By: Michael Starr, New York Post
Originally published May 11, 2016
It’s been nearly two years since Chelsea Handler, then hosting E!’s “Chelsea Lately,” inked a Netflix deal reportedly worth $10 million for a series of documentaries (“Chelsea Does”) and a talk show.
That new talk show, “Chelsea,” finally premieres Wednesday on the streaming service, with new 30-minute episodes available every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — commercial free. “There’s no escaping me now,” says Handler, and she has a point: “Chelsea” will be available in 190 countries in over 25 languages — and will include on-location pieces shot around the world.
Handler, 41, braved a bad cough — and last-minute preparations for “Chelsea” — to chat with The Post.
How will “Chelsea” differ from your E! talk show?
I just don’t want it to be loud. I’m loud enough as a personality — I don’t need to dress that up. It’s like putting a hat on a hat. I kind of want to deconstruct the talk show format from what my experience [at E!] was. I want to quiet it down. [“Chelsea”] feels like me going out to dinner and talking with friends, and that’s the vibe I envisioned when we started plotting this [show] two years ago. I wanted a smaller [studio] audience; I didn’t want it to be so “presentational,” to stand on my mark and do a monologue and then have the guest and the second guest. It can’t feel like that for me because I have to stay interested. I think we all know I can’t fake anything. And I like the messiness of not having commercials … not having to cut away when I go from one area of the stage to another. I like the messiness of me getting my hair and makeup touched up [on camera] or of me running around looking at note cards. I want the behind-the-scenes [to be] in front of the scenes.
So your voice will be dubbed for the international audience?
Yeah. They had all these linguists studying me and my shorthand, the way I speak … and how to translate that. They had to watch all my old shows on E! and all my [Netflix] documentaries. I thought, “Oh my God, these poor people are going to be so sick of me by the time the show airs!”
Have you heard how you’ll sound dubbed into other languages?
No. I get enough of myself in this language. I don’t need any more of me.
How will you explain American culture to people in other countries?
All I can do is do what I do. It’s a huge global audience, and if you cater to one person, you end up catering to everybody. I try to trust my instincts and to follow them, because the times that I haven’t, it’s always bitten me in the ass.
Would this show work on a network?
I’m sure it could … but I don’t want to be on a network. I’ve never been a network kind of girl. What would be the point? Network TV feels like it’s over anyway, and Netflix feels innovative, smart and cool. It’s the table I want to sit at.
One of your first guests is Secretary of Education John B. King
He’s coming on to kind of test my knowledge base. I didn’t go to college and I’ve made a pretty good life for myself, and that’s the main thesis of the show — let’s educate, let’s get smarter, and let’s have fun. I’m really stupid and I’m a very successful adult. How does something like that happen? Let’s explore it together.
I want to see everything I can see, get Netflix to pay for it, and get the college education I never had.
See the original article by Michael Starr on NYPost.com here.