Critics unimpressed with VMA's Chelsea Handler
September 13th, 2010
11:52 AM ET

Critics unimpressed with VMA's Chelsea Handler

Hopefully Chelsea Handler will have a sense of humor when she reads the reviews of her VMA hosting gig.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the comedian and E! talk show host was raked over the coals for her MTV stint, with the New York Times describing her as being "among the worst [hosts] in the show's history."

Though the Times called Handler's "Chelsea Lately" show "consistently hilarious," her VMA appearance was no laughing matter. "Here, she never looked comfortable, undone by nerves, brittle material, and the wattage of those around her," said the newspaper, which critiqued her as being "purposefully out-of-touch, with brief, alarming flashes of off-color racial humor."

Meanwhile, the Washington Post declared that Handler's opening monologue consisted of "a string of flat punch lines that felt a few degrees below crass," and Entertainment Weekly felt she was too Paint-by-Numbers, deeming one of her Kanye West jokes "edgy-but-boring."

Not surprisingly, a Facebook campaign is underway to secure a new host for next year's show – and no, it's not Betty White. A devoted Kathy Griffin fan wants to see the "My Life on the D-List" star on the MTV stage.

"Lets be honest... Who better to narrate the night for which a lot of her stand up material generates?" the fan writes on the Kathy Griffin for 2011 VMA Host Facebook page. "On top of that, she will provide the commentary that will save the show from Miley's and Bieber's appearances."

While Griffin, 49, gives the campaign a plug on her Twitter page, she also makes it clear she enjoyed Handler's turn as host. "@Chelseahandler cracking me up & lookin like shes havin fun," she tweeted.

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Filed under: Celebrities • MTV VMAs • television

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Jay

    I'm under 50, have watched her show and do not find her funny at all. She is crass to say the least. I saw one show were questions were asked that were just disgusting. Sarah Silverman is even worse. Neither will ever be a Betty White, a woman with real talent for comedy.

    September 17, 2010 at 5:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. Samantha

    If you don't think Chelsea is funny on her talk show then you are probably over 50 years old and advertisers don't much care about you anyway. find a channel that advertisers advertise adult diapers. Chelsea is hilarious.

    September 16, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sheena

    Wow, a lot of different reviews about her. lol Well, I love her. She is hilarious! Not everyone has the same sense of humor. She was asked to host because she is one of the most popular comedians out there right now. Her show does very well, she has 3 published books...#1 best sellers and has been on a huge comedy tour the last 9 months. Hosting the Vma's wasn't her best gig. She had a few moments where you could tell she was uncomfortable and although I laughed throughout the awards, i usually laugh harder when its Chelsea throwin' out the jokes. Overall, she did fine considering all the pressure everyone put on her for being the first womanin 11 yrs to host it. By the way, it had the best ratings since 2002. Not too shabby. Rock on Chelsea! There are obviously more people out there that like her than dislike her.

    September 16, 2010 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. FangerBanger


    September 14, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. Raving Lunatic

    She's definitely an acquired taste when it comes to her "comedy". I don't think she's funny at all but, she does give a great BJ.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. Donna

    I thought the jokes were amatuerish and like she tried too much to impress. She didn’t even seem comfortable in the delivery of her hosting responsibilities.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Air Boddie 23

    A duh great question. Its weird to not see videos be as important as they used to be. Im starting to miss Carson Daly.

    September 14, 2010 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. James

    I'm a fan of Chelsea Lately, and I wasn't going to watch the VMAS this year, until I heard Chelsea was hosting. And I have to say, Chelsea really didn't do that great of a job. I was expecting so much more from her, her digs at Bieber were funny, but that's about it. Like someone mentioned before her, I think her humor really works for her late show and plus she has a roundtable to work from. She is basically that popular girl who gets laugh for making fun of everyone and putting them down. Which she does alot of during the roundtable, not only to celebrities but to the comedians. Do I still find her funny? Sure. But it only works in her show.

    September 13, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pesty

    She seemed out of place,not comfortable.She is good on her show but not last night boo,hoo,hoo

    September 13, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mixy

    Whos the black dude in the picture above??

    September 13, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Air Boddie 23

    She was horrible. At least she looked good.

    September 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Shandara Pryor

    Shes's only 35!?!?! My lord. No offense, but she looks MUCH older than 35. That must be a typo.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      She's an alcoholic and most likely a drug addict. It tends to age you.

      September 13, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. A duh

    Chelsea's show is great... I watch it every night. But it is generally the comedians she has on the roundtable that provide the majority of laughs. She is just "ok" on her show, and was just as mediocre as host of the VMAs.

