Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009 | 1:08 p.m.
I had a phone conversation with Chelsea Handler a bit ago. It was not a long-planned conversation. A PR rep asked me today if I’d like to talk to her today, and yes, I would. Or, did. The reason was that Handler is appearing at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. Every so often, you get a late-breaking overture like this to give a performer the best shot at selling out a venue, and I was fine with this. I think I used the term “mad crush” when intimating my opinion of Handler, a two-time New York Times best-selling author and host of the oft-acerbic talk show “Chelsea Lately” on E!
We had 10 minutes. Here’s how it went as my phone buzzed:
“Hi John, it’s Chelsea.”
“Hello! Where are you calling from?”
“My house in L.A.”
“While I was waiting for you, I started following you on Twitter. I’m also now a fan of your Facebook page.”
“Wow, you’re really all over it.”
“Cyberstalking, yes. It’s obvious you manage your own Twitter account. ‘Chuy already left for Vegas. He wants to drive and thinks it takes days to get there. I might have told him that. P.S. I'm flying.’ ”
“I love Twitter. It’s a lot of fun to update with stupid stuff. It’s a perfect outlet for me to get stupid information out there very quickly.”
“George Carlin used to complain about performing in Las Vegas, that the audiences were not always necessarily there to see the performer but might be there because they got a good deal on a show package or might have comped tickets. So the audiences weren’t always attentive or responsive. Others have said that, too. Have you found that in doing stand-up here?”
“Wow, you’re really making it sound appealing to play in Las Vegas. But this was George Carlin. He found a lot to complain about. I’m really getting excited to perform there. If you’re in a showroom watching someone perform that you don’t know anything about, I think that’s pretty stupid. Who’s performing before me on Saturday? Bette?”
“Might be Cher. I’ll look it up … No, it’s Bette.”
“I’ll have to send her something before the show, then.”
“The last stand-up I saw who wasn’t one of Las Vegas’ resident headliners was Dane Cook at The Joint. He had a younger crowd, a drunker crowd, that was yelling at the stage, and he was playing off that. Is that something you welcome?”
“That’s fine for Dane Cook. But no, my show is not like, what’s the word I’m looking for? Inter …”
“Right, interactive. I’m not interested in being interactive. I don’t think people pay to hear the person next to you talking to the person performing. A lot of my fans are drunk, but they pay attention.”
“You’ve got two books (“My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands” and “Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea?”) on The New York Times Bestseller list, in the Top 20, still. That must be an incredible feeling.”
“It really is. I’m sharing space with Tori Spelling, so that should tell you something. Seriously, when I first heard I was on The New York Times Bestseller List, I screamed and jumped up and down, and I don’t do that much because I have very big boobs. But I am very grateful, yes.”
“Has there ever been a guest you’re interviewing and you’re conscious thought is, ‘I cannot believe I am sitting here interviewing this person?’ ”
“Oh, yeah! Katie Price! We interviewed her yesterday, and it airs tomorrow night. She’s so over-the-top -- she’s the British version of Kim Kardashian. She’s the end of society as we know it.”
“Tune in, then?”
Funeral services for James “Bucky” Buchanan are set for 2 p.m. tomorrow at Palm Mortuary on 1325 N. Main St. … Even without The Comedy Festival, November is a funny month in Vegas: Bill Cosby is returning to Treasure Island for two shows on Nov. 27. ... Carrot Top is using a new prop in his stage act: Andre Agassi’s tennis racket, which is a regular racket with a candle taped to the handle that Carrot Top lights, then pretends to inhale. … Something warms your heart about an audience of 1,000 theatergoers sitting and reading books or from Kindle Books, which was the scene before the Agassi-Rick Reilly conversation at Encore Theater on Monday night. … Afterward, in an interview with The Tennis Channel, Reilly said Agassi might be the only athlete on the planet to admit to using crystal meth and not have it ruin his career. … Sightings from the hoppin’ Foreigner concert at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena last night: Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul and vocalist Paul Shortino of Quiet Riot and Rough Cutt (who also played Duke Fame in “This Is Spinal Tap”). Quick quiz: With which song does the 2009 version of Foreigner close their show? Quick answer: “Hot Blooded.” ... Lookalikes: Founding Foreigner Mick Jones and local car pitchman John Barr.
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