Arts & Culture News

Chelsea Handler Delivers Comedy And Smackdown In Dallas On Saturday

Chelsea Handler brought her filthy mouth and other naughty bits to Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie on Saturday. Joining Ms. Handler on the Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me tour were her eponymous show's regulars -- Brad Wollack, Josh Wolf, and Heather McDonald.

The flame-haired and bespectacled Wollack opened up the show with his signature self-deprecating humor and got the evening off to a lively start. Resembling a younger, flesh-and-blood version of Family Guy's Mort Goldman, Wollack made plenty of references to his pale skin and overall Jewishness, yet without the darker Woody Allen-esque neuroses.

The brightest spot of Wollack's set was an impromptu response to a heckler's Weiner outburst. At this point, Anthony Weiner -- the disgraced New York congressman -- is an obligatory current events target for all comedians. When the topic was brought up Saturday night, Wollack was game, expressing his disbelief that a fellow Jew could possibly have enough hubris to show off the less than staggering goods.

Next on stage was the lovely and bubbly, but without being annoyingly so, Heather McDonald. Her material was the most pleasantly inclusive of the evening, with jokes ranging from ranking her three kids from favorite to least favorite to impressions of Drew Barrymore's lisp. Ms. McDonald jumped from topic to topic rather deftly, and her penchant for physical comedy was impressive. This was best displayed during her frighteningly veracious impersonation of Celine Dion.

Josh Wolf was the last of the opening acts to take the stage and was greeted with the loudest (mostly female) hoots and hollers of all three openers. His set also delivered the most raucous energy of the evening as he delved into sexual subject matters ranging from graphic birds and the bees conversations with his teenage son and phallic uses for domestic violence. It is as offensive as it sounds, but you had to be there. Mr. Wolf may have turned the already-hyper audience's enthusiasm up notches, but the packed theater went berserk as soon as the headliner came on stage.

Following a montage of clips from her E! show, Chelsea Lately, out bounded an exuberant Ms. Handler with a messy blond ponytail, beaming smile and all. Dressed in a coral silk blouse and fitted white jeans, she appeared daintier and more petite than the towering and slightly intimidating presence she exudes on screen. With a propensity in knowing and delivering exactly what her audience wanted, she wasted no time in cheekily referencing her short-lived "affair" with rapper 50 Cent, discussing her famously self-coined "Pikachoo," and regaling her captive audience with tales of what her beloved personal assistant, Chuy, was doing back at home in L.A.

The audience was on their best behavior for most of the evening, but some fans were a tad too enthusiastic. Those who are familiar with the comedienne's stage show know that she is not afraid to eviscerate a heckler. Saturday night was no different as Ms. Handler, to the crowd's delight, took several minutes out of her set to tell a female audience member to be quiet, but in not-so-euphemistic terms.

It wasn't quite the smackdown Ms. Handler delivered to a similar heckler at a show last December when the topic of Angelina Jolie was brought up, but it was a look into the tough-as-nails persona for which she has become known, despite the critics' assessment of her recent selling out or softening on celebrities. Her fans don't seem to agree, as after the show several hundreds of people crowded the inside of the Verizon lobby to have their $28 copies of the comedian's latest book, Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me, signed.

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Kristy Yang
Contact: Kristy Yang

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