    On a side note, how does anyone in the audience even know these videos? I haven't seen a video on MTV in about a decade.

    September 13, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tyler

    Daniel TOSH!!!!!

    September 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Michael in PA

    I'ma Chelsea Handler fan and watch her show every night but...She was "out of her element" and yes, she looked, acted and sounded nervous. Much worse then when she appears on Leno but again, I enjoy her show and the humor she displays on it! It's like that painful "Comedians of Chelsea Lately" show – while those comedians are often very funny on her show, alone on stage (one at a time).....they are forgetable and painful at times to watch.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  16. beenz

    Remember - VMA stands for VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS. When was the last time MTV showed a video? A concert? This show peaked in the 90's. This show needs to be put an old dog.

    On the other hand... love Chelsea's regular show.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  17. the one

    Her performance was really weak but I have yet to see Handler be anything more. Seems like her fans are quite undemanding. Joan Rivers is 1 million times better.. come to think of it so is Melissa Rivers

    September 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  18. jimbo84

    She was definitely in over her head and out of her element. poor choice to host this event.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Armi Pagan

    Regardless of what the critics rated or thought, Chelsea gave me what I needed for the night! Props to ya!


    September 13, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Alicia

    I don't get it. EVERY black host in previous VMA's has made jokes about non-blacks. Look at Kanye's actions towards Swift last year. If it were the other way around, racially, the race card would have been thrown out immediately. Handler was funny, and her jokes were JOKES. They were not politically motivated observations on life. Get over it, and stop expecting political correctness EVERYWHERE.

    September 13, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Jon

    I don't think Chelsea was solely to blame for such a horrible show. Performances were lack luster, the nominations were questionable, the "artists" that attended are at best b-listers, heck the camera men didn't even know when to zoom in and out. This is by far the worst Vma in a very long time. I can't really say it wors ever since I haven't seen all the vintage Vma but I'm pretty sure this year's Vma is easily on the top five worst ever. Where are the dancing performances with snakes? The girl on girl kiss? The surprise performances? Jimmy fallon's growing Enrique Eglasias' mole? I really think that this years vma depended on performances that wasn't vma worthy and lady gaga's crazy costume changes. It just felt very lazzy to me.

    September 13, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Music Lover

    Who cares what 'Critics' have to say?? Who the f* are 'Critics' anyway?Chelsea Handler was the reason I watched VMA last nite. I don't give a f* about VMA but watched it just to laugh with my girl Chelsea Handler. If you don't like her then don't watch it. I watch her show every nite on E!... One more thing, she doesn't give a f* if you like her or not, because she's making a lot of money and you guys don't... Like Chelsea always says on her show: Shut your face!! Go Chelsea!!

    September 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      "She's making money and you're not" is a terrible 'insult'. Wh@res make good money. Should we be jealous?

      September 13, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  23. zivo24

    I love Chelsea to death...think her show is BY FAR the best late night talk show going, putting Letterman, Leno, Conan and everyone else to shame...but even I have to admit that she didn't seem totally in her element last night.

    Will I hold it against her? HELL NO!

    I'll be watching her again tonight.

    September 13, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheree

      Thank Goodness! Best late night show! too many hater's around, People on her r crazy, I mean Russell Brand sucked as host, not her

      September 13, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Russell Brand is talentless trash who needs to go back to England. He can take Katy Perry with him.

      September 13, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Ken

    Chelsea isn't funny at all. In fact, her humor is more bad natured than satirical. Kathy Griffin is better at it because she takes the POV of an outsider looking in. Chelsea acts more like an insider looking down. She's a head cheerleader making fun of the Math club. That's why she's so crass and juvenile. Just because she's the flavor of the month doesn't mean she's any good. Just ask Dane Cook.

    September 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  25. LINDA

    Chelsea was terrible and she couldn't even walk in those high heels. I like her show but this wasn't right for her.

    September 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Josh

    Chelsea was herself at the VMAs.. I actually thought MTV would sensor her a bit more, but im glad they didnt.. All the material she brought was very similar to what she delivers on her show on E! However next year there will be another host and why not Kathy Griffin? She is funny as heck, I just saw her live at the playhouse square in Cleveland last saturday. But back to Chelsea, she carried the show well and I think she is so risky with her jokes that many in the crowd may have felt like (OMG did she say that) lol but the reality is, Thats Chelsea!

