Chelsea Handler, at the helm of the 29th annual Critics Choice Awards on Sunday, delivered a hosting performance filled with praise for women in film, sharp critiques of studio executives, and playful jabs at her ex-boyfriend, comedian Jo Koy, who faced widespread criticism for hosting the Golden Globes the previous week.
Injecting humor into the evening, Handler quipped about Koy’s recent monologue mishap at the Golden Globes, where he blamed his writers in the midst of a faltering performance. “Thank you for laughing at that — my writers wrote it,” she remarked, referencing Koy’s excuse during a joke about Barbie’s bustline.
The comedian, actor, and former talk show host, hosting the Critics Choice Awards for the second consecutive time, celebrated 2023 as a “horny” year for movies and TV, highlighting sexually explicit works like Saltburn and Poor Things.
In a tongue-in-cheek manner, Handler revealed her preference for older men like Harrison Ford and Robert De Niro, humorously expressing her willingness to toss around director Martin Scorsese “like a little Italian meatball.”
Handler acknowledged the triumph of women across various domains, citing Barbie’s success at the box office, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé’s successful tours, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s achievements at a ski trial.
Emphasizing the impact of female empowerment, she hailed Greta Gerwig as the highest-grossing female director of all time with her film about female empowerment, generating over $1.4 billion at the box office.
Taking a light-hearted jab at studio executives, Handler remarked on their challenging year due to the combined actors’ and writers’ strikes, humorously noting their forced six-month consecutive vacations.
Handler, undeterred by the potential challenges of hosting award shows, showcased her resilience. In a promotional bit posted on X (formerly Twitter), she engaged in banter with an AI replica of herself, asserting her ability to stand strong against artificial intelligence and playfully dismissing outdated references, including to her long-deceased dog, Chunk. Handler’s hosting stint at the Critics Choice Awards proved to be a blend of humor, celebration, and a subtle nod to prevailing industry dynamics.