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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

Brooklyn Bridge March; Jesse Ventura Live; Late-night Queen Chelsea Handler

Aired November 17, 2011 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight the return of two of the most outspoken and controversial guests I've ever had.

First, Jesse Ventura.

Haven't answered my question.

JESSE VENTURA, AUTHOR, "63 DOCUMENTS": All right.

MORGAN: My question is --

VENTURA: But I've been answering all of them. You haven't answered one yet.

MORGAN: I'm interviewing you, Jesse. That's the way it works.

VENTURA: Not with me.

MORGAN: Well, that's the way it works for me.

VENTURA: We'll butt heads.

MORGAN: Why he's fired up about "Occupy Wall Street," and why he says he'll never stand up for the national anthem again.

Then the first lady of late night is back. The delightful Chelsea Handler.

CHELSEA HANDLER, COMEDIAN/TV HOST: Why don't you shut up? Just shut up.

MORGAN: There is the grown-up (ph).

What she thinks of a Demi Moore-Ashton Kutcher breakup and why she's called the anti-Oprah.

This is a live, uncensored, PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.

Good evening. Breaking news tonight. Thousands of "Occupy Wall Street" protesters marching across New York City's Brooklyn Bridge. Some of the marchers chanting, this is what democracy looks like. This is what America looks like.

This according to "Occupy Wall Street" Twitter feeds. The march comes at the end of the day with clashes with police and mass arrests and traffic jams in Lower Manhattan, as thousands of demonstrators stage a day of action. Well over 300 people have been arrested and some of the demonstrations are going on almost across the country and indeed around the world.

I want to go straight live to Lower Manhattan where Amber Lyon from CNN in Zuccoti Park.

Amber, probably not as big a day as we were anticipating. What would you describe the mood tonight?

AMBER LYON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well tonight, Piers, things have really come down. The marches have come full circle. They started out here early in the morning in Zuccotti Park. And now all the marches have made their way back here after hitting up some subway stops. They also cross the Brooklyn Bridge at time.

There was a bit of tension. And a lot of it happening right out here in Zuccotti Park because of these barricades, Piers. We've noticed we've been following the movement all across the counted, and the protesters do not like to have barricades up in a lot of situations. Especially out here because they were evicted from the park on Tuesday, and those barricades are up the to prevent them from bringing tents and tarps into this area.

Now nearly 300 protesters were arrested. We also have the NYPD telling us that seven police officers were injured. Five of them after some type of unknown liquid was thrown on them. They were then taken to the hospital and the NYPD says that they are doing OK as of now. And several protesters were also reported injured, Piers.

MORGAN: Amber, thank you very much.

I want to turn now to a man who undoubtedly will have a lot to say about what's happening at Wall Street. In fact he has a lot to say about just about everything.

Jesse Ventura is a former governor of Minnesota and the author of "63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read" and "American Conspiracies," and he joins me exclusively now.

Jesse, how are you?

VENTURA: Hi, Piers. How are you doing tonight?

MORGAN: Good. I'd imagine although there are lots of angry people down at "Occupy Wall Street," I would imagine you are even more angry. You normally are.

VENTURA: Well, I'm not angry. I'm just disappointed. I'm very disappointed that many of the attitudes out there. Because these are simply people exercising their First Amendment rights, and they state that no law shall be passed to inhibit those rights. And it seems that they give local precedence to little local ordinances that seem to have more power than the First Amendment does, the right to gather and the right to protest your government in a -- in a peaceful manner. MORGAN: I mean they were chanting, you know, this is what democracy looks like. This is what America looks like. There's a clear divide going on now between the kind of people turning up to protest, I think on behalf of a lot of people in America, just fed up with what is going on with the economy in particular, and the people who work in Wall Street and maybe the government. There's a huge disconnect, isn't there now, between the two?

VENTURA: Well, yes. I think the original message was to send one that Wall Street owns our politicians. That it doesn't matter if you're Democrat or Republican. Their allegiance is to Wall Street, the corporations and big business. And I think these are the people that are rising up to say, wait a minute, we're the people of America, and you should be working for us, not for corporations.

Because, you know, as you know, the loose definition of fascism is when corporations take over governments. And I think here in the United States we're right on the brink of that if we're not already there right now.

