Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Church of Chelsea Lately

For someone who has spent 17+ weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list, Chelsea Handler is doing an amazing job of flying under the broader pop cultural radar.  Sure there is a segment of the population who can’t get enough of her, but from a purely feminist perspective, she should be way more famous than she is.  Because it’s not that Chelsea Handler is just a NYT Bestselling author, but she’s also the host of a late night talk show.  For those that don’t understand the significance, there has only been one woman that has ever attempted such a feat (that is, hosting a late night talk show) and she failed pretty miserably (that would be Joan Rivers).  Chelsea Lately, Handler’s show, has ever growing ratings and a core demographic of 18-34 year old women…that would be people who buy things, and are thus a very sought after demo.  

As a female who falls directly in the middle of the core demographic, and is a big fan of Chelsea Handler (though I must admit I’ve never read any of her books), I must say that the allure of her is the fact that she’s hilarious and smart.  Smart above all.  Though her subject matter is of the pop culture variety, she often talks about the reality stars of E! (her home network), Bravo and all the others, her sharp, witty comedy should not be overlooked.  
Where she truly won me over was during the countdown to the election.  She’s liberal and makes no excuses or apologies for it, and she constantly rallied for Barack Obama on her show, not to mention she urged people to vote no on prop. 8 over and over in a very Chelsea Handler way; she basically bluntly said, you’re an asshole if you vote yes on this proposition, and really, isn’t that the truth.
Chelsea’s MO is calling it like it is.  She’s zero bullshit, and completely self-deprecating in the most fabulous way possible.  She knows her show is somewhat ridiculous and often says so.  She also knows that the people she talks about are even more ridiculous and thus has no problem reigning in an audience of people like me, who are constantly inundated with the images of celebrities who are only famous for being dumb and rich and would like nothing more than to put them in their place (being dumb and rich and not on every fucking magazine cover in the world).  Sure, you could argue that Chelsea Lately is part of the problem, she does still talk about all the annoying faux-celebrities out there, but she walks a fine line.  Is it better to voice the opinion of so many, that Paris Hilton and all that came after her are completely obnoxious and ridiculous, or is it better to ignore it and hold out a futile hope that it will all just fade away?
The true gem of Chelsea’s show is the interview portion of the half-hour.  Like any other talk show, Chelsea has special guests on that she interviews, but unlike the other talk shows, Chelsea often has on the very people she spends the other twenty minutes mocking.  Interviews are where Chelsea’s wit shines.  Her guests are often so stupid, so oblivious to their ridiculousness that they completely miss the fact that they are being made fun of by Chelsea.  When she smiles devilishly at the camera and winks at the audience knowingly, the daft reality stars that most often appear on her show, think they’ve done something right, something that has thrown the audience into a tizzy.  The best thing about Chelsea Handler is that we’re all in on the secret: she’s the queen bee, the mean girl everyone wants to be and everyone wants to be friends with.  Only now, the stakes are higher and she’s providing the social commentary that will survive this celebrity saturated culture and come out victorious.  
Peace, Love, and Chelsea Handler,
Julia 
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November 20, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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