Chelsea Handler on ‘Are You There, Chelsea?’

The talk show hostess turned actress tells us about her role in the fictional version of her life.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Chelsea Handler has another show on television and it’s all about Chelsea Handler. "Are You There, Chelsea?" is NBC’s sitcom version of Handler’s autobiographies.

Handler actually plays her sister, named Sloane for the purposes of sitcom. Laura Prepon plays the fictional version of Handler. When Handler presented her new show to the Television Critics Association, I got a few questions in about her meta sister.


I’m sorry I don’t know this, but do you have a sister Sloane?

I have a sister. Her name isn’t Sloane. We had to change her name for legal reasons so that my own family can’t sue me.

What is it like to play the sister in a show about yourself?

First of all, it’s a dream come true to have someone else portray me because I’ve been living this life for a long time and I’m over myself. It’s a pleasure to play my sister because everything I’ve been accusing her of my whole life, I can now reenact before her eyes. She’s thrilled surprisingly, but it’s a lot more fun for me to play her than it would be to play myself. It’s a lot more challenging anyway.

Does your actual sister have dark hair and all those characteristics?

Yes, yes, yes. It’s a television version of her. Her real name is not Sloane but she’s got dark hair, she has children and she’s religious.

Are you discovering a different sort of humor in that character?

Yes, absolutely. It’s a really nice respite for me to play against type and play not myself and be anal retentive and have a stick up my ass and look down at me and my/Chelsea’s behavior. So yeah, it’s really, really fun for me.

Do you appreciate that attitude in a way that you might not have otherwise?

No, I don’t appreciate her attitude at all.