Chelsea Handler Headlines Israel Fundraiser, Interviews Shimon Peres


Chelsea Handler has all but taken over the holy land these past few days.

The comedienne arrived in Israel over the weekend, performed a benefit comedy gig, visited Jerusalem and filmed a one-on-one interview with former Israeli president Shimon Peres, believed to be part of her planned documentary specials on Netflix, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. She has agreed to produce four specials for the online streaming service.

Back in June, Handler inked a mega-deal with the streaming service, including the docuseries, in which she will delve into matters that she wants to better understand. That will be followed by the 2016 launch of Netflix’s first talk show by the former Chelsea Lately host.

According to sources, Handler was the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s guest at his Peres Center for Peace, where they conducted an on-camera conversation about his life achievements; his role in Israel’s history, dating back to his days as the right-hand man of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, appointed in 1948; and his tenure as president, which ended in July 2014. Israeli presidents are elected by the parliament to the ceremonial role, limited to a single seven-year term.

The 91-year-old former statesman also gave Handler a tour of the facilities, including his personal library, sources said.

Prior to her sitdown with Peres, Handler on Sunday night headlined a comedy fundraiser in Tel Aviv, benefiting the Tal Center at the Oncology Institute of Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer, the largest hospital in the Middle East. The center is named after Tal Yaakobson, who died of cancer at the age of 26. She was the daughter of Israel’s top talent agent, Zohar Yaakobson, who represents A-list actors in Israel. Sunday’s event included a tour de force lineup of the country’s most popular comedy acts from the past three decades.

Apart from her official duties throughout the visit, Handler took to social media to share her experiences. On Monday, she tweeted a selfie taken in front of Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall with a caption reading: “From the window…to the wall. Jerusalem is for lovers. Are you there Oprah? It’s me, chesty.”

From the window…to the wall. Jerusalem is for lovers. Are you there Oprah? It’s me, chesty.

A photo posted by Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) on

She also posted an image from Jerusalem on Instagram, writing: “Homelanding in my homeland. With my jugs in my jacket.” That was a reference to her headline-making topless picture from October, which she posted in protest of an Instagram policy.

:: Hollywood Reporter