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“I’m crushing it”: Chelsea Handler discusses comedy, her career, and the ‘Little Big B****’ tour

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 11 Jun 2024, 8:30am
Photo / Getty
Photo / Getty

“I’m crushing it”: Chelsea Handler discusses comedy, her career, and the ‘Little Big B****’ tour

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 11 Jun 2024, 8:30am

Another of America’s most prolific comedians, Chelsea Handler has had quite the extensive career. 

She not only hosted her own late-night comedy show on E!, she’s also had a couple of Netflix shows, performed countless standup shows, hosted her own podcast, and written a number of books. 

She’s bringing her comedy tour ‘Little Big B****’ to New Zealand shores for a couple of days this coming July, the show already on the road. 

“It’s going pretty well,” Handler told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking. 

“So, I’m coming to New Zealand.” 

The act will eventually be filmed and turned into a Netflix special, but Handler says she doesn’t have to fulfil that obligation until the end of the year. 

“I was like, oh, let me take this on the road because it’s, I’ve got this whole year and, you know, I love to visit these places and come back and see people, and meet people up close and personal.” 

“It’s a different, you know, different level of travel fun.” 

Comedians often try to tailor their acts to their locations to at least a small degree, localising certain jokes and leaving out others that just wouldn’t land, but for the most part Handler say’s her act goes down the same. 

“If you’re coming to see me, you probably know me, so you know what to expect, you know?” 

“It’s not like I’m introducing myself to people all the time.” 

Although it is definitely motivated by her love of travel, Handler admits that her international tours are in part motivated by her desire to get out of the United States, telling Hosking that “America’s pretty rough”. 

“These days it’s a pretty hard pill to swallow,” she told him. 

“So, I choose to smoke a lot of cannabis and travel as much as I can out of the country.” 

Her upcoming travel plans included a month in Spain, a visit to Australia, and one to New Zealand. 

“Anything to get out of this country.” 

Comedy serves a variety of purposes, some using it for commentary, others for escapism and levity. Handler falls into the latter category.  

"I wanna like, pass high vibes around,” Handler told Hosking. 

“I want people to come to my show, leave having forgotten whatever that was annoying them that day in their life.” 

Many comedians chafe against the idea that there could be boundaries to their art, holding the opinion that as long as it’s a joke, it’s free game. Handler doesn’t agree. 

“I’m not against having people set parameters about what you’re about to say, what you’re allowed to say, or what’s going to be frowned upon,” she said. 

“If you want to say I can’t make fun of, you know, different cultures because that’s insensitive, okay, that’s fair!” 

Art is often about breaking boundaries but when it comes to entertainment, there’s also value in working within a framework. Handler told Hosking that working within boundaries is a good challenge for any comedian or artist, as it challenges them to focus on something beyond the lowest common denominator.  

“Perhaps focus that energy back on yourself and make a joke about yourself first,” she said. 

“Like with everything, start within. It’s the same in comedy.” 

Over the years Handler has created a wide variety of content, allowing her to really nail down the type of art she likes to create and the means with which she creates it. 

“I don’t like to be, having to be in the same place every day,” she told Hosking. 

“I like to be around the world and like, you know, I do my podcast from Majorca, I can do my podcast in London, I could do my podcast wherever.” 

"I kind of feel like I found the best thing to live my life to the fullest.” 

Chelsea Handler’s ‘Little Big B**** Tour’ is coming to Wellington’s St James Theatre on July 5th, and Auckland Town Hall on July 6th. 

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