Things to do in Miami: Chelsea Trades at Fillmore Miami Beach October 28, 2021

It’s been two and a half long, unpredictable years since comedian Chelsea Handler last played Filmore Miami Beach. Meanwhile, the talk show veteran became familiar with therapy, recorded a revealing HBO Max special, started his own podcast, and reconnected in surprisingly new ways with an old friend β€” all during an ongoing pandemic. With a handful of kickoff dates for her current Vaccinated and Horny Tour under her belt and a few dozen more on the horizon, Handler is already feeling an energy shift from the audience, ready to reappear, be shaken and forge their own paths through uncertainty.

New Times: Between last year Development special and now, has the composition of a complete set of material required a different writing process or mindset compared to normal times?

Chelsea Handler: Development was a very personal special to me. It was about my therapy story and my story about my brother, and my experience of how humiliating and also humiliating it can be. You take a little five steps forward and then eighteen steps back. You think, “Oh, I’ll kill it! I nail it! I meditate!” And then you get into a giant screaming fight with the parking attendant on your way out the door from therapy, and you say, “Wait, what just happened?” So that particular was important to me because I wanted to take the stand-up medium and do something I had not done before with strong messages and a personal story that was profound.

And now I feel like the mood is that people just really need to laugh. I want people’s pages to hurt when they leave the theater. I want someone to get out of an accident and pee during my show. I want that kind of energy – to bring joy and just make people forget the last few years and at the same time remember the idiotic behavior that many of us demonstrated time and time again during the pandemic. Because if we do not laugh at it, you know it’s just too depressing.

You recently completed the first season of your podcast Dear Chelsea. What have you learned about your fans or yourself since the beginning? Does it allow you to express yourself in ways you can not get on stage?

What I have learned throughout my career is that celebrity interviews are one thing, but talking to real people is a whole other ball game. And one that I get a lot of pleasure out of. I’m a really strong person and I’m a really strong advocate for everyone to have the best. I want to be the big sister who pushes you in the right direction that I am with all my friends. I’m the person who comes in and says, “You can do this! You can leave this relationship! You can finish this job! You can take a leap of faith!” So the podcast is very much in that direction.

Most people have already decided what to do, but they are just considering when and how to do it. I absorbed so much in therapy that I consider myself a de facto medical expert, even though I have no education. I grew up reading “Dear Abby” and I love advice and I thought, “Oh, I should do that! What’s more bombastic than I consider myself some kind of counselor?”

You recently made your new relationship to the past Chelsea recently panelist Jo Koy Instagram-official. How did you make that transition from being longtime friends?

Jo Koy and I end up together is a perfect example of therapy work. Because I would never have taken him seriously before I went into therapy. He came into my life again about a year and a half ago and he put a lot of work into it, even though he’s trying to convince me that I’ve been in love with him for 15 years. But I did not really see him through that lens. And until I became a little more open-minded and stopped judging everything and being so narrow-minded in my own personal belief systems, I would not have seen him that way. So to be able to be with him and love him the way I do and appreciate him the way I do, I attribute that to real therapy and getting my head out of my own ass.

Your perspective on issues from voting rights to access to abortion may seem to contradict those that are largely in Florida. With four upcoming shows in the state, do you generally look at meeting politically charged moments as personal challenges or more as opportunities to promote discussion?

I think we have all had our saturation of politics for a long time. I have decided that. It’s pretty exhausting. So on this tour, I feel a certain responsibility to come and entertain and create side-splitting laughter and help people forget their problems and policies and how awful things have become. I knocked the political drum pretty loud so people are very well aware of how I feel. So I really just want to focus on the comedy, on the idiotic behavior that we have all shown, definitely myself during the pandemic.

How does comedy help bring seemingly divided people closer together, especially in times of sociopolitical insecurity?

It is a reminder of humanity and a reminder of unity. We are all in this and we keep forgetting. People can get caught up in their own nonsense, but it is important to remember that the high tide raises all ships. We will all help each other; We are all humans. Laughing with other people is like the best mood in the world. That feeling of togetherness – when you can not control your laughter and it hurts and your cheeks hurt and your stomach hurts – it’s humanity.

Chelsea Handler. 7pm Thursday, October 28 at Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7300; fillmoremb.com. Tickets are $ 49.50 to $ 169.50 via livenation.com.

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