Hot to Handler

Chelsea Handler, who headlines a benefit gig tonight, may not be taking over the world, but she seems to be in charge of a nice-sized chunk of it these days. Chelsea Lately, her nightly E! talk show, which finds her dishing about celebrity foibles and other insanity with undisguised glee, has become a cult favorite, and her two essay collections, 2005’s My Horizontal Life and this year’s Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, hit many a best-seller list thanks to the amusingly blunt way she over-shares about boozing, bed-hopping and intestinal distress — the latter covered in a Horizontal chapter titled “Skid Marks.”

“If I had to say, ‘Is there something I wish I hadn’t written about?,’ well, that’s not something I’m too excited about my boyfriend’s parents reading,” she con-cedes. “That’s why I tell them the books are out of print.”

Even many of Handler’s fans feel she’s got a cruel streak. Still, she doesn’t see herself as mean — in part because she targets herself, too. “If you’re going to make fun of other people, you have to start with making fun of yourself,” she maintains. “And if you’re okay with doing that, it kind of gives you carte blanche to make fun of anybody else.”

Handler signs Vodka at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street (www.tatteredcover.com, 303-436-1070) tonight at 5 p.m., then headlines a fundraiser for New Genesis, a transitional community for the homeless, at 8 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place. Tickets are $35 to $75, with special $500 VIP passes available. Learn more at 303-623-0106 or www.tickethorse.com — and read an extended Q&A with Handler at blogs.westword.com/latestword.
Sat., Oct. 18, 8 p.m., 2008

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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