    September 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheree

      yeah, I think u r right, Maybe that is why some of her funny jokes went flat! soo true They were like ( OMG did she say that )
      Kathy is Funny too, Just want Chelsea to host again 🙂

      September 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Cheree goes Bimbo

    As stated by the review... her jokes were always just a few degrees below crass. I guess junior-high school music deserves junior-high school humor. Give me the Grammy's any day.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Corey

    Let's face it. MTV should just stop this awards show already. The mega stars don't even turn up and as they panned the audience it didn't appear that ANY of the artists really wanted to be in attendance. Hell, Eminem left right after his performance. Chelsea Handler is generally a very funny lady, however, she didn't seem very comfortable hosting the show. I was hoping for more from her. I don't think it would really matter who hosts the show anymore. It's a waste of time and energy. MTV is a has been cable channel. It's almost a liability for an artist to appear on this crapfest.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Right on, Corey. MTV *is* a has-been channel. And what was up with the mouseketeer DJ and the on-air advertising during the show????? Sheer corporate desperation. Not a good sign.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Exactly right. MTV hasn't been interesting in about 10 years or so. They need to change the name. It hasn't been about music for about that length of time. Same goes for VH1.

      September 13, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Haha

    Chelsea was a train wreck, she is as lame as it gets. No wonder the retards defending her here post illiterate crap like "leave her ALONG" (ever heard of "alone," moron?) and "Critic's unimpressed & they want Crazy Kathy Griffin what!!!!!!!"
    It takes such complete idiots to like a loser like Chelsea.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • bookem

      haha= no sense of humor and glad your not a chelsea fan, and srry your life sucks so much that you cant enjoy a laugh from a good comedian, did i SPELL everything ok for (u) weeeeeeeeeeeee

      September 13, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  30. 2cents

    Chelsea Handler, first female host in over a decade. Chelsea handler, ruined it for a female host for the next decade.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheree goes Bimbo

      Amen, brother!

      September 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • rachelarbeit

      She was obviously nervous/uncomfortable. If she was indeed high, which is certainly a likely case, she shoulda waited to indulge in drugs til after the show.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  31. kloud

    U all need to put a pipe in it...

    September 13, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  32. larry dodd

    i was not sure about chelsea until now. now it shows that she grew up in compton or watts and she needs to stay home

    September 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Cheree

    I really don't know where this crap is comming from, She was great as always!!!!! , Funny n Witty! The best host that I can remember! Much better than Russell Brand! I watched the whole thing and laughed! She did not seem uncomfortable & her jokes were funny! Haters, haters I say! Critic's unimpressed & they want Crazy Kathy Griffin what!!!!!!! Come On Chelsea was Great!!!!!!

    September 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  34. charb

    When has Chelsea Handler ever been funny??? The New York Times previous support of her was ridiculous and clearly fixed. She's another girl who slept her way in the door – and has always been below crass and just plain annoying to listen to. Her humor (or lack ther of) remains in that narrow box never quite gaining any ground. What's funny about her.... is that she actually thinks she is soooooo funny.
    Sarah Silverman, another girl who slept her way into the business for a show. It's so pathetic – What do you expect people? Bring us some real talent, and maybe this problem won't continue to erupt when comes time to host an awards show.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheree

      She is funny everynight on her show that gets a million veiwers! Must take smart people to get her Humor & Slept her way what????? She worked hard to get where she is, from Girls Behaving badly & even working on other late shows! She was Funny last night, best host I can ever remember! I do hate Sarah Silverman though : )

      September 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • danny mau

      not funny,wow,you really dont have a sense of humor then. we watch her everynite and enjoy a great 1/2 hr of laughs b4 bed. ty chelsea and keep up the good work. dont pay any attention to these people who dont know good humor

      September 13, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • zivo24

      Well, first of all...unfunny comedians don't get their own shows, or have NY Times #1 best-selling books.

      Obviously, lots of people think she's pretty damned funny because her show is phenomenally successful, her tour dates sell out and she just came in near the top of the list of the highest earning comics.

      It sounds like YOU don't get her humor but alot of other people do, which suggests that you're probably not much fun to be around.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Stephen

    Leave chelsea along. It is not her fault that everyone was in line. I blame kanye west and the rest for not making fools of themselves. This is MTV. It is not about the music anymore, it is about the drama. And no drama and they crap on the host. Unfair.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheree

      Amem!!!! Lada Gaga wore a meat suit & the Jersey people were orange & they talk crap about the Funny, Smart, witty, Beautiful host!!!

      September 13, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheree

      Amem!!!! Lada Gaga wore a meat suit & the Jersey people were orange & they talk crap about the witty host!

      September 13, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • DimeDiva

      Chelsea Handler was basically told to peddle girl scout cookies at a weight watchers meeting, I mean it was so easy. She was surrounded by walking punchlines! Then again Jimmy Fallon was worse so I guess its not all bad.

      September 14, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |

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