A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
In general, the show celebrates celebrities' negative "train wreck" behavior, poking fun at others' foibles and misfortunes.
Positive Role Models
It's admirable that Handler is breaking gender barriers in late-night television, but she's hardly trying to be a shining role model when it comes to her attitudes regarding topics like alcohol and premarital sex.
Violence & Scariness
The show occasionally airs segments that contain violent behavior.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Comics regularly rely on sexually charged jokes and puns. For example, in an exchange about teen pop star Joe Jonas's latest break-up, a guest comedian quipped, "This is what happens when you date a virgin. He's probably boring; that's why she had to break up with him. You watch movies, you go to his concerts. At one point, you wanna f--k." Handler replied, "There's plenty of things you can do without having penetration. You can take your purity ring and put it in different ... places."
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Some bleeped swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), as well as audible words and phrases like "damn," "hell," "bitch," and "suck on that."
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Products & Purchases
Celebrity guests sometimes appear to promote their own brands or products (including new books, albums, movies, etc.).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Many jokes make fun of celebrities' drug or alcohol addictions. Handler also shares her own misadventures while under the influence of her favorite drink -- vodka -- during a regular segment, "Things You Can Do with Vodka."
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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!
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.