When Chelsea Handler makes her occasional appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the tension is almost palpable. In terms of comedy, Handler is like the anti-Leno, the yin to his yang; if he was pro-life, then she’d be an abortion pro. “I don’t like people who have babies and act like they did something that the rest of us can’t figure out,” goes one Handler classic. “Anybody can have one, okay? I could have had three if I had gone through with any of my pregnancies.”

She’s a crass, foul-mouthed broad, a perpetual half-drunk with a wide mean streak and a deep-seated bitterness — her host turn on the MTV Video Music Awards elicited laughs, but laughs of clear discomfort — and that’s part of the appeal. After all, what other talk show features a stylish midget sidekick and a lineup of intentionally pathetic D-list guests? More recently, Handler’s pet project has been After Lately, a semi-reality show starring Handler and the staff of Chelsea Lately and featuring such highlights as Handler search-ing for the person who keeps not flushing the toilet and Handler pranking a staffer by hijacking his e-mail to “confess” that he’s gay.

She brings that same acerbic, ruthless wit to the stage in her standup, which she’ll bring to the Wells Fargo Theatre tonight at 8 p.m.; tickets are $59.50-$69.50, and the show is expected to sell out. The theater is in the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street; for more information, visit
Thu., May 12, 8 p.m., 2011


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