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My Photo Story: Chelsea Handler

My mother, Rita Handler, was an amazing woman: considerate, caring, kindhearted and joyful. She cared about everyone with quiet compassion and expected nothing in return. She was a true leader and demonstrated the genuine power of a woman’s courage. A champion for the underdog with an innate happiness created by giving. A female Gandhi? She would have been his assistant. Jackpot of an individual? Precisely.

Her outlook and the way she made people feel was the integral part of my family’s world. She taught me the power of female influence: express what you think, be who you are, and follow your intuition.

Being myself, speaking my truth, and trusting who I am got me to where I am today, and I have my mother to thank for it.

Even though I never got to share my success alongside my mother in person, I get to experience something even better in witnessing her presence, spirit, and influence continue to grow stronger through the countless people she touched.

Rita HandlerLife is about taking chances, and the people with the most gifts have a responsibility to themselves and those they can inspire, to take those chances. You never know how many people you end up paving a path for.

You, my dear reader, are an incredibly gifted person, in many ways. All avenues must be explored. Always remember this and stay true to your goals and above all, to your perfect little face.

The world is waiting for you!



Chelsea Handler’s wildly popular late-night show, “Chelsea Lately” is on E! Entertainment Television (check your local listings). Her latest book, “Chelsea, Chelsea, Bang, Bang” is available in fine bookstores and online at You can get updated information about Chelsea on her official website or follow her on TWITTER.

Chelsea has been an advocate for cancer awareness and autism for many years and supports the efforts of the LGBT community and marriage equality. Take time to learn more about these causes at:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Autism Speaks
Generation Rescue
Human Rights Campaign
International Lesbian & Gay Association
Human Rights Watch



PUBLISHED: by jasonbeckett
This entry was posted in Celebrity Notables, Personal Power & Worth, Women's Rights and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Daniela Weiss-Bronstein

    Chelsea, I watch your show and have read your books, and your mother sounds like quite a character. Thanks for sharing yourself with us. I’m in awe of your ability to put it all out there and laugh at yourself. I see that you know how lucky you are to have had a mother who let you be you, and this is a lovely tribute.

  • Donna

    Wow Chelsea I have goose bumps I really appreciate that you shared such an awesome piece of information about your mom and yourself.

  • Monica

    I love your deep side, girl! If I could high five you, pinch your cheeks, & give you a quick squeeze, I would! But I’ll just have to enjoy that virtually ;0) You go sister!!

  • Ariel Verissimo

    Dear Chelsea,
    I am a huge fan of yours, and I’ve loved you since you were on ‘girls behaving badly’.
    I didn’t know you lost your Mom until I read this blog, and it made me feel connected to you on a whole other level. I have loved you and your comedy because you are so incredibly real. The beautiful, loving words that you’ve shared about your Mom is very much like how I feel about my Mom. I lost my Mom suddenly at age 14. It has made me a much stronger person, having gone through that tragedy; and seeing, like you, how many people my Mom had an impact on, and how loved she was.
    I have always thought you’d be an amazing party pal, but after reading this, I realize that you would probably be a wonderful friend, with a huge heart. I’ve always wanted to meet you, but right now, all I want to do is give you a big hug, and say thank you Chelsea. So, thank you very much for sharing this very personal side of you. I know it’s not easy to talk about, no matter how much time has passed.
    Love always, one of your adoring fans,
    Ariel Verissimo

  • Cassie Bruscell

    How precious :) Thanks for sharing it with everyone Chelsea. I could only dream that I was as famous as you just so I could let the world know what amazing parents I have been blessed with as well. You’re truly inspiring and I could only assume you inherited that from your fabulous momma. Naturally I’ve read your book and it seems like you have to be a special kind of person to live with your character of a father ;) Thank you for allowing us all into your life & for alllways being able to put a smile on this girls face =)

  • Kimberly Boyd Vasenda

    Fantastic, beautiful and amazing. This is the kind of story I could tell to and about my own mother. You reminded me about how important my mother is to me. I’m lucky enough to have my mother here today. I think I will give her a call just to say thanks and I love you. Chelsea, thanks so much for the wonderful story about your mother.

  • Ariel Verissimo

    Dear Chelsea,
    I am a huge fan of yours, and I’ve loved you since you were on ‘GBB’. I didn’t know that you lost your Mom, until I read this blog. Knowing this now, I feel connected to you on a whole other level. I have loved you and your comedy for so long, because you are so incredibly real. The beautiful, loving words that you’ve shared about your Mom, is very much like how I feel about my Mom. I also lost my Mom, very suddenly, at 14 years old. It has made me a much stronger person, having lived through that tragedy; and seeing, like you, how many people my Mom had an impact on, and how loved she was.
    I have always thought you’d be an amazing party pal, but after reading this, I realize that you are probably a wonderful friend, with a huge heart. I’ve always wanted to meet you, but right now, all I want to do is give you a big hug, and say thank you Chelsea. So, thank you very much for sharing this extremely personal side of you. I know it’s not easy to talk about, no matter how much time has passed.
    Love always, one of your adoring fans,
    Ariel Verissimo

  • Nour Taha

    Reading these word made me almost wanna cry!!
    I just LOVE you !!
    Your amazing, funny, influential, and the best of your category.
    All I want to tell you is that, even if it doesn’t really matter to you, you’ve been a huge impact in my life…!!
    No matter how the word is turning upside down for me, your the first person I got to when I’m seeking for a smile on my face ..!!

