Will the sales of the new book from the host of Chelsea Lately suffer because of her insensitivity?
Comedian and talk show host Chelsea Handler was attacked by Anti Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman, over a post World Cup show that poked fun at the winning German team.
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On her E Entertainment channel show last week, Chandler’s sidekick, little person Chuy Bravo came out on stage wearing a Hitler costume. When Chandler asked him why he was dressed that way, Bravo responded, “Because Germany won the World Cup.”
One member of Handler’s comic panel said, “I’m a Jew, but I’m still glad Germany won. It’s nice for them to have something gold that they didn’t pry out of my grandfather’s mouth.” harsh? Sure. But also crazy funny.
Foxman sent a protest letter to E saying, “While we try to give comedians leeway and do not believe that Nazi jokes should be completely off limits. This was an instance of taking a Hitler parody to the extreme. It was tasteless, offensive and hurtful, both to Holocaust survivors and their families and to members of the German team and all Germans.”
Really? No holocaust survivors found it funny? For heaven’s sake, have you seen the wild Internet gag about Hitler the Vista OS user? Face it, Hitler is funny.
“This Hitler parody in itself was tasteless, but Chelsea Handler’s references to it throughout the program and her connecting it with Germany’s World Cup victory took the joke way overboard, ” Foxman complained. He argued that the jokes “only play into this trivialization of what happened during the Holocaust. This trend only seems to be getting worse as time passes and as Holocaust survivors and the memory of what really happened during World War II dwindles.”
What can you do, human suffering is the basis for a lot of humor. The only ones who usually don’t get jokes are… OK, here’s the Faulty Towers Germans…
Bravo later explained, “I am dressed as Hitler as a joke, but I want everyone to know that he was a terrible man. I love Jews. Good night.”
Chelsea Joy Handler was born in Livingston, New Jersey, the youngest of six children of Rita (née Stoecker) and Seymour Handler. Her American father is Jewish, her German-born mother, who came to the United States in 1958, was a Mormon. Handler was raised a Reform Jew. She related that growing up she felt like an outsider: “We lived in this nice Jewish neighborhood…Everyone had Mercedes and Jaguars, and I was going to school in a Pinto.”
The controversy comes as Chelsea Handler is set to perform in New Zealand at the end of the year. The comic will appear at Auckland’s ASB Theatre on Saturday, November 29 as she promotes her latest book, Uganda Be Kidding Me, a comedic take on travel advice.
“I’ve decided to go on tour and support my new book, ” Handler said in a statement. “I think we all know how much I love the sound of my own voice.”
Handler recently announced that she will be leaving her long running late night talk show Chelsea Lately in August.