Chelsea Handler Is Done With White Men

Chelsea Handler, in a wide-ranging interview, talks her new stand up special, Covid, late night tv, and her constant frustration with old white men.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

Comedian and former late night talk show host, Chelsea Handler, has never been one to mince words, on or off stage, she says what’s on her mind. During an interview with Variety, the stand up comic talked frankly about her upcoming comedy special, dating, and how other comics can still be funny without fear of cancel culture. Through it all, Handler expresses frustration with the old, white men that rule the world.

Chelsea Handler’s latest stand up special, Revolution, will air December 27th on Netflix, and was filmed during her first post-Covid tour. During Covid, Handler retreated to Whistler, Canada and remained secluded, as she says “What I really discovered about myself during that time was how much I enjoyed the pleasure of my own company, COVID taught me there is a lot of value in being able to spend time by yourself.” In her case, that meant lots of writing, lots of reading, and lots of drugs.

While that discussion sounds flippant, it’s for a reason, as Chelsea Handler admits that until recently, she didn’t engage in much self-reflection. After starting up therapy, the comic has made some life adjustments, “Now, I spend my time wisely. I know when I need to be alone, I don’t infect other people with my shitty moods and I know how to remove myself from the situation if someone is annoying me.”

What’s annoying Chelsea Handler these days is easily summed up as “Republicans”, or more specifically, “old white men.” The politically active comic has always made audiences aware of her liberal bent, but now she intends for her stand up routines to have a message to them. Accepting responsibility as a well-known female in a male-dominated field has made Handler acutely aware of how she feels the need to speak up for women.

Chelsea Handler is a female pioneer in the field of comedy, as she was the first woman to lead her own late night talk show, Chelsea Lately, on E! from 2007 to 2014. Following the cancelation, Netflix made an offer to the comic, and she took her talk show to the streaming giant as Chelsea for two more seasons. The second time around was significantly less successful, with Netflix proving to be a poor fit with the talk show format.

Chelsea Handler on the set of her Netflix show

At the moment, only two other woman have their own late night comedy talk shows, Amber Ruffin and Ziwe, with neither one on a broadcast network. Chelsea Handler denied having any interest in taking over James Corden’s Late Late Show following the British actor leaving next year, but the recent Daily Show vacancy is appealing to her. The stand up admits that she has been in discussions to take over for Trevor Noah.

No matter what happens, Chelsea Handler wants to see more women on TV, and more women in positions of power, both within the comedy world and the broader landscape. As for other comedians, typically men, complaining about cancel culture, Handler shares some advice: “Don’t discriminate against people that are marginalized” For her, that is the only criteria to avoid being canceled, as for those that have been canceled, she has some feelings about them.

Following Louis CK being accused of sexually harassing younger female comics, he won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album, beating out Chelsea Handler for her last special. The prominent female comic believes that Louis should take accountability for his actions, and closes out her interview by saying “to pretend that you haven’t done anything when what you did was repeatedly wrong is not okay. It just shows you that old white guys are in charge”