    Thank You Chelsea … U’re always gonna be I’m My <3 :D

  • http://Facebook Anita

    Chelsea, that was a lovely tribute to your wonderful mother. I read it expecting to laugh, as you always make me do, and instead choked back a tear and felt grateful. Thanks for the many laughs, smiles and now, for the encouraging words …. couldn’t have come at a better time. Look me up when you come back to Indianapols, I’d love to drink some Belvedere with you! (exclamation intended, heehee) Peace and Love Sister :)

  • Amy

    This is wonderful. Tip of the hat to you, Ms. Handler – for turning your success into a humanitarian effort. Now you just need to start a book club and get them all reading good stuff!!!
    Need any recommendations? I’d be happy to help; I do promote and sell them for a living. And our store does carry your book. :)
    Kudos, Sister!

  • Allison Tuomala

    Amazing words of wisdom (:
    It gives us youngin’s a sense of hope for the future in whatever path we decide to pave for ourselves. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • Michael

    I watch the show, read all the books, tell others to watch and read and yet, this portrays a side of you that we rarely see. While we all know that nothing is off-limits in Chelsea’s world, this is a new glimpse of you beyond the funny side. It shows your thoughtfulness, compassion, wisdom and optimism. Thank you for sharing this side of you…Rita Handler done good raising you.

  • Soonie

    Chelsea, I love you.
    “You are an incredibly gifted person, in many ways. All avenues must be explored. Always remember this and stay true to your goals and above all, to your perfect little face.
    The world is waiting for you!”
    Definitely my favorite quote. You’re the best. I will see you this Friday at the Baltimore. =)

  • danielle

    Chelsea!! you are an amazing person; your mother raised you well!! i to have a mother who taught me that being original is the best way to be. and to anyways walk with my head held high!. you like my mother are my inspiration, the person i look up to! usually when i read an article you did or hear youu joke on your show im laughing so hard my stomache starts to hurt, but this time i had tears in my eyes and choked up. i thank you for being a role model to me and i thank your mother for raising such an awesome daughter;) loveyouu

  • Liz

    Thank You for sharing and the inspirational words. People like me need to hear this to work up the courage to take chances in life. THANK YOU

  • Stacey


    Your mother sounds like an amazing person. I’m sure she’s very proud of you. From one cancer survivor to the child of a patient, she was a fighter and clearly so are you. I watch your show religiously, every night and have read all of your books. Your an inspiration to women everywhere… You don’t care what people think, you don’t care what people say, you just say what you feel and don’t think twice about it. More women today need to be instilled with that kind of confidence.


  • Sharona Marcocci Moffatt

    Dear Chelsea,

    I hope you know what a totally awesome person you are, you are real and it shows!!! Your mom sounds like an amazing woman and mother, I’m so sorry that she’s no longer with you.
    You hardly ever hear anymore about oridinary people just being givers, simply helping and giving to others without an agenda. Those women are very hard to come by in todays world. Also, you ARE paving the way for women who want to speak their minds and not be afraid to be who they are. If I were your mom, I would be beaming with pride!!!! You are a beautiful, intelligent, amazing and a fearless woman who is making a difference!!! You are my all time favorite woman on TV, I can’t wait until you come to Tampa later this month, my mom and I will be there to cheer you on!!!

  • Damian X

    Chelsea, this is quite lovely and wonderful!!!

  • Jay

    Thank You Chelsea!!! You’re a true bright spot in this mostly dark world.

  • Dia Fa

    Enjoy the best times, regognize the worst, forget the material quest signs , eat the bratwurst. Family, Raza however spoken, work with science and cure will be the token. Our heart is connected in a god like way. When the Vodka Queen has spoken there is nothing left to say.

  • weddingangel

    Fabulous, Chelsea. Cheers !

  • Rosie

    Every time you speak of your mother it just makes me value mine more…and forget my ex stepmother even existed. I once heard a wise saying, “Do not follow the footsteps of the wise, but seek what they sought.” Your journey is one that I hope to make my own one day, only in a tone that is less blonde. As inspirational as you are it’s a wonder that there are still people who hide behind how they feel and can’t truly stand up for themselves.
    You have, and I will, thank you.

  • alan

    Chelsea, your tribute to your mom was beautiful. You finally showed a side of you that I knew you had,but have rarely shown. You are an incredible woman,and I admire you greatly. I would love to sit down with you over a belvedere, and get your autograph. I never miss your show, thank you for being you.

  • priyanka

    Thanks for writing that, Chelsea. You’re my inspiration. Keep on keepin’ on!

  • Sam Nutter

    Thanks girl! I really needed to hear this today! I look forward to seeing your show in November in Columbus, OH (yes, I unfortunately live here).

  • Amanda

    I am a really big Chelsea fan! It is nice to see where some of your inspiration comes from. I am the type of person who is honest,speaks my mind, and always tries to be myself. I have read 2 of the Chelsea books,seen some of GBB, and watch Chelsea Lately every night. She is very hilarious,outspoken, and has an oddball sense of humor at times. The only bad thing I’ve heard her comments on was Temple Grandin, who like me, has Aspbergers (high functioning Autism). I understand that Chelsea’s jokes are all in good fun in most aspects, but how can ya do that and be an autism advocate? It is important to be an empowered woman. I can’t wait for Chelsea to do a Cosmo cover, her column makes you wanna laugh your butt off. Keep up the great work!

