We’re hardly a minute into the interview when Chelsea Handler yells, “Ow! F---! Oh, that hurt.”
Apparently she was sitting at a desk, crossed her legs and banged her knee.
“Have you ever hit your leg before? Well, that’s what I did!”
She holds the phone to the side and barks to her assistant, “Can you make it cooler in here?”
These are busy (and dangerous) times for the 39-year-old late-night talk-show diva. Her desk is apparently too low. Her show “Chelsea Lately” is coming to an end after eight years on the E! network and she’s jumping ship to Netflix. She’s been out on tour, doing stand-up in support of her latest bestseller, “Uganda Be Kidding Me,” her fifth in a series of boozy, sex-filled memoirs (including “Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea” and “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang”) that have sold millions of copies.
It’s an unlikely career path for a bat mitzvah queen who fled New Jersey for Los Angeles to become an actress and got her big break on the stand-up circuit after telling hilarious, real-life stories in a DUI class.
Before Handler drops by for her debut at the Green Music Center on Saturday night, she took a break to chat about her backstage rider contract, rhinestones and Hitler:
Q: When you’re out on tour, how much vodka is included in your contract rider?
A: I don’t have a rider. I’m not Jennifer Lopez. I behave like a responsible adult.
Q: You must have some backstage demands, no?
A: Just that it’s cold in my green room, that it’s 68 degrees.
Q: So you have to bring your own vodka?
A: No, they have vodka for me. Maybe it’s in my rider; I don’t know. I have enough people who come with me who bring what I need.
Q: What’s the weirdest thing a fan’s given you at a show?
A: A rhinestone-studded dog that was made to look like my dog. It was in Miami and it was at least 100 pounds and this lady thought I was going to take it home with me.
Q: When you’re writing these books, what’s totally off-limits for you?
A: Nothing. I write about everybody. There were, seriously, several people not speaking to me in my life after this book came out.
A: My sister, one of my friends. In my show, I do a slide show and I show a lot of pictures from my travels and I tell a lot of real-life stories about my friends. When I first started the tour, there were a lot of my girlfriends who weren’t real excited I was talking about them. But that’s part of the thing — if you come on vacation with me you have to understand you could possibly end up in a book.
Q: Do you care that the Anti-Defamation League made a fuss over your recent Hitler parody? (Her assistant, Chuy, dressed up as Adolf Hitler to celebrate the German national team winning the World Cup.)
A: Oh, come on. I’ve been making fun of Hitler for years. It’s so stupid that people all of a sudden are saying, “Chelsea Handler’s out of line!” I’ve been out of line this whole time — and I’m a Jew.
Who: Chelsea Handler
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Green Music Center, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park