Q&A: Chelsea Handler

Fresh from hosting the MTV Video Music Awards, the news of a second television show on E! and tabloid reports linking her with rapper 50 Cent, late night comedian Chelsea Handler has never been hotter.

Since bursting onto the talk-show scene in 2007 with "Chelsea Lately," Handler has quickly established herself as one of the funniest women on television. Her tongue-in-cheek style has allowed her to sneak in playful jabs while interviewing some of the biggest names in show business. E! recently announced that it would debut a second Handler offering, "After Lately," a behind-the-scenes scripted series that will begin filming soon.

She will perform Friday at 1st Mariner Arena as part of the "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang" tour, where she will draw material from her third book, also titled "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang." In addition to the live performance, Handler will appear at a book signing Friday at Greetings & Readings in Hunt Valley.

Handler recently spoke about her new book, her love life and blocking out feedback from critics.

QUESTION: How does this book differ from your first two?

ANSWER: This one doesn't nearly have as much about sex. It's much more about my family. It's about my personal life in a nonsexual way. I talk about my boyfriend who I'm no longer with. And when you read the book you can figure out why. They're all excursions into my past and present. I go back and forth between my childhood and my adult life. They're true stories that people can't believe, but they are. I've had a lot of really ridiculous experiences.

Q: You seem to be an open book. Are there any topics that you shy away from?

A: I don't really like to talk about ugly babies. I feel like that's mean. They can't do anything about that.

Q: Who is your favorite funny woman?

A: Paula Abdul. For obvious reasons. You can let the reader figure that out.

Q: You have a great shoe collection. Who picks out your shoes?

A: My stylist brings tons and tons of shoes. I pick out the ones that I like. She has her dream shoes that I will never put on my feet. We meet somewhere in the middle. I don't like anything that is too trashy. I like classic shoes … cool, pretty shoes. I don't like anything that's like, "I'm a hooker; look at me."

Q: Your father was a used-car salesman who always drove around in beat-up cars. What kind of car do you drive now?

A: A Jaguar. It's kind of gray-lavender. I just bought a Bentley. I figured, Why not?

Q: Are you single?

A: I am. But, I heard that I was dating somebody. (Chuckles.)

Q: Where did the rumor start that you are dating 50 Cent?

A: I was with a bunch of friends in New Orleans, and he was one of the friends that was there. I was there for a show. Of course we were the only ones in the picture when there were 20 of us there. It made it look like there was something romantic happening.

Q: So, there is nothing between you and 50 Cent?

A: Nothing romantic. Although I think he's working on something. Every rapper who has been on the show is working on something with me. At some point I'm going to have to give in.

Q: Do your parents monitor your show regularly? Do they give you feedback?

A: I'm pretty sure my father watches it every day. I don't call him for feedback. I'm not really the type of person that relies on feedback. I rely on my own instincts. When you listen to too many people you can get very confused about how you feel. You have to know how your performance went. You take the results of book sales and ratings. Like the ratings for the VMAs were the highest in eight years. You have to rely on that stuff. If you start to look online, which I have done many times, then you start to second-guess yourself. And the reason why you have a career in the first place is your instincts. You have to always trust your instincts.


If you go

Chelsea Handler performs at 8 p.m. Friday at 1st Mariner Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. Tickets are $45-$75. 800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com

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