  • katie

    chelsea, i am a HUGE fan… seriously your show is my daily dose of medicine i cannot live without. your sense of humor and silly language make me laugh out loud even when i’m alone. i have so much respect for you and the fact that you always say what you think. pretty sure i will be a fan of yours for life and hope to god i get to see you live someday! keep workin it girl. p.s. i named my new puppy “nugget” just for you hahaha.

  • Stacey Tanner King

    Chelsea,You are my kind of woman…I am very outspoken but compassionate! Life is about being yourself and not letting anyone trample your thinking!People are who they are….If people don’t like a certain topic or the way someone is..Then they have the choice to walk away!! I have been deleted from people’s friend lists because of my “Don’t give a shit” world! I love what you stand for,and that you STAND OUT!! You show women that it’s ok to be a woman w/ a VOICE! And I wouldn’t miss your voice each night for the world! <3

  • Tina

    Yep.. this is why I love Chelsea.. behind your sick, twisted and amazing sense of humor there is a root and true brilliance to what you have accomplished… I appreciate how you can be yourself and then some. It is really difficult for girls to be themselves these days.. I am raising a 7 year spunky sassy beauty and I am working hard everyday to “keep her real”… you have inspired me… Thank you. Sincerely…..

  • http://FB Ann Stedtfeld Liggins

    You inspire me everyday at 08:00PM Las Vegas time, just by making me laugh!!! Hope to see you someday live here in Vegas…LUVS TO YA

  • Thomas Richmond

    Dear Chelsea….

    I watch your show ritually and cant miss it or i would go blind. :)

    The rawness of your style and the insperational way you handle things like you do , comady,scarcasm,wit,.. your a very brainy girl with a georgious body…:)

    Thank you for this opportunity to speak my mind about how wonderful a lady you really are.. and you are! You rock my world sweety , keep it up! i know i will. :)

    With a sincere gratitude-
    Thomas Richmond :)

  • Ce Davis

    Just wanted to let you know how much i appreceated reading your blog. It was a totally other side of you that I’ve never seen, as far as TV goes. It was very touching.

    Also wanted to tell you what a HUGE fan I am of yours! I drove to Raleigh, NC to see ur stand up show and to have you sign my Kindle, and when I got there, I realized my Kindle was back @ home in Chas, SC. Saw the show, and it KICKED ASS!!!! You are Awesome!!! Now, this wknd, ur gonna be in Charlotte, NC. I’ll be in Asheville, but am going to swing thru to ur book signing, on my way home, to get my Kindle signed!!!

    Please, don’t ever go off the air!!!!!

    Charleston, SC

  • sheila v

    YOu make my days because you are always honest to yourself and to those that you talk to or about….love your show hope to see you if and when have a show near north alabama…….thanks for being real….sheila

  • Josie

    There are too few female comics, and not enough of them are funny. You are immensely entertaining and I look forward to seeing you live in St. Louis. Thanks for the laughs, the books, the show, and sharing your family stories with your fans.

  • Katie

    My mom just passed away a little less than a month ago from Ovarian Cancer. Reading what you have written about your mom reminds me a lot of what my mom has always taught me: Be true to yourself. Have courage. Tell your family and friends you love them. And if you are going to curse, do it proudly.
    She loved your show. The first time I watched your show was with her a few years ago. She read your books and loved them. She would have been really inspired to read this post.
    I am a lesbian woman and the strength I find in my day to day life was from my mom. She was always proud of me even when I wasn’t very proud of myself. I am getting married to my partner in May of 2012 and I really wish my mom would be there. I’m sure she will be there in the spirit of all my family members whose lives she has touched.

    Thank you for this post. Thank you for being yourself. The world needs more people who stand up for what they believe in.

    Katie E.

  • Rebecca Barnes

    Thank You Chelsea.

  • Tara

    Very inspiring words. I’ve often thought that of all my gifts so far, my vagina has brought me the greatest adventure and rewards. I feel at home with your comedy but I do get a little hung up when you refer to your staff members as “retard”.

    I know comedy is an equal opportunity offender but my sister has mild retardation and it stings a little when you use the “r” word. Am sure it bothers only me rather than her as she does not consider herself as a “retard”.
    Not intended to attack you; since you are so honest perhaps you could help me feel OK about liking you while having a sister with an intellectual disability.?

  • http://nothingspecial John M DiMase

    You are amazing, and do your mother proud. My mother hung herself when I was 17, adn the things that keep you going, keep me going as well. Dont worry, my father is a huge bag of douche as well!
    I just want to give you a gigantic high hive, pretend its still cool to give high fives, and slug down this bacardi and coke.
    In your honor, in my mothers honor, in your nuggets’ honor, I salute you, me, us, and everyone.

