This past Saturday, I went to see Chelsea Handler up in DC for her book promo tour. I can't even tell you how excited I was. I love her show and her books actually make me chuckle out loud (which is sort of an embarrassing site while your on the bike at the gym laughing at what you're reading). So, needless to say, I was very excited when I heard she'd be "in the area" and bought tickets that very first day. She performed at Constitution Hall, and there were thousands of people that came out for her show.
For those of you that don't know, Chelsea Handler is known for her heavy drinking and promiscuity, and the hilarity that ensues from her life. She's been likened to our generation's Joan Rivers. And she has fans, she has followers, and she is funny.
However, a stand up, she is not. When I see comedians, I tend to laugh. A lot. To the point where my sides are hurting and I'm embarrassing the people I'm with. At Chelsea, I might have chuckled a few times, but no full on laughs. And the thing is, no one was laughing. As I said, and am hoping I'm conveying the difference, there were chuckles, but not gaffaws, no straight up laughing. A lot of her jokes fell flat. Some went on way too long, and they weren't even funny to start with. For example, she went on a 20 minute soliloquy about masturbating at age 9. Mildly amusing, perhaps, but 20 minutes worth? Not a chance.
At the end of the night, I determined that Chelsea is someone you'd want to have sitting at your table at the bar. She's good with bantering off of others, she's good at telling stories, amusing to listen to, but not a stand up comic.
I'll still watch and enjoy her show. I still love talking about her books and just got her most recent book (to add to my collection of books waiting to be read). I think she's very clever and very funny. I think she has an amazing body. But I shan't be buying another ticket for a stand up show.