When comedian Chelsea Handler was informed that the INB Performing Arts Center is relatively cavernous by stand-up comedy standards, she quipped:
“Oh, you’d better tell people that I’ll have my top off, then. Let’s get that place nice and packed.”
Actually, Handler hardly needs any, umm, visual stimulus to sell plenty of tickets to her shows these days.
This young, outspoken comic is on a serious roll, with her own late-night show, “Chelsea Lately,” five nights a week on the E! Entertainment Network and a book, “My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands,” flying out of the bookstores.
Since her TV show debuted, Handler has noticed a definite change at the few stand-up shows she can fit in around her schedule.
“The audiences are bigger, and they are so excited when you go out on stage,” she said by phone from the set of her show in L.A.
In other words, people go nuts before she even says a word. And, yes, that’s with her top on.
The stand-up act she brings to Spokane on Saturday is focused on “whatever’s in the news or in pop culture, tons of personal stories and dating stories.
“I talk about new mothers and how annoying they are, and all my friends who are having babies,” said Handler.
“They have one baby and they go buy a mini-van. It’s like, how big is your giant baby?”
Her TV show leans heavily toward celebrity humor.
Sample line from the show: “According to the New York Post, Lance Armstrong and Ashley Olsen are dating. They must be getting serious – Lance gave Ashley his yellow Live Strong bracelet. She wears it as a belt.”
She said that the show, so far, has had plenty of comedic celebrity material.
“Right now, it’s an endless feast and hopefully it will stay that way for a while,” she said.
Handler has plenty of personal material to mine as well. She was born in New Jersey, the youngest of six children of a Jewish father and a Mormon mother.
“They were like, ‘What do you want to be, Jewish or Mormon?’ ” she said.
“I’m like, uhh, let me think about that: No drinking, no drugs, no sex. I think I’ll pick the dreidel, thank you.”
The New York Times said the TV show has been “almost embarrassingly watchable,” calling Handler an heiress to the “bad-girl comic Joan Rivers.”
She doesn’t quite see the resemblance, “other that the fact that I’m very outspoken and don’t care what other people think.”