  • layne robbins

    Wow I am speachless my mother knew your mom and dad and she was always so kind to me I tithink she always knew that I was struggeling with a lot at my age then my dad moved usto calif.
    A justment for me was very difficult and I always remembered your momtelling me to believe in myself and follow my heart and I would be okay and. She was right but what you shared was so moving I had to stop and start again I was in tears she was just a neighbor to us but you had so much more as her daughter I understand now what she said to just a kid in the neighborhood those whose lives she touched was something I will always remember what she said to me and thank you for sharing those very private insights into the kind and gentle women she was

  • Bonnie Wallace

    Very appropriate post! Enlighting an especially as Oct 12th was my mothers Bday!…”Always use what your mother taught you!” :)

  • Shawn Joseph

    That is so true what I just read…a lot of people are scared to be themselves or even grow because of what their friends will think…I would hate to look back years from now and think what I could have done…my mother isn’t here also…but she raised my sister and I to be individuals. To take lifes challenges and we will. I can see the incredible woman your mom is through you Chelsea….

  • http://Yahoo Ly Licare-Johnston

    Chelsea,where have you been all this time?!In this knotted up,twisted,greedy,ass backwards,stressed,sugarcoat everything and then eat it,oh,don’t say that world,we’re going to NEED a whole hell of ALOT more Chelsea Handlers(or mini Chelseas in training)!!!!!!!!!!While your”Keeping it Real”(with your honest I don’t give a shit sense of humor)the haters are sippin on their hateaid wishing they could be half as carefree,funny,and happy as you are!!!!!!You must love to be you and if not we love that your YOU….Keep on Keepin it Real Chelsea!!!!!!!!!We love you!!!!!!!!!

  • Ralph

    I love your show and watch it every night. Being from NJ myself it’s good to see someone on TV, that while funny, doesn’t act like a total moron like some of the other shows that announce their from NJ. Very nice words about your Mom, she must have been a great person. Keep up the good work.

  • Kathy sclafani

    Chelsea (doubtful/hopeful that you will ever read this,)
    After reading this, I find myself more impressed with you as a human being than I was before. You bring humor to an otherwise mundane life, but credit the woman who inspired u to do so with such eloquence and realism. I love that u are not afraid to show that side of yourself that your mother fostered in you. I am quite the same actually. Thank you!!

  • janet

    Thank you for sharing your gift with us Chelsea!

  • turtle

    What an amazing MOM!!!!!!!

  • Jake

    Im so proud and happy to see that its NOT all about comedy. saw ur Catie Courric interview and you were talking about possibaly in the far far future getting your own hour long nghtly segment which will dive into more intense and IMPORTANT topics in this world rather than lindsays hoo hoo… haha i love you for this and keep changing the world chels.

    your number one fan, been to your shows. waved at you boo ya

  • JoAnne

    And that’s why we love you!

  • Carissa

    I LOVE you! This just made me cry!

  • andreq robbins

    Chelsea your tribue to your mother brought tears to my eyes and a left a smile in my heart she left you with the greatest gifts of all your ability to make others laugh and to do that with the wit of humour and honesty combined I am hoping to get a chance to geta chance to see your show tape.I just got back home a little bit different. Then when I left to serve my countryglad to be on american soil.
    Your shows helped my recovery go by quicker I guess.lafter is the best medicine again thank you for sharing your mom with others it keeps me believing.that people on television are. A rare breed when they keep it real.thank you from the bottom of my heart. I thought I had left my heart in the. Desert you showed me it has been with me all the time.
    is the best medicine

  • Hope

    This is the first time I’ve really ever heard you say anything about your mother. And I’m sure your she’s looking down on you from heaven with a HUGE smile on her face! I love that you don’t care what others think and you do what YOU want to do. If they don’t like it then it doesn’t even phase you. You’re such a great inspiration for all of your fans. :)

  • Tony Lemons

    Chelsea, I love your legs and overall your a beautiful woman, but if I watch your show I have to mute it. And trying to help by using ones fame is a good thing I guess,although I don’t know that it has really done much in the past. The jerry lewis telethon has been on for eons and people are still dropping with it. But it does give a few people who give and the stars who put on their best duds and prance around on the air something to feel all warm and gooshy about for a while.

  • http://facebook greg vavrik

    used to watch lopez but hooked you watch everynight you are funny and good looking to

  • Jenni

    You rock lady.

  • Tania

    Chelsea I absolutely love you and your show. You’re hilarious. I think it’s an admirable thing that you are doing. From what I’ve read, I can tell you that you resemble your mother. Thanks for encouraging others to use their gifts to touch another human being.

  • andreq robbins

    Chelsea you are very lucky to have had such a wonderful person in your life it is not many people that can say their lives were touched or charmed like yours has been you have chutzpa I will say that instead of what I was going to say not many of us are blessed like that I love your sense of humour that’s another gift you bring to the table I am waiting to here back about tickets to see your show tape but I know how backed up your taping schedual is thank somebody for keeping you on E I got lucky with my parents being so understanding and compasioate because I probably would not have made it without either of the keep doing what you are doing girl you too are an insperation

  • Dylan Overstolz


    You are one in a billion. I’ve been a fan of yours for the longest time, yet I never knew we had so much in common. I really have a lot of respect for you taking the time to show your love, and support not just for the communities of many, but also sharing the love and respect you have for your mother. I’ve always looked up to mine, she’s a wonderful person, and has touched many lives other than mine. I really hope I have aswell. I really hope life continues to get better for you, and I really hope I get an opportunity to see you in Los Angeles! :) Take care of yourself okay!

    Love you,

    Dylan Overstolz

  • Connie

    Chelsea you are a great inspiration. I too lost my mother and she instilled in me the same thing your mom did. I can totally relate to you. Everyone should practice being true to themselves and saying it like it is. No beating around the bush. Keep doing what you are doing. I wish your show was an hour long though. You rock. You must be a blast to hang with. Wish I had the chance to enjoy in the fun with you!!!

  • JON


    MUCH THANKS AND LOVE your gay stalker … HAHAHAHA


  • Hel

    Here is another reason I am a Chelsea fan. She is also an amazing woman.

  • http://facebook Loreto Wreath

    Ive been searching for this for a long time. I forgot to trust in me.. fuk everybody elses opinions and trust..thank you for confirming my awesomeness.. now i think im the shit.

  • Leslie Truman

    It sounds like you’re blaming you being an arrogant person on your mother being a giving person. (all of the ‘gifts’ you’ve realized should make chances for yourself??? Most who have achieved your level of ‘gifts’ usually like to help create chances for others) I’ve been a fan for a long time and have met you on several occasions. I know you give the people around you many blessings and keep them close, but to those outside of your circle (e.g. the rest of the world – including your fans) your arrogance is appalling. You’re quickly becoming the Tom Cruise of comedy.

  • Brandy

    I think that those of you posting negative comments about Chelsea’s thoughts on this project are just as bad as the bullies driving young people to commit suicide. She stepped out to write her feelings to help put an end to this evil and you are stirring the pot. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Chelsea, I am sure your Mother is proud of you. I am a huge fan of your individuality and humor. Thanks for taking time to post this. I am sure it will help many people. Life is a gift and we are ALL CREEATED EQUAL.

  • Becca

    Wow, this seriously inspired me.

    All the doubts I’ve been having on taking these risks to follow my dreams have been shattered and my hopes have been renewed. Thanks to you and, especially, thanks to your mother for raising such an inspirational and selfless daughter.

    Thank you, truly.

  • andreq robbins

    This is the second comment I had to read your story again and just wanted to add how. Awe struck I was by your words I am lucky to have been able to share this story with both my parents they were also touched by your words thank you for giving me that chance I am very thankfull that they were both still aroundf so I could share it with them

  • andrea robbins

    Dear chelsea I felt so touched by your story and I thank you for being so supportive in so many different ways that I had to comment a couple of times because I have shared your story with several key people in my familyfirst my folks and now my brother I have bever heard him be at a loss for words he’s a producer in the tv abd film industry the power rangers and a lot of other stuff since. He and saban old the fox family channel to disney and. Abc he does a lot of true stories the elian gonzales story. The menendez brothers etc any he was surprized and touch by your and Wondered why you have omly done this blog and not more with such atruely. Touching story either way I thank you for telling it because it was able to all my family and is now something we could share as a family thank you chelsea for fiving such a beautiful gift with my family

  • Cathy

    That was the first time you made tears come to my eyes and it wasn’t from laughing too hard. You are very talented and inspire me every day. Please keep making me laugh!

  • Albert Arredondo

    Chelsea you’re awesome, and it shows what a “bang’ up job your parents did in raising you! I love that you’re always willing to give to your guests’ charities. You should create your own reality game show where contestants compete not for your love but a chance to meet or be on the show, lol i have the whole concept down haha

  • Allison

    I love you Chelsea <3

  • Jen Shipley

    Your mom was beautiful. You look just like her. I’m glad I read this today. I tend to take my mother for granted. I forget that she won’t be here forever. And no matter how big of a f-up I am, my mom is still proud of me. How cool is that?

    Thanks for being such a cool chick Chelsea! The world needs more of us! ;)

  • rich dennis

    I guess your mom was beautiful too!

  • Alli Jane

    Chelsea-As I began reading this, I stopped to remember my mom. She passed when I was 16. Growing up with her was difficult- she drank like a fish and was riding me constantly to do this and do that–but wait DONT do that…she was a mean drunk, so I kept my distance. “Wear a nice dress for once, why don’t you want dolls? Be a lady!” She would say. Clothes shopping with her was a nightmare. But through it all I was learning, grasping and unconsciously learning from her.

    Not until her last 3 months of life did we truly connect on a personal level. I still never told her I was a freaky dyke, had a girlfriend- and that I had known for years that she was involved with this strange 4some with another couple that also had one girl. We were only a year apart and were the best of friends. We watched in the wings while glass after glass of vodka, whiskey, sambuka(sp?) and bourbon was poured– and in our early teens became their designated drivers. We would pull the lit cigarettes from their hands as they passed out and/or remove the glass of booze so it wouldn’t spill.
    She was a great teacher for special education and got her masters when i was a kid. I dont know how she did it all as an alcoholic, but she did. It was admirable. Then Hodgkins Disease entered her life in her late twenties…and with her spleen removed and tons of radiation she fought through it. Still teaching, years later she went to cooking school at night in NYC . She always took the time, no matter her alcohol problems to push me to be a more educated and informed person. She would give out our stuff to the underprivileged families and buy tons of her own school supplies for the kids. She taught me to read when I was three and pushed me in High School to keep my grades at A’s and B’s. At the time it was nothing short of annoying because I would have rather not get out of bed, masturbate all day and eat pints of haagen-daz….

    Her dream was to continue cooking school and start catering or start up a bed and breakfast with my father and myself- following her passions. But unfortunately lung and brain cancer returned with a vengeance the summer before my senior year in high school. For whatever reason I never came out to her…she passed away that same summer in late august. She was so sick yet spent a week at home and insisted I learn some of her favorite recipes. With oxygen up her nose and holding at 90 pounds, she led me around the kitchen and we made this wonderful beef bolognese sauce. I was so happy to spend that time with her and today I know that she, my father, my grandparents and aunt are all protecting me somehow. I dont believe in God, never did…but I find spiritual peace my own way.

    She inspired me not to drink (well, not every day!), not to EVER have a kid and to keep on cooking. To stay focused and driven and to stand up for those that can’t for themselves. Her amazing strength is inside me now and I strive on looking for the best in people, advocating for gay civil rights and helping rescue dogs in Arizona that would otherwise be euthanized just because they have no space. I dropped out of college to become a professional chef in circa 1995 and became quite like my mother—very vocal, over bearing at times, depressed and manic. I had a natural feeling that cooking is love- and that that needs to be spread around. So I just made my own pathway through the cooking scene. I did it because it makes me happy- too cook, to teach others to cook and to run a huge kitchen brigade.

    Her death brought my dad down to all time lows….he sold/drank EVERYTHING! I was Daddys little tomboy. He never missed my softball games, sailboat races, ski races…whatever it was – he was involved. So once it got to a “bottom” as they say- he got clean. We would reminisce about her and the times we did spend as a family- mostly all of the glue that held my family together was held by my mother, strong and steady. So you can imagine that holidays and other events where we would gather as a family with her delicious food were never again. It made it all that harder for me because none of our small family ever got together much ever again. I left town to go to college in ’93 and to escape. Dad went back to the bottle.

    Reflecting on her life and strengths and accomplishments drives me to be what I am today- a proud lesbian, a bitch and a great cook. I do work with the HRC and also help push the medical marijuana bills where they pop up. People that don’t empower themselves from past experiences, good or bad are just in weakness. If you are reading this, lost someone close to you–pick yourself up, be strong and carry out something in their honor or for yourself…just do it and dont stop trying if u fail. Pick yourself up and carry on. I got my father to get clean eventually. He was loving life and finally not mourning my moms death that had been 8 or so years prior. He moved to Massachusetts to be close to friends and closer to me as I was in Providence, RI. With just over one year clean he was diagnosed w stage 4 lung cancer. On his hospital bed, dying we asked him if he wanted some scotch…but he held his AA coin and said no- I want chocolate ice cream. He was wide awake for a day, we watched football in the hospital- ate jello and talked a lot. A few days later the pain was so bad he slipped into morphine land and I held that cord to press the morphine bolus button every half hour….i prayed for the first time – so that he could die and be out of pain. Got that prayer answered in 30 minutes.
    All you can do with death is hold on to the core values and strengths that your parents instilled inside you- and keep fond memories. At first it doesnt seem possible, but time passes and you have to go on, you have to create new memories. My mothers great drive and strength will always be with me–as will the kind-heartedness and adventurous obsessions I learned from my dad.

    Sorry this is long, oops- i type faster than rabbits fuck. Cheers Chelsea! Thank you for the post and your book this year. Saw you live in Phoenix too—loved the masturbation piece you did..think ya had a couple nice Beldevere Martinis before coming on! Good luck with your show–and getting a better show. I want to see you pull off a Bill Mahr type of thing…you are too smart to be ragging on Snookie all the time. I love Joe Koy and Russ and Whitney…they make for great round-tables! Keep up the good work on gay rights—and thank you. Allison***

  • Paola

    You’re such a beautiful person, Chelsea, inside and outside. such an inspiration.

  • Taylor

    This is why I love you. People that just tune in every now and then don’t know this side of you. You’re such an inspiration and your mom was absolutely beautiful. I’ll forever be a fan of yours.

  • Megan

    I agree with everything you say, Chelsea. A few years ago I was diagnosed with minor depression and my mother told me (after she had five children) she asked God if she should have another child, and apparently, He told her yes. In this sense she believes I am here for a reason and I am special. Well I really don’t think so. I know I’m still young but I really can’t figure out what I’m here for or what “gift” I have.

    You are my idol, you are such an amazing and talented woman. I’m reading your book currently and you seriously make me crack up. Hahaha I can’t wait for you to come to Pittsburgh, pa Dec.4th –I’ll be there!

    Love ya girl,

  • sarah

    I don’t know if you read these comments, but I really was touched by your writing! I have been going through an incredibly difficult divorce, and sometimes the only time I laugh during the day is when I tune into CHELSEA LATELY at 11 pm. I really want to thank you for that – so… I hereby give you ‘my blessing’ (aahh ahhh – that was the angel singing noise). Keep it up strong sister! You make many people smile.

  • Unique-Wove Pike

    Where did you come from!!!!!!!? Absolutly love the picture of you, reminds me of a special movie Hmmmmm;-P I AM is awesome and wish I could have known your mom!!!!!!!!

  • Erin

    Hi Chelsea. I’ve been a fan for years and think you’re hilarious, but it’s nice to see something real and heartfelt from you.

