Chelsea Handler is the best boss.
And Jen Kirkman, staff writer and roundtable regular on E! Entertainment Television’s “Chelsea Lately,” has the best job.
“At work, we are the opposite of normal people,” Kirkman said in a recent interview. “We’re awful, we’re perverse, we’re mean. But when we go in public, we’re normal.”
What: “Comedians of Chelsea Lately,” featuring Jo Koy, Jen Kirkman, The Sklar Brothers and “special guest” Chuy
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson St., Denver
Kirkman is on tour with the “Comedians of Chelsea Lately,” which stops at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver on Friday. Jo Koy and the Sklar Brothers also will perform — and Handler’s sidekick Chuy will even make an appearance.
Kirkman, a standup comedian of 13 years, performed as an inebriated narrator on HBO’ “Funny or Die Presents: Drunk History,” and also had stints on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and VH1’s “Acceptable TV.” She was named one of Entertainment Weekly’s “12 Rising Stars of Comedy.”
The seemingly soft-edged thirtysomething often utilizes storytelling and observational work in her standup material.
However, falling into a writing gig on Handler’s show has proved successful in helping Kirkman discover her ability to blurt out witty one-liners.
“I really love writing on this show,” Kirkman said. “When I watch the show at night and see if my jokes make the show, it’s instant gratification.”
A typical eight-hour day entails gathering humorous clips to pitch to Handler for the host’s opening monologue, finding wacky celebrity news, writing jokes and brainstorming one-liners — all before taping the show at 3 p.m. in Los Angeles.
“It’s amazing how routine this job is for something that seems so bizarre and fun,” Kirkman said. “It’s a pretty well-oiled machine. But within that well-oiled machine, there’s a ton of extraneous goofing off, yelling at each other and making fun of each other.
“It’s great because we’re all friends here.”
A standup regular in Los Angeles for 10 years, Kirkman said having the “Chelsea seal of approval” helped boost her comedic career.
“I’m psyched about this tour,” Kirkman said. “Now many people actually know who we are. It’s different from just doing lone standup at a club. With this tour, people recognize all of us.”
Kirkman released a comedy album, Self Help, in 2007 and plans to release a second by the close of 2010.
The comedian appears on the roundtable twice a month.
Kirkman said Handler creates “one big party” in the work environment and has boosted modern comedy to being “cool again.”
“At first there was a separation of clubs and sketch comedy,” Kirkman said. “Now there’s all kinds of comedy, making us one big happy family. It’s like comedy is in another boom.”