Chelsea Handler often complains that the big stars avoid her E! talk show, “Chelsea Lately,” leaving her with a string of Kardashians and the occasional rapper to fawn over. But on Sunday night, when she steps up as host of the MTV Video Music Awards, Handler will have more bold names than she could ever dream of skewering at once under one roof, and you can tell she’s excited to be in the presence of such mega-wattage.
“She’s pretty successful right about now. She’s got some good music,” Handler said of leading nominee Lady Gaga, who has a record 13 VMA nods . “She’s got a lot going on.”
Asked if she was surprised by the baker’s dozen Gaga racked up this year, Handler said she was not shocked that the dance diva could corral such a mass of nominations, given the sweat she puts into her music and concerts. “I’m not really surprised by anything,” Handler laughed before diving into one of her favorite topics, the absurd Internet meme questioning Gaga’s gender. “If you work really hard, I guess you can accomplish anything. Even if that accomplishment is people being confused as to whether you are a male or a female.”
The reason stand-up comedians have always done so well at the VMAs is because they’re great on their feet, and given the rapid-fire nature of the roundtable celeb-kebabing that goes on during Handler’s E! show every night, she’s likely to have plenty of quips to drop during Sunday’s broadcast. Some of them will undoubtedly be aimed at Gaga’s notoriously elaborate outfits.
“It’s always a jackpot, isn’t it?” she said about Gaga’s outré fashion choices. “Whatever she wears is amazing. You could watch her for hours just eat cereal. You don’t even need the cereal.”
She clearly has a thing for Gaga, but Handler’s heart belongs to Eminem, who is close on Mother Monster’s heels with eight nominations. “I love his album,” she enthused of the rapper’s smash Recovery. “I’ll probably have sex with him after the show is over. Probably. I don’t see why I wouldn’t.” But, after finding out that the Detroit MC is now sober, she seemed to have a change of heart. “I like guys who drink,” she said.
The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday. The party starts with MTV News’ VMA Pre-Show at 8 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET.