A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this irreverent talk/comedy show won a Teen Choice Award for Best Late-Night Talk Show in 2009, which means it's popular with plenty of teens. But that doesn't mean it's the best choice for high-schoolers in terms of content. The show gets a lot of its entertainment value from an arsenal of off-color jokes, many of them sexual in nature, and includes some bleeped swearing ("f--k" and "s--t") as well as audible words like "ass," "slut," and "dirty little bitch." Comics also poke fun at serious subjects like drug and alcohol abuse, stalking, and sexually transmitted diseases, which makes it an iffy choice for kids under 14. Note: Most teens who watch late-night shows like this check them out on a "time-shift" basis via DVR or online clips, rather than at the original 11:30 p.m.-or-later air time -- which is better for their sleep habits!
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What's the story?
Comedian Chelsea Handler takes the reins of her own late-night talk show in CHELSEA LATELY, a nightly half-hour program that finds her chatting up celebrities and discussing pop culture news with an ever-rotating round table of guest comedians. Her diminutive assistant/sidekick, Chuy Bravo, usually joins her on stage and contributes the occasional one-liner to the conversation. Regular segments include "Things You Can Do With Vodka" and "Fat Ass Baby," as well as parodies of popular E! shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
Is it any good?
For adults who relish celebrity gossip and appreciate a good one-liner laced with acid (and/or vodka), Chelsea Lately serves up the goods in a stylish late-night format that mimics the look of longer-running programs like Late Night with Conan O'Brien or The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. The humor is bawdy -- and it isn't for everyone. But if you dig Handler's no-holds-barred style (she's billed as having "the sharpest tongue in late night"), you'll get plenty of the laughs you came for.
Handler also gets props for being the lone female voice on late-night television and only the second woman in showbiz -- after Joan Rivers, who was a frequent stand-in for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and went on to helm her own after-hours program, The Late Show starring Joan Rivers in the 1980s -- to regularly host a late-night show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fact that Handler is currently the only female talk show host in a late-night line-up that includes Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Craig Ferguson. Why do men tend to rule the late-night time slot? Are they inherently funnier than women?
Why does Handler focus so much on celebrity news and gossip? Do the celebrities she has on her show tend to be good role models or bad ones?
How do late-night talk shows like these influence a movie or television star's public image? How do they help (or hurt) stars promote their own brands?