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Why Chelsea Handler Doesn’t Apologize For Her Comedy

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In an exclusive interview for ELLE’s first-ever Women in Comedy issue, late-night host Chelsea Handler discussed one human reaction she tends to be immune to: shame.

“I don’t have a lot of shame,” Handler told ELLE. “That doesn’t mean I can’t feel bad about the way someone reacts to me or about something I read about myself online. But I don’t have a lot of guilt, no. I’ve always been this way. I’m missing a chip.”

Handler said this sense of shamelessness is actually freeing: “I feel liberated and I want other people to feel liberated, and I’m really intent on being very truthful about who I am. I think comedy has to come from your authentic point of view.”

Handler, whose Netflix talk show Chelsea premiered this May, has been celebrated as one of the earliest female late-night hosts, paving the way for other women to join the ranks of Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and James Corden. She’s also known for her blunt, unrelenting comedy style: she asks tough questions that fellow TV hosts tend to shy away from.

“I try not to apologize, especially publicly” Handler said of her frank jokes. “That’s a slippery slope, because I’m a comedian. If you take anything I’m saying too seriously, then you shouldn’t be paying attention in the first place. If you find me offensive, don’t follow me.”

Handler’s interview appears in the July issue of ELLE, hitting newsstands on June 21. Read the full interview here.

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