Love it or hate it, Chelsea Handler’s new talk show will be around for a while. It arrived on Netflix this year and has already been renewed for another. Confirmed in July for another 90 episodes, the show has been a bit of an experiment. You can see a definite progression throughout the season as the show is finds its way through what works and what doesn’t. (Keep doing those dinner parties, Chelsea!) A blend of filmed content, interviews, and off-the-cuff studio talk, it has certainly given us a wide variety of different styles and formats. The informal set and pacing often make you feel as if you are a guest in Chelsea’s home. Although not all of us here have always agreed about the show (#teamchunk!), I still believe it has a lot of potential. Let’s look at some of her best shows and segments from the past year. For your convenience, I’ve also included the time to scrub to for segments. (Items listed in no particular ‘top’ order.)
Mission To Moscow | Air date: August 12th
This was the first episode to immediately jump to mind. Chelsea visits Russia with Maria Sharapova as her guide and it’s fabulous. First and foremost, Sharapova matches right up with Chelsea. She has just as much snark, doesn’t take any of Chelsea’s baloney, and is just as willing to join in the shenanigans. The two of them with the Russian National Gymnastics Team is pretty amusing. She also schools Chelsea on the real way to drink Vodka. Chelsea’s trip to the bath house, the interaction with the people on the street, the coffee time with the table of men and women–it’s all great.
Warrior Dash & Will Arnett | Air date: June 8th
Chelsea and Martha Stewart discuss binge watching.
One of Chelsea’s good friends is Fortune Feimster (The Mindy Project) and in this segment Chelsea drags her into the Warrior Dash, an obstacle course race that they all know they are going to hate doing right from the beginning. They’re crawling through mud and galloping around trails and sliding into mud and it’s a hoot. FYI there are videos of them going down those slides on YouTube if you are so inclined.
“There’s people literally tromping through my pee right now.” -Fortune Feimster
Dinner Party: Captain America and Friends | Air date: May 13th
Chelsea is having dinner at a table littered with action figures. Literally. Captain America, Winter Soldier, Crossbones, and Agent 13 are all gathered around. They talk about bar crawls, movies, and Ben Affleck. It’s conversation with some very handy Marvel tutoring thrown in. I don’t know about you, but it’s really hard to keep up with all these movies and characters.
It Tears You Down, and Builds You | Air Date: October 28th
This October episode (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) features Chelsea’s friend Shannon Doherty in an effort to educate about breast health and support the millions of people who are currently fighting the disease and those who have survived. In her first late night interview since being diagnosed in 2015, she opens up about what she has learned through her emotional journey. The beginning of the episode includes a conversation with Doherty’s oncologist, then moves on to one-on-one time with Chelsea.
Doherty, who has been very open about her battle in the press and on social media, offers a raw look into her endeavor, how it has affected her relationships, and what she has learned. It’s a raw interview about life, accepting yourself, and appreciation.
The episode moves on the healthy living and contaminates we encounter in every day life and how we can lower that exposure. It’s an illuminating and empowering episode.
Flashbacks to the Good Old ’80s | Air Date: September 8th
If you were like myself and most of the world, you fell in love with Stranger Things this past summer. While the supernatural aspects and the Demogorgon were definitely fun, what really made the show were the characters. In this episode we are treated to a visit from Stranger Things stars Millie Bobby Brown, Caleb McLaughlin, and Gaten Matarazzo (plus a special guest!). We may have even gotten a hint about Season 2 snuck in there. I’ll let you find that for yourself.
Stick around after the kids’ segment for more 80s nostalgia and Chelsea’s hilarious ‘No Kids’ ads
Ann Coulter gets the business in more than one episode. If you’re a fan, I apologize in advance, but it’s just too amusing not to include.
Jeff Ross roasts Ann Coulter: Air Date September 1st: Segment 3:47
Jeff Ross comes on the show to discuss the Roast of Rob Lowe on Comedy Central, and talk quickly turns to how the program transforms into a roast of Ann Coulter. They discuss the roast, people in attendance, and include some of the raunchy material.
When Ann Coulter Calls in Sick: Air Date September 30th: Segment 17:58
Admittedly, the politics on this show can be a little one sided. In the interest of fairness, Chelsea books Ann Coulter for an interview. On the morning of the show, Coulter cancels. A disappointed Handler, who had been looking forward to squaring off with Coulter, made the most of the predicament. She calls in Coulter’s body double for the meeting. I have to say Coulter should have been far more wary of what was going to happen on the show after her cancellation than what could have come of the interview.
Dinner Party: Going to Prison | Air Date: December 7th
In this episode Chelsea sits down for dinner and a chat with the Emmy-winning cast of Orange is the New Black. Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba, Lea DeLaira, and Dascha Polanco join her for an in-depth discussion about women in entertainment and how the industry handles LGBTQ characters and stories. It’s fun to see the dynamic the ladies have and hear about their lives, professional and otherwise.
They Said it’s a Man’s Game | Air Date: November 9th
Chelsea visits with comedy legend Carol Burnett, who can always be counted on for great stories. This year is the 50th anniversary of her long-running variety program The Carol Burnett Show, and she gives some insight about what it was like to run her own show as a woman in the 60s, along with anecdotes about her co-stars and Lucille Ball. I recommend picking up Burnett’s latest book In Such Good Company. It’s a fun read.
Jason Biggs is sprinkled through throughout the year. Sometimes it’s an interview with his wife. Other times it’s a segment. Just to keep the fun in it, I’ll let you find these on your own.
Can You Tell I’m A Nightmare | Air Date: December 16th
In the season finale, Chelsea remembers some notable moments and gossip from the year. Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence (who, I can’t help but to say, is just adorable) stops by for some quality time with Tammy and to discuss her new movie. But the super fun nerd highlight is Chris Hardwick. I don’t think he’d be the least bit offended by my calling him the King of the Nerd Empire. Chelsea also recaps some of the season’s funny moments and rides around with Chris Rock. It’s a great way to end the year!