Chelsea Handler, the comedian, has recently expressed her desire to host a late-night show again. And she didn’t hold back when it came to roasting the competition during her opening speech as host of the Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday.
“I’m just happy to be here tonight supporting the critics’ right to choose,” Handler said early on. “At least someone still has a choice. Unless they’re a female critic and then it depends on what state they live in.”
As The Daily Beast reported, she softly roasted nominees such as Viola Davis from The Woman King and Julia Roberts from Gaslit until arriving at Tár’s Cate Blanchett for the following several minutes.
“In Tár, Cate portrayed an iconic lesbian whose career is upended by her toxic behavior,” Handler said. Then, in a nod to Ellen DeGeneres’ scandal, she drew a combination of laughter and groans when she added, “And she didn’t even have to host her own daytime talk show.”
Billy Eichner, a comedian, applauded Handler for saying that it was a “breakout year for queer cinema, with movies like Bros, Fire Island, and Top Gun: Maverick.” And a big round of applause for calling out Hollywood’s ongoing sexism.
“I don’t want to say that studios treat male and female directors differently, but James Cameron was given a budget of $350 million [for Avatar: The Way of Water] and Sarah Polley had to film Women Talking in a barn.”
“The cast of The Bear is here,” she added later. “Awesome show. They showed us how grueling and hellish and absolutely miserable working in the restaurant industry can be, and they didn’t have to wait on James Corden.”
Finally, Handler repeated a comment she had in a previous interview with The Daily Beast in response to the “nonsense recently about Jews running Hollywood.”
“I would like to say, as a Jewish woman, so what if they do? Who cares?” she joked. “The French run bakeries, Italians run the mafia and Swedish people run Ikea. Stay in your lane!”