Chelsea Handler has two things that I lack: blond hair and big breasts. She used to have another thing: Ted Harbert, President and CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group, the company that owns E! Entertainment, which airs her show Chelsea Lately. In Los Angeles, talent and a dime will get you ten cents. There are three unwritten rules to achieving success as a woman in Hollywood: one is dye your hair blond, two is get breast implants, three is sleep your way to the top. When I arrived here from Canada, I was too young and naïve to subscribe to any of those philosophies. Although at one point I did have blond hair, it was not Playboy blond with down-to-the-ass extensions like that of most Hollywood starlets. My breasts were a solid 34A on a cool day with a stiff wind. I was shot down at countless auditions by casting directors who openly confessed that the network would not hire me unless I had a 34C chest. I will not say which network (hint: small animal that makes for a beautiful fur coat), but I think that kind of discrimination is lawsuit material. As for sleeping my way to the top, at the time I was sleeping my way sideways while financially supporting my bartender/actor boyfriend who drank as much as he poured and popped antidepressants and Vicodin out of a Pez dispenser. That relationship ended well.
I recall buying every breast enhancement device from jelly inserts to some Victoria’s Secret crank-em-up bra and driving three hours to an audition in San Diego for some cheesy show like Silk Stalkings or The Chronicle. The role was a Russian hooker, which I could do well as my grandparents were from Russia and I heard the accent my entire life. After I aced the audition, the casting director said I had a callback the next day which meant either sleeping on the couch at my aunt’s place and going to dinner at some overpriced, mediocre strip mall Claim Jumper or driving all the way back to L.A. and back to San Diego the next morning. “Oh, and one more thing,” she said as I was walking out the door. “They want someone with large breasts. Could you stop off at Victoria’s Secret and buy a padded bra and crank those babies up a bit?” Sure, no problem. Couldn’t she see they were already cranked as far as they could go? I was breast-fallen, I mean crestfallen as I said "Dasvidaniya" to the role of Russian hooker. From that moment on, I knew that without plastic surgery, hair extensions and the desire to sleep my way to the top, my acting career was doomed.
In the November 2010 issue of Elle Magazine, 38-year-old actress Gwyneth Paltrow spoke out about one of the industry’s dirtiest secrets – the casting couch – as did Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Megan Fox and Lisa Rinna. Of course, none of them were willing to kiss and tell about whether the men who propositioned them actually succeeded, but it has long been rumored that Sharon Stone traded sexual favors to advance her career. Just look at the press Monica Lewinsky got after getting it on with President Clinton and tell me that Nicole Kidman’s career didn’t hurt from her marriage to the questionably straight Tom Cruise.
While I am not accusing the raunchy comedienne of sleeping her way to the top, it certainly didn’t hurt her career to swap spit with the CEO of a major network. To set the record straight, Chelsea and Ted started dating in 2006 and were living in sin prior to the inception of her show Chelsea Lately, which debuted on July 17, 2007. Whatever Chelsea is or isn’t doing seems to be working: her books are selling and she has a contract with E! until 2012 – I admire her for that.
Chelsea is one of my favorite authors. I loved her first two books, My Horizontal Life and Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea? Obnoxiously funny, taking no prisoners when it comes to humor, Chelsea Handler is a total joke slut; someone who will go to any length for a laugh, even if it means berating her ex-boyfriend Ted Harbert (who presumably paved the way for her show) by calling him a “giant toddler” in her latest book Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang. Maybe Ted is a giant toddler, but if you’re done with him Chels, you mind paying it forward and giving me his number? Perhaps he just got sick of you trashing him every chance you could and is looking for a more nurturing, appreciative woman. One thing's for sure, it couldn’t hurt my career to date him.