Chelsea Handler is no stranger to raunchy, offensive, and sometimes terrible jokes, and her new stand up special on Netflix is no exception.
“Uganda Be Kidding Me,” the hour-plus stand-up special (based on her best-selling book) brings Handler back before the cameras for the first time since her departure from E!’sChelsea Lately in August of this year. She doesn’t pull any punches, returning to her raw and hilarious brand of self-deprecating comedy, pushing boundaries both in words and images.
The book on which the special is based follows Chelsea on her travels through South Africa and Botswana as the late-night-bad girl traverses the wilderness on Safari.
Though named Uganda Be Kidding Me, Handler said she didn’t actually make it to Uganda. “I wouldn’t go to a gay-hating nation anyway,” she said.
With her expansive LGBT fan base, Handler said she didn’t see much along the lines of gay folks in Africa. “Not a lot of gays I ran into in Africa, not on safari.”
Handler’s loyalty to the LGBT community has manifested in other ways – she’s worked with HRC and GLAAD at fundraising events. She said she’s always down to lend her celebrity to good causes when she can.
“Obviously when you have a personality like mine,” joked Handler, “you have to make it up in other ways.”
Handler admitted she planned the trip last-minute, and had no plans to use it as material for a future book or stand up special.
“It was a great trip for a million reasons, but it’s a place I’d go back to time and time again,” said Handler of the two week excursion. “It is literally like being in another world.”
“I wanted to see where rappers came from,” joked Handler in the opening moments of the special.
But now that the dust has cleared, she admits her planned “educational safari” turned into more of a “spring-break safari.”
“I like to give America the reputation that I’ve given it,” said Handler, who shows off pictures of her pissing in the wilds of Africa, and drinking heavily throughout the trip. ” I’ve always loved to travel, so it’s been a dream of mine to go to Africa.”
Topics in the special don’t stay exclusively about her trip – she jokes on her lesbian lawyer friend (using the phrase “turbo lesbian”), her poor relationship with her father (featuring a massive photo of three old men, naked and in an exceedingly sexual position) and crapping herself in a kayak while spending time at the beach recovering from her African trip.
It’s this dark humor, often targeting herself or her close friends, which makes Handler’s comedy stand out.
“I tried to think of my most personal and humiliating situations that have happened to me,” said Handler on her inspiration for the special’s material. “There’s always humor in that if you’re a comedian and you have a perverted sense.”
The kayak story is particularly humiliating, with someone recognizing her as a celebrity as her bikini filled with waste.
“How awful that was, and how humiliating that was,” Handler admitted. “I thought how amazing it was if I was going to make it out alive.”