distress, the sooner you’re going to meet somebody that’s going to bring something new into your life. So never postpone a breakup. … My other advice would be never to drink diet soda because it’s disgusting and it’s addictive, and it was so hard to get it out of my system. That is seriously, please don’t drink diet soda. It’s just like drinking chemicals.
CW: What do you say to the younger version of yourself when they’re trying to make it?
CH: I think that when you are a force of nature, which you have to be to be good at whatever you want to do, but especially in this industry, you have to have a really strong point of view and you have to be a force. You have to be a bowling ball. You know what I mean? That is going in one direction. And it doesn’t matter what gets in your way, that bowling ball is going to push it out of the way. And when you are just sincerely focused with something in your life and you see a direction that you want to take, it is very hard to get someone to get out of that focus. You know what I mean? So it’s really up to you to have your intention be so strong that anyone in the way of you is going to allow you to come through.