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TCA: Chelsea Handler Goes Topless, Does Drugs for Netflix

Related: Complete Coverage of TCA Summer Press Tour

Beverly Hills, Calif. — Chelsea Handler hasn’t nailed down what she wants to do with her upcoming Netflix talk show because she’s been too busy doing things.

What kinds of things?  Visiting the Twitter office in Silicon Valley topless, exploring whether she should get married despite her lack of prospects, and soon traveling to Peru to take Ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew made from a vine.  

The adventures are part of her Netflix documentary-comedy film series, Chelsea Does, in which the stand-up comic deep-dives into subjects she finds scary: Chelsea Does Marriage, Chelsea Does Racism, Chelsea Does Silicon Valley, and Chelsea Does Drugs.

“They are feature length films,” she said proudly during an appearance at Netflix’s Television Critics Association presentation at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday. “I’m a big girl!”

Handler, who left her eight-year-old E! talk show last year and was publicly gleeful about the break-up, said Tuesday she was eager to “get my brain working again” and created the documentary series because she didn’t want to rush into hosting another talk show.  The specials will air before the talk show premieres next year.

Each film begins with a conversation between Handler and a psychologist to go over her “issues.” Then Handler delves into the topics in her own special way—taking off her top to learn about streaming and taking drugs to study the effects on the brain.

“Why not?” she said. “I’m willing to do anything to learn about something. I’m willing to put myself out there.”

Honesty is always her policy, Handler said. Even if it means burning bridges at the network that made her a star.

“I was just talking honestly about how I felt,” she said. “I have said enough about it. I don’t think anybody else needs to hear me bitch about E! But I am very happy where I am now.”

That didn’t stop her, however, from beaming about her new TV home with her usual color: “It’s the difference between being with kids on a playground and being at a well-respected college.”

Handler didn’t share many details about her upcoming talk show but said it will be broader than her former talk show and will borrow formats from other comedy shows she enjoys. It will air two or more times a week but not nightly, she said. 

“I’ll be in your face, don’t worry,” she said.