I was impressed Saturday night by how much people love Chelsea Handler. Apparently people really do watch the E! channel. She got loud ovations at the Comedy Connection in Boston during her intro both for her show on E! (which she hopes will return for a second season in 2007) and for her first book, My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands. And they gave her a standing O when she finished her 9 p.m. show (albeit rather abruptly, as several tables still had or were getting drinks), and then stood in line for up to 45 minutes to meet her outside afterward. During the show, Handler proved she could combine bits from her E! show with topical humor and impressively worked the crowd.

But still, Chelsea Handler laughs off her fame. "That’s ridiculous. I don’t consider myself a celebrity," she said. Being mentioned as an attendee at Ivanka Trump’s birthday party by People magazine? Even more ridiculous. "First, off, I wasn’t even at that party for her. I was just at Pure," Handler said. "It just goes to show how many celebrities were there. I was in a private booth with a large black man." Did she join in with the Pussycat Dolls, who have a residence at Pure? "I can’t dance or sing. Which I’ve proven time and time again on television. So no, I didn’t dance with them. But they did come over and say hello to me, so I must’ve had something going on. That night I was getting a lot of R-E-S-P-E-C-T." Handler also has produced a few comedy segments for The Tonight Show, but she didn’t really think it showed her off in the best light. "It’s a totally different audience, a middle America audience," she said. "They really want you to not be edgy, to be vanilla, to appeal to all of America. It was a great spring board for me, but I want to stay true to what I was doing on E!. I just don’t see myself — I’m not really embarrassed to say a lot of things, and there (NBC) they monitor everything you say. E! really lets you get away with a lot of stuff and I really appreciate that."

This was Handler’s first time performing in Boston. "My parents have a house in the Vineyard, but I haven’t been to Boston. I used to have friends who went to B.U., but I probably haven’t been in about six or seven years, so this will be the first time I performed there." Anything else you want folks to know, Chelsea? "Just that I’m a Picses."