Chelsea Handler Praises Chris Rock for Handling Himself Like a Pro at the Oscars (Exclusive)

Chelsea Handler
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Handler is nominated for her first GRAMMY Award in the Best Comedy Album category. 

Comedian Chelsea Handler, who is nominated for her first GRAMMY ever, spoke with ET’s Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner while walking the red carpet at the 64th GRAMMY Awards with boyfriend Jo Koy. The two addressed the slapping incident that occurred between Will Smith and Chris Rock one week prior at the 94th Academy Awards, with Handler praising Rock for keeping his poise onstage. 

“I just think Chris Rock handled himself with such aplomb and is such a pro and that, you know, he could not have reacted in a better way,” Handler said. “He just handled it like a professional and it was a good example to all performers and all comedians how to keep your cool and not be reactive and to actually keep the show moving along.”

Koy added, “He is just my king. So, seeing him stand the way that he did and hold his composure -- man, I love him so much.” 

As to whether they are worried Smith’s behavior will set a bad example for audience members, who may think they’re now allowed to react violently to a joke they don’t like, Handler explained that’s what security is for. “We all have security, of course. You have to if you are a public person, especially if you are me,” she said. 

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No matter what, Handler said that “you can’t worry about the people who don’t like you.” 

“It’s more important to focus on the people that do like you and serve them and serve them up with laughter,” she added. 

As for being nominated for Best Comedy Album against Kevin Hart, Lavell Crawford, Lewis Black, Louis C.K. and Nate Bargatze, Handler is still shocked she’s being recognized. “I could not believe I was nominated for a GRAMMY,” she said. “I mean, I woke up and I got a text from one of my agents. I told him I was nominated for a GRAMMY and he said, ‘For what?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know. I have to find out.’” 

She added, “It is very exciting.” 

“She is going to win by the way,” Koy offered.

When asked about his upcoming role in the film, Easter Sunday, Koy would only say it’s coming out on Aug. 5 before returning the attention back to his girlfriend. “Thank you so much but this is her night," he said. 

“We are having an incredible year together. So, love brings out the best in everybody,” Handler said, explaining that “it’s nice when a man can see a woman and just feel seen. You know, somebody sees everything about you and loves you in spite of it and you don’t have to shrink or make yourself less intimidating or any of that.” 

The 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards airs live tonight at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on CBS and will stream on Paramount+. Follow along at for everything you need to get ready for music's biggest night, including how to watch, GRAMMY performers and more.