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Laughs, booze, possible nudity are on the menu with Chelsea Handler

| Thursday, March 13, 2014, 9:07 p.m.
Getty Images for Target
Chelsea Handler signs the Target exclusive edition of her newly released book 'Uganda Be Kidding Me' for a crowd of fans at Westwood City Target on March 10, 2014 in Westwood, Calif.

Chelsea Handler was on a plane when she heard a fellow passenger cackling a few seats away. It was annoying, so Handler asked her travel companion, her sister, to tell the lady to knock it off.

When her sister returned, she told Handler there was no way she could ask the obnoxious woman to quiet down. She was reading Handler's book, “Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.”

Creating those laugh-out-loud moments are what Handler strives for, whether in print, on screen or on stage.

“It is so much fun making other people have fun,” says Handler, whose latest book, “Uganda Be Kidding Me” (Grand Central Publishing, $29) debuted in early March. Her stand-up tour in promotion of the new title comes to Pittsburgh on May 10.

The new book, penned by the fierce-witted and rarely reserved host of E!'s late-night talk show “Chelsea Lately,” gives readers a glimpse into her travels around the world. The star is known for her love of travel and often brings friends and family along for the ride. The new book chronicles everything from tearing her ACL while skiing in Switzerland (“I may or may not have been on Ecstasy”) to her attempts to seduce a tour guide while on safari in Africa (unsuccessfully).

The Africa trip takes up the first part of the book, and touches on Handler's initial hopes that the trip would be a refreshing change from her more booze-filled escapades to sun-kissed beaches.

“I thought it would be educational,” she says. “It was worse than Cabo. I drank more than on any yacht trip. The people there said all we cared about was lip balm and margaritas. They didn't make very good margaritas, but now they do, so you can thank me for it.”

Handler's no-holds-barred comedy style shines in her books, which include bestselling titles “My Horizontal Life: A Collection Of One Night Stands,” the aforementioned “Vodka” and “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.”

She writes best in the morning, she says, when she feels most creative. She devotes two to three hours to it before starting work on other projects.

“Writing is such a laborious process,” she says. “It's always good to max out at a certain point. I go off on tangents. It takes a long time to write a book.”

Handler's favorite vacation destinations are warm climates, such as the Bahamas.

“I'm a Pisces, so I'm a water girl,” she says. “I love to be topless if I can and my family's not around. And even sometimes when they are.”

Touring is a whole other kind of travel. Handler's 31-date tour runs from early March to late May. She loves the opportunity to engage with fans she'd never otherwise meet, and plans to venture out after her shows in some towns, Pittsburgh included.

“Places like Pittsburgh, people go out because they want you to go out,” she says, adding that it's not like New York or Los Angeles, where celebrities aren't afforded much privacy when in public.

Handler's new hour of comedy features highlights from the book as well as more personal stories about her life.

“I talk about dating as a celebrity,” she says. “People think it's easier, and it's not. People see me coming, but as long as there's a language barrier, then I'm in good stead with men.”

Anything else we can expect from her show?

“A lot of nudity,” she says, matter-of-factly.

That last bit might not be entirely true, but there's no doubt Handler's humor will be on full display.

Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or

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