    (And as a side note, I hope you’re as amused about the grammatical errors in some of these crazy comments as I am.)

    Keep it up. :)

  • lisa connolly

    I have never been a fan of anyone ( including my offspring!), but i am a fan of you and my mother who sounds quite similar to yours. In college i had a Mormon phase ( I think I thought it would be easier than AA and it was easy to be the hot chick in Relief Society). My family couldn’t understand why i couldn’t just get addicted to coke like a normal girl….BUT I know how clannish the Mormons can be to outsiders.I had many moms worry I was going to taint their son’s chances of a succesful mission. Have you ever thought about writing about how your parents came together from such diverse backgrounds? I find that fascinating after my experience. Personally, I am back to being a bad Catholic, but I bet there is a GREAT love story that is also funny as well where the Handlers hooked up.

  • Phil Reid

    Love you gf.

  • http://RheeSlaton(onFB) Rhee

    Woman this is the first time you have made my cry & not like laughing so hard I peed myself a little & crid! You are the #1 & many times only time of day that I get to laugh! I lost mine early too, so I can say I totaly get what you mean! God bless you! I just love ya your my daily escape from a harsh reality!

  • Michelle

    I want to be great. My goal, finish nursing school and join the peace corps. I want to be something great too.

  • Suzie Castillo

    Chelsea, these are truly words to live by and you are your moms living example of it. Not much else to say!

  • barbie

    you go girl… mom sounds like heck of a woman and she’s an angel.

  • ernest

    You better check out your boy 5o to see if he’s = some of his comments and the blip in Instinct Magazine has him in a very bad light…….get it together grill. Don’t just talk the talk……NOT TOO COOL

  • Amber

    Words of wisdom. I’ve enjoyed all your books, your television show and had a blast seeing you live in AC this summer!!! Thanks Chelsea for sharing your experiences as well as your life with the world. Keep on keepin’ on girl! You crack me up! <3

  • Jeff

    Hello Chelsea,
    Great Mom story. Sounds exactly like mine. Where the hell did these women come from?
    In any case, I watch your show nightly, EXCELLENT! Your round table people are great, nice find. Just finished your first book. I’m looking forward to reading the other two. Nice way to fall asleep, laughing! I would like to make one comment and please don’t take it wrong. I think you’re a beautiful woman both inside and out but I gotta say, whoever is dressing you for the show just doesn’t get it. Every once in a while it seems like they hit it right but for the most part I cringe a little. I can think of lots of other things, mainly tops, that would be much more flattering for you. Hey, what the heck do I know? I’m a 50 year old guy who just happens to know how to dress a woman and I’m not even gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that. In any case keep up the great work, don’t let ‘em get you down. Now…let’s take a little 420 break.

  • Melissa Jones

    Chelsea. You r a very gifted chick. Thanks for sharing. Your bold steps are a testimony of LIFE. I live for your ballsy one liners. Your funny in your spirit. Your LIGHT is radiating. Keep shining my friend.

  • http://charlesrandolph@facebook,com david

    i love you chelsea, i have worked with more animals than Salmoni! i think you are gorgeous and i watch your show every night! you are so clever and funny as well!! then, of course there is chuy; would he be with us on a date? anyway i think you are the HOTTEST!!!! i loves my chelsea!!!!!!!!! david

  • Richard

    But isnt Chelsea not dating the homophobic ass 50 CENT? She shouldnt be featured.

  • Rafael Z Bustos

    Girl! You’ve influenced my life in many ways beyond believe…I stay up every night to see your show, in a way it’s my time to unwind and be human…I love you, and please know that you’ve touched me and my life and make my nights a lot more enjoyable, and my fligts more fun…I read your latest book on s flight to Paris, it was so fun that on the way back I had to read it again…Thank you for supporting the many causes that you do, that makes you human =] in particular, thank you for being so kind to your “Gays” I know you know how much we love ya!

  • Dave

    You are a breath of fresh air. Other so called comedians let producers write their materials and perform like puppets. You’re direct and bring laughter from everyone you meet I’m sure. Stay hot, funny, and direct.

  • Pam Lucas

    Chelsea, “GurL”… I just love yah!

  • Patty

    I love your authenticity.

  • Don Taylor

    HEY Chelsea, I heard you own the term BANG BANG…..Well Girlfriend… I was at the Cheesecake factory and they have used Bang Bang on there menu….Bang Bang Chicken… I want 10% Sister….LOL! Love you Much, Don Taylor Palm Springs, Ca Come Visit !!

  • Abby Schmierer

    One of the best actions, we can take, with courage, is to relax.
    I am proud of you Chelsea Handler. I enjoy your words. I look forward to your next hard copy.

  • Mike Ramos

    Chelsea, I work at the aiport in San Diego, you are always funny. I always laugh every time I watch your cho (in no way related to Margaret, I’m just trying to seembutthighs with Chuey, I’m Mexican too!!) Anyways the airport is always full of people making faces and I think you would make a lovely baggage Handler!!

  • Lauren

    Man Chelsea, Your fans are fuckin nuts^^^ but so are you so I guess it fits. Didn’t really know much about you until picking up your book about the one night stands. And now I’m a fan. So save some space in the nut house k?

  • arrivulblu

    good gracious, what a bunch of a_ _ kissers-and most can’t write you a quick bit or add an o to too when used. Me-one hand, gay-NOT A DYKE OR LIPSTICK GAL-molested by paternal grandfather from 3-11, eventually raped @ 11. Writer-degree in education-elementary-10 yrs.-too political-loved my kids/students-how can I get my foot in the door/ oh and bi-polar, genetically since 23-now 39-like the show..blah,blah..

  • Donte Silas

    That was really awesome + inspirational I’m going through a lot right now and you you said everything I need to hear to lift my spirits. I love you Ms Handler you. Through your Comedy and words you make me feel OK to be in my own skin.

  • JillyB

    Chelsea Handler, your my hero… <3

  • Paris

    I loved Chelsea before, but I love her so much more now. Chelsea is my hero too. And I love this. It’s so amazing and heartfelt.

  • KT Martin

    Chelsea, you rock! I lost both my parents to cancer and they were both such beautiful people who treated everyone equally. I support your cause..

  • Michele Jaime

    Simply beautiful…just like you and your mother.

  • Ntaha

    That is AH-mazing!
    Love you Chelsea :D

  • Melissa Blake


    I watch you every night. I think you are the best. You take no prisoners and you speak your mind, I am the same way. I am so glad that you’re on TV, and might I add, the ONLY woman on late night TV programing. I am very proud that you are doing so well in your career, now if I could find a job we would be great!! Thanks for making me laugh.

    Melissa Blake

  • Lauren M.

    I love this – read it sometime back and it just popped up again on FB. Love it – it’s incredibly touching and eloquently written! Printing it out again to have whenever!

  • Yania Vilarino

    Chelsea, you inspire me in so many ways, & you put a smile on my face when no one else can. I hope i meet you day, thats my goal (: <3

  • http://Facebook Paula

    This was very touching, thank you for sharing. I love your charm, whit, and insight.
    I am also inspired by a strong & loving woman-my dear grandmother. I miss her everyday, but know that I do my best to make her proud. The power of just one person can be never ending! :)

  • Yania Vilarino

    Chelsea, you inspire me in so many ways, & you put a smile on my face when no one else can. I hope i meet you one day, thats my goal (: <3

  • http://Facebook dyan smith


  • Debbie Joy

    I absolutely love what you wrote about your mom.She sees what you are doing,girl! She’s always with you and is truly your guardian angel.Keep going,as you touch others too! Love you.

  • Ken Killam

    Equal without equal, Chelsea.

  • http://att jeffery franklin

    that was beautiful about your mother

  • Jess

    I have always loved Chelsea, and now i love her 20 times more. It is so inspiring to read this. Thank you Chelsea for sharing your story. :)

  • Venice DelMonte

    I have always loved your brazen sassiness, but reading this only solidifies my connection to you. I too, lost my mom too early. I was 25. She passed away at 53. I miss her so much but want to thank you girlfriend for sharing what I needed to hear! Life is about taking chances…Thank you for the reminder!
    Can’t wait to meet you in person!

  • Mike Ramos

    Hello Miss Handler, I mean Miss Israel I didn’t know you liked Dearfoams Slippers, I just bought a pair at Gwalmar (Wal_Mart in Amurraycan). I’m Mexican and if I could cook I would make you some chosen food. Why chosen? Because you chose it and I make it for you…

  • jose linares

    hey chels love your show. we could only wish for an after life to be again with all our loved ones.see on the tube.

  • Leasha Brinkley

    wow’when I read the first two sentences I was hooked, I knew that what I was about to read, was gonna be an awesome inspiration” and it was,Chelsea” you have said it all” our Mothers should be respectfuly appriciated” always” and soo many times they are not.. sadly..’you are a awesome inspiration” I just want to say my mom is my everything, and I dont know how I will handle it when she is gone” all I know right now is I will appriciate and be thankful for everyday that she is here on earth with me now” On the evening of march 1 2011, this year, opon arriving to my mothers house she was coughing,gasping,weak and on the floor, not looking well, I called for an ambulance, after arriving at the hosp, she was given a breathing treatment she was put on oxegen and unable to breath on her own, [keep in mind she doesnt smoke]before leaving the next morning I was told, she had heart failure, kidney failure, her lungs were not producing oxegen at all, she was barely awake”for the next 30 days she had to stay on oxegen to stay alive” she was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus[swine flu] it was one of the scariest things that ever happened in my life”so you know what I did? I prayed and prayed, I went to the church the following morning after she was admitted,I had a pastor go out to the hosp twice”on april 1,2011 she was released” and to my house I brung her; I would not have it any other way right now,,when she left the hosp everything I mentioned wrong with her was better” crazy as it is”I asked ‘God please dont take my mom right now”I promise I with try to make her life better” And thats one of the stories of my life! I appriciate every day, and thank God that she is still here with me..


I live with my parents and I’m 29 years old. Salt lake city is my hometown and I have three pugs.

I have downs syndrome. Sometimes people been teasing me cause I look different. I went to many schools. I was vulnerable and it would make people want to tease me when I was in school. One time a boy spitted on me on my glasses. Another time a girl pinched me hard on the shoulder and it hurt. And other students would call me slow. And when people do these things it kind of makes me a little sad and hurt.

I love my family and they are precious to me. I like to go to the movies with my brothers and listen to my favorite singer Taylor Hicks. I’m happy...  » READ MORE «