Magazine article Variety

Chelsea Handler

Magazine article Variety

Chelsea Handler

Article excerpt

HOST, "CHELSEA," NETFLIX

"There's a toddler in the White House."

On the day after the election, Chelsea Handler was so devastated, she wanted to move to Spain. Then she came to work on her Netflix talk show in Culver City and saw the faces of her staff. The millennial women in her office hugged her and begged her not to retreat.

"They all just said, 'You're our only outlet. You're our mouthpiece' That will motivate anybody, and it motivates me," Handler says, lounging in the living room of her house in Bel-Air with her dogs, Chunk and Tammy.

Her streaming talk show, "Chelsea" has taken a hard stand against Trump, as Handler helped register 17,000 voters and lined up as recent guests California Sen. Barbara Boxer, Van Jones, and Jake Tapper. The comedian, who plans to lead the Women's March at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 21, spoke with Variety about how she'll continue to call out Trump. - Ramin Setoodeh

You just wrapped the first season of your show on Netflix.

It feels right. We have more of an impact being on Netflix than I would have had on another network, because we have a huge international audience. It's nice to be able to let them know that just because this man is our president, this is not a representation of everybody in our country. It's a representation of less than half the people.

Would you ever want to interview Donald Trump?

No.

Why not?

Why would I? I don't ever want to see him. I don't ever want to interact with him, which won't be a problem. Once he came up to me in a restaurant in L.A. to introduce himself - to tell me he's Donald Trump. I said, "Great"

What do you think the role of your show will be during a Trump presidency?

First and foremost, I'm a comedian. But also, we have to hold him accountable. And we have to make fun of him, just like you'd make fun of anybody who was president. Obama was boring in that sense - there a +- was nothing to make fun of because he was so responsible and such a leader.

Do you think your show will be more serious going forward?

I think the great thing that Netflix has afforded me is to be serious when it calls for it. I'm not going to be funny on the day after the election, when I was horrified and crying all night. It was going to be a celebratory day. I walked into my office that morning, and I thought, "There's no way I'm going to be able to do this"

Were you surprised that you cried on air?

Yeah. The last thing you ever want to do is break down. It's just so unprofessional. But my whole life is being unprofessional.

There's been a lot of talk of how the media didn't treat Hillary Clinton fairly. …

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