Chelsea Handler, the only woman in late-night television, ended her talk show Tuesday night in typical fashion: Ridiculous skits; nudity; appearances from celebrity friends; and one cameo from an ex-lover.
“We are wrapping up seven years of ridiculous stupidity,” she told her cheering audience on the series finale of “Chelsea Lately” on E! “I’m very impressed with myself. The only other place I spent seven years in one place was high school.”
She continued: “Over the run of this show I’ve made some great friends, a lot of enemies, and I have personally gained and lost over 3,500 pounds.”
It’s been a dramatic exit for Handler, who hasn’t been too subtle about the fact that she’s been over E! for a long time. In an interview with Howard Stern earlier this year, she called the network “a sad, sad place to live” and deemed it a failure that didn’t have any original ideas. As her contract expired, her manager spread the word that she was looking for any other TV option.
The search ended with a new gig on Netflix: In 2015, she’ll move her talk show to the Internet streaming service. Nope, no one really knows how that’s going to work.
Handler, known for being outspoken, played the gracious card on Tuesday night and thanked E! for giving her this opportunity. Apparently, she wanted to go out on a good note. That was pretty much the only time she got serious, as the rest of the finale was absurd. Here’s how she bid farewell:
— A skit while she was naked (strategically blurred out) in the shower, Ellen DeGeneres (clothed, with a shower cap) stopped by to ask Handler why she was never invited on the show. “Is it because I’m a lesbian?” DeGeneres asked. “I didn’t even know that you were a lesbian,” Handler protested. “I thought you were married to Ryan Seacrest.”
— An intervention featuring Handler’s good friends Jennifer Aniston, Mary McCormack and Sandra Bullock. They each read a letter about what they really thought of Handler. McCormack said she was glad that Handler never let her job get in the way of her drinking, and that if “going to Netflix” is really a code for “going to rehab,” she would totally support it. Aniston accused Handler of trying too hard to be an Aniston copycat, down to her new haircut and eye color.
Bullock confessed to being slightly terrified of her “split personality friend” Handler. But the best part was that she started the letter “Dear George, your practical jokes are annoying…oh, sorry I copy and pasted this one from my Clooney intervention.”
— A cameo from rapper 50 Cent, her “ex-lover.” And hey, they had some great chemistry. Handler brought him out to perform a song from his new EP with G Unit and they bantered back and forth. “I’m assuming your new album is about me,” she said. (50 Cent confirmed it is not.) “Do you have a girlfriend or anything?” she asked as he laughed. “Seriously, are you over me?”
— A segment celebrating her beloved sidekick, Chuy. After a bunch of clips of all the crazy things she made him do (and costumes she made him wear) over the course of the show, Chuy teared up as he talked about his boss. “Miss Chelsea, I love you from the bottom of my heart, you changed my life,” he said. “Every night before I go to bed, I pray for you,” he said.
Handler also looked a bit emotional. “Every day no matter what kind of mood you’re in, when you see this coming toward you in a hallway or a dark parking garage, all you can do is be happy,” she said of her partner in crime.
— A performance by Miley Cyrus, who sang Roy Orbison’s “It’s Over.” “A truly great television show isn’t over until you have Hannah Montana say it’s over,” Handler confirmed.
— A celebrity group singalong of a goodbye song, which had lots of lyrics we can’t really repeat. The chorus went, “Goodbye to E!, it’s time to move on, she wants to sing, she wants to dance and get her groove on.” There were also lines like this: “When you’re up at night and couldn’t sleep at all/Her show was great to mix with ecstasy and alcohol.”
Handler sure has a lot of famous friends. People in the crowd singing with her included, according to E!: Justin Theroux, Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy, Joe Manganiello, Leah Remini, Selena Gomez, Gerard Butler, Minnie Driver and Kristen Chenoweth, Trace Adkins, Avril Lavigne, James Van Der Beek, Rachel Bilson, Mary McCormack, Kelly Osbourne, Helen Hunt, Sheila E, Richard Marx, Kathryn Hahn, Johnny Knoxville, Tim Gunn, Anna Faris, Gabriel Iglesias, Chloe Grace Moretz, Buzz Aldrin, Sammy Hagar, Vanessa Hudgens, Sophia Bush, Jenny & Jason Biggs, Allison Janney, Alessandra Ambrosio, Kathy Griffin, Kevin Nealon, Marlee Matlin and David Hasselhoff
— A sincere farewell as she said her final goodbyes, and even had some nice words for her network:
“Everybody who works on this show, the crew, and the sound people who have to deal with my bad moods and my good moods and the bad people I dated and good people I dated. I am really, really appreciative that I’ve been given this opportunity by E!, that I have this show that is so much fun for me, that is so much fun for all these people. And I never really got a good chance to be serious and say thank you. And I want you to know that I am grateful for this career. Thank you very much.”
Handler added that she’s going to give to Miley Cyrus’s charity for homeless teens, and encouraged others to do the same.
“Everybody here’s rich so everybody should donate, that’s all I’m saying,” Cyrus piped up from the back.
Handler ignored the interruption and signed off with this: “I’ll see you on Netflix!”