Handler with sidekick Chuy.
Chelsea Handler’s third book, “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang,” published
earlier this month, proves to be a lot more kinetic in its comedy and in
its stories than her previous one. In fact, this collection of short
funny incidents from the stand up comedian and E! late night show host,
recalls the laugh-out-loud quality of her first book, “My Horizontal Life.”
Handler recaptures that energy by going to the same well –
mercilessly ripping on her siblings and father – but not without good
reason. One of the more hilarious chapters of “Bang Bang” is her
recounting of complaints made by summer renters of her dad’s summer
house in Martha’s Vineyard, and how embarrassing this situation was for
As a matter of course, Handler keeps an interesting cast of
characters around her now, who have grown in number since her first
book, namely her sidekick Chuy who appears on her show (but isn’t
mentioned as much in this book), and her driver, Sylvan, a large
African-American man who is the centerpiece of another very funny
chapter in this book.
Handler revels in the elaborate lie or prank, played on her unwitting
boyfriend, or members of her staff, or anyone she deems dim and
susceptible. These provide more high points in “Bang Bang.” Some of the
whoppers include offering gynecological exams on the set for anyone who
believed that would really be done; claiming that hero pilot Chester
“Sully” Sullenberger also flew charter jets for celebrities, including
herself (as well as Beyonce and Paul McCartney); and that she was
developing a movie about civilian astronaut Christa McAuliffe and the
Challenger disaster, but somehow it would be a comedy.
The mix of personal stories, tales of her family and extended show
business family, and random pop culture observations that comprise
“Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang” make for a breezy read, and one that will
have you laughing out loud, which as I’ve probably said before is the
true test of a good comedy book.