MORGAN: Well, you've been a patriot for a long time, Jesse. And I've had a spirited debate with you before about this. But you've also been a senior politician. What has gone fundamentally wrong with America to cause what is going on now at Wall Street and other cities?

VENTURA: Well, the fact that the Democrats and Republicans, and both of them are equally guilty. They're responsible. They've been in charge for over 100 years, Piers. They've created a system based upon bribery. That he who has the most money and pays them off with their campaign donations and the dirty elections.

And I can say this because I didn't take one dollar of corporate money. I took -- didn't take one dollar of political action or PAC money, and in fact I actually made more money doing the job as governor than what I spent to get it. So there's nobody I don't think in 50 years that can make that statement.

But I think that's what this is really all about. The buying and selling and the creation of a system by the Democrats and Republicans that is based completely on the concept of bribery.

MORGAN: And I've seen interviews with some of the protesters today. And they're quite keen to express that this is not anti- capitalism argument per se.

VENTURA: No.

MORGAN: It is anti-abuse of capitalism.

VENTURA: No. They're not opposed to capitalism. They're not trying to make us communist or socialist. They're just saying stop it, Wall Street. Stop buying the allegiance of our politicians, and hopefully these demonstrations will wake people up.

Now, Piers, I've got another problem. As you know, I had a court case where I sued the TSA for my Fourth Amendment rights. And one thing I want to make clear tonight that people need to know. My case was thrown out of court. You can't even go to court questioning what goes on in an airport and what people need to know is that when you go to any airport in America, you are protected by the Constitution, and nor are you protected by the Bill of Rights because it does not apply there, and it's going to spread further than airports.

You're going to see it in bus terminals. You're going to see it going to all public transportation even down to the highways now. It's starting in Tennessee. They're turning our country into East Berlin.

MORGAN: I mean what you're talking about is more a Washington issue than Wall Street. And that brings me to the state of politics in America right now with the Republican race.

What is your take of the various contenders? It's been going up and down like a yo-yo, the leader board. Who do you like? Who don't you like?

VENTURA: Well, there's only one person that I like at all of them. That's Ron Paul. He's the only one that I agree with. That we need to audit the Federal Reserve, that we need to shut down these wars and bring our young men and women home immediately. Shut down all these bases throughout the world. And let's start concentrating on jobs at home and job creation here.

Can you imagine the money we could put forward to our infrastructure if we weren't involved in these two stupid wars that we've been in for 10 years?

MORGAN: I mean, Ron Paul is unlikely the way the polls are looking to win. Mitt Romney is the favored candidate at the moment. And if not him, then Herman Cain or Newt Gingrich or someone like that. What do you think of the rest of the field?

VENTURA: Well, Newt Gingrich, it's interesting. I guess we -- he got part of the payoff of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, huh? I heard they paid him millions of dollars as a consultant. What would they need to consult about?

So he got -- he got part of the bailout money, and we're going to make him president? And all the rest of these cast of characters I could care less about them. I won't vote for a Democrat or a Republican, and I urge people. That is the solution. The solution is to stop voting for these two political parties. They're both equally as bad. They've both sold out completely to Wall Street, and until we -- but that's difficult. It's like climbing Mt. Everest, trying to get Lemmings to not do what they're programmed to do in this country.

MORGAN: But what would you think of Obama's performance as president? The reason I ask you is I want to play you a clip before I get your answer. Because we had a very interesting debate last time about what would happen if the CIA or any American intelligence officials track down bin Laden or Gadhafi. Let me play you our discussion over this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Would you agree if the CIA discovered tomorrow that they knew where Osama bin Laden was that he should be assassinated?

VENTURA: No.

MORGAN: What about Gadhafi?

VENTURA: No.

MORGAN: You don't care?

VENTURA: No. I think they should be arrested and tried in the court of law. Since when does we -- what are we, in the Wild West? We just go out, and if people we don't like, we kill them?

MORGAN: Isn't that --

VENTURA: Everyone is willing to be killed?

MORGAN: Jesse, with respect.

VENTURA: Yes?

MORGAN: Isn't that exactly what Navy SEALs do all the time?

VENTURA: No, when in war. War is different.

MORGAN: We're at war with Osama bin Laden.

VENTURA: We are?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN: I mean, very pressing discussion there, Jesse, because since that interview a few months ago, obviously both bin Laden and Gadhafi were killed. And in bin Laden's case by Navy SEALs. People that you used to work alongside.

What was your reaction --

VENTURA: No, no, I'm not --

(CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: The Navy SEALs had taken up bin Laden.

VENTURA: No, wait, I didn't work alongside them. I'm one of them. They're my brothers. I'm underwater demotion SEAL team, part of the teams, Class '58. No. And I have all the respect in the world for my guys. I mean they'll get the job done. There's no doubt about it.

The job is custom made for SEAL Team 6. They're highly motivated. They're well trained. They will complete the mission when given the opportunity to do so. But what I question is this, were we told the truth? I mean they lied about the murder of Pat Tillman. They lied about the rescue of Jessica Lynch. They lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They lied about ties to al Qaeda with Saddam Hussein.

None of those were true things. So it becomes --

MORGAN: Do you believe --

VENTURA: -- credibility of my country.

MORGAN: Do you believe --

(CROSSTALK)

VENTURA: How do I know they're telling me the truth?

MORGAN: Well, let me ask you a direct question. Do you believe bin Laden is dead?

VENTURA: Yes. I think he's -- he may have been dead for 10 years for all we know. I mean, he had a disease where most doctors said it was fatal within a couple of years. How did this guy manage to live eight? You know he was going around needing dialysis treatment when 9/11 happened? You know?

And yet they tell us he survived that long? I don't know. I'm not privy to the intel anymore. I'm not currently in the military and haven't been for 40 years. But again let me commend the Navy SEALs, they will get the job done. They are the best we have.

MORGAN: But I'm all for conspiracy theories, Jesse, but obviously the Navy SEALs themselves who said that they found bin Laden alive and killed him. You wouldn't question the word (INAUDIBLE) of Navy SEAL?-

(CROSSTALK)

VENTURA: Well, how do you know that -- wait, how do you know that? None of us know the guys that were on this mission. None of us will. And who's to say that helicopter that killed those 18 guys from Team 6 didn't have all the guys on it that got bin Laden? How do we know?

MORGAN: Because --

VENTURA: We will never know. Because that's how secretive Team 6 is.

Piers, you'll never know who the operators were that went on those missions. That's how secretive it is.

MORGAN: What was your view of Gadhafi being taken out in public in the way that he was?

VENTURA: What troubled me about it was our media here. That we had no problem showing Gadhafi's bullet-ridden body 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And yet we're banned from seeing our caskets come home draped in the flag from these two wars we're fighting.

It's a classic case of propaganda. Show the enemy riddled in shot as much as you possibly can but don't show the casualties of your own country and the results of war which disturbs me, Piers, because I'm 60 years old now. And the United States of America has been at war for over half of my life.

And we're the only country maybe other than Israel that can make that statement.

MORGAN: Jesse, finally, who are you going to vote for in the next election? Have you decided yet?

VENTURA: Well, I will vote absolutely for Ron Paul if he -- if he runs as an independent. You know, obviously even though he's doing phenomenally well in straw polls in Iowa and California that the media doesn't like the report on him. If he does not get the Republican nominations and he switches to, say, the Libertarian Party or at any other third party, Ron Paul will absolutely get my vote.

But I will not vote for a Republican or a Democrat, and I urge people, start that movement. Because these are the two parties that have ruined our country, they've been in charge for hundreds of years, and they have no excuse for it. They are responsible.

MORGAN: Jesse Ventura, as always, delightfully provocative. Thank you very much.

VENTURA: Piers, thank you and we'll do it again some time. I appreciate it.

MORGAN: I look forward it to. Thank you again.

Coming up, the return of another of my favorite guest. The lady like, demure, soft spoken, Chelsea Handler.

Oh, no, no. I'm already getting nervous. I'm already nervous.

HANDLER: Where do I go?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Tonight Chelsea Handler joins -- can you stop that please? Don't start.

HANDLER: You can't control yourself already.

MORGAN: You know, forget -- I was going to say something nice about you. Forget it.

HANDLER: No, no. Say it. Say it. I want to hear it.

MORGAN: No -- here's what I want to say about you. Since we last spoke, two things have happened. You've become single again, and you're now worth $24 million more than you were last time I saw you. Both things have made you much more attractive to me. HANDLER: Oh, that's so interesting.

MORGAN: Yes.

HANDLER: You must be you Jewish.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: No, I'm an Irish Catholic.

HANDLER: Well, it's kind of the --

MORGAN: We behave as badly as you do but we just feel more guilty about it.

HANDLER: I do behave badly, and I get paid handsomely for it.

MORGAN: You do.

HANDLER: So -- I'm happy to do it.

MORGAN: You refused to discuss your enormous bulging wealth last time but --

HANDLER: Well, do you want to discuss your enormous bulge?

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Could we just focus on --

HANDLER: Would you? Would you feel comfortable discussing that?

MORGAN: Well, let's talk about your wealth first. We can come to my enormous bulge later. Is this deal true? Two years you've renewed with E! stroke NBC $24 million?

HANDLER: Well, it's actually $25 million. But --

(LAUGHTER)

HANDLER: Yes. That's -- no, the numbers aren't -- well, maybe a little bit close, yes, yes. Sure.

MORGAN: So you're the queen of late-night? You're the queen of television, aren't you?

HANDLER: I'm not the queen of television. Yes.

MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE) Oprah.

HANDLER: I'm not -- I'm black. No, I'm white. No, I'm not Oprah. I'm Chelsea. So I'm happy to do it, though. I'm having a really, really good time in my career. So I'm just really excited about everything. It's a really good time to be me.

MORGAN: And you've parted company with Andre, your boyfriend of some time, this year?

HANDLER: I did.

MORGAN: Why?

HANDLER: I can't speak about that publicly out of a personal request.

MORGAN: Privacy has never been your strong point.

HANDLER: I know. It's not -- it's very unnatural for me.

MORGAN: Normally hardly stop you talking about these relationships.

HANDLER: I know. I know. It's very --

MORGAN: Why leave him out of it?

HANDLER: Because, you know, I just -- I made a promise to someone, so I like to be a man of my word. And so I am going to keep that promise.

MORGAN: But it was your decision?

HANDLER: I don't remember.

MORGAN: You don't remember?

HANDLER: I don't know. I think I made --

MORGAN: You can't remember whose decision it was?

HANDLER: It was almost three weeks ago. It's very hard to recall.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Are you enjoying being single again?

HANDLER: I'm happy to -- I mean I'm just happy. I'm in a happy time in my life.

MORGAN: Are you on the prowl? Are you --

HANDLER: Am I on the prowl? Are you on the prowl?

MORGAN: No. Totally not.

HANDLER: No. You're expecting a child.

MORGAN: Well, I'm not personally. Obviously my wife is, yes.

HANDLER: Well, no, that's actually personal if you think you're the father. It's very personal.

No, I'm not the prowl. No. I've never been on the prowl. I do like men, though.

MORGAN: Do you? What do you like about them?

HANDLER: I like -- I don't know, I like to be challenged. I like men that have something going on. I like men that are successful, that aren't, you know, very dependent on you. I like for them to bring something to the table that you haven't brought to the table yourself. And I like them in small doses.

MORGAN: Wow. I'm just mentally ticking off a lot of boxes here.

HANDLER: Not my box.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: What do you think of the Demi-Ashton split today?

HANDLER: I just heard of it. Well, you just told me about it backstage, right?

MORGAN: Yes. Demi is filing for divorce and she's made it pretty clear in her statement that she does it with a heavy heart but has to be true to her own values and vows, clearly making it pretty obvious that it -- this is her decision based on Ashton's apparent bad behavior.

HANDLER: Well, I mean I think it's pretty obvious to everybody. You know, again, I don't know them personally very well. But I think it's pretty obvious that she's probably -- they probably had a lot of open marriage type situations, which always lead to --

MORGAN: You think so?

HANDLER: Well, yes, I think they probably had a lot of good times with some other women and then --

MORGAN: Really?

HANDLER: Yes. Of course.

MORGAN: How do you know this?

HANDLER: Well, come on. I mean read between the lines.

MORGAN: What lines?

HANDLER: The lines of cocaine on the table.

(LAUGHTER)

HANDLER: I'm just kidding. I don't know what kind of drugs they've ever participated in. But clearly they probably had a lot of threesomes that led to twosomes without Demi and that leads to a divorce.

MORGAN: Wow. HANDLER: Yes, it actually happened.

MORGAN: Is this true?

HANDLER: Mm-hmm. Yes.

MORGAN: Well, no, I had them both on this show.

HANDLER: Together?

MORGAN: Let's -- yes, lets show some little clip of what they said about the marriage. Because actually I feel very sad about what's happened. Because I like them both. Let's watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEMI MOORE, ACTRESS: I think you have to make your relationship a priority. And that's a difficult balance when you have work and, you know, the combination of career and family. I think part of it is I think we spend very little time apart. That's one of the key things. And --

ASHTON KUTCHER, ACTOR: I'd also say working on the relationship when the relationship is good. You know as marriage goes, I think most people sort of set being -- you know, getting more married as the goal as opposed to being married.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Well, that was only about five or six months ago.

HANDLER: Was it?

MORGAN: And they seemed -- I mean, to me, they seemed very much in love at the time. So you kind of feel for Demi.

HANDLER: I absolutely feel for her. Yes. I feel like people make a big mistake a lot of times in marriage in thinking that there -- you know I am a big, which may surprise you. I'm a big proponent of kind of -- you know valor and honor, and kind of -- you know, valuing what you have in a relationship or with somebody else and kind of being really true to that and to yourself in today's time.

MORGAN: Do you tolerate infidelity yourself?

HANDLER: No. No, I would not tolerate that. I'm not that kind of person. I'm not interested in that. I'm interested in something that's, you know, unoriginal. And that can -- that's so typical. That's not exciting to me. You know strength is exciting to me. Somebody who can kind of be powerful and overcome, like, little weaknesses. I think that's -- you know, that's like --

MORGAN: I interviewed one of your other ex 50 Cent the other day.

HANDLER: How is he doing? MORGAN: Good. And every time I mention your name his face lights up.

HANDLER: How can you tell? He's so dark skinned.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: He seems fond of you.

HANDLER: He is fond of me. All my ex's are very fond of me.

(LAUGHTER)

HANDLER: They should all get together and start a club.

MORGAN: You've managed to avoid the perils of marriage.

HANDLER: Yes, I have. And I'm grateful for it. When you see something like that, you know, I think those people were clearly in love, Demi and Ashton. And you see anybody who goes through divorce are -- I mean it's very hard to make a marriage work, A, and to put all the other components that to me represent just such minutia and trivial nonsense and you know, women and drugs and all that stuff.

It's -- life can be so much more than that, you know. You have a family. It can be so much more -- it can be so much more profound than that. And to kind of have this existential idea of life and kind of live beyond what -- you know, to create an environment where you work in, where everybody feels like they're family.

And you spend time with them. And you have real relationships. You know I wouldn't ever tolerate those people being treated like that. So I could never tolerate myself being treated like that, you know.

MORGAN: Do you dream wistfully of walking down a church aisle in a white dress?

HANDLER: What do you think?

MORGAN: Probably not.

(LAUGHTER)

HANDLER: Walking down an aisle in a white dress, no, I don't dream wistfully of that. I've considered marriage at different times my life. But I've never wistfully.

MORGAN: What was the closest you came?

HANDLER: I've never come close to marriage. No one has ever proposed to me.

MORGAN: Really?

HANDLER: No. Not that I know -- (CROSSTALK)

MORGAN: No one has ever proposed to you.

HANDLER: Not someone I was dating.

(LAUGHTER)

HANDLER: Via mail perhaps.

MORGAN: That is a bombshell.

HANDLER: No.

MORGAN: I need to recover from that. Let's have a little break. I want to come back and talk to you politics. Because I know you kind of fancy yourself on politics, are you?

HANDLER: No.

MORGAN: You find this discussion --

HANDLER: You fancy me. You want to me to be everything that you wish I could be.

MORGAN: I do quite fancy you actually. But let's keep it to politics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Back with the lovely and talented Chelsea Handler who is, as I speak, tweeting to her four million followers because Simon Cowell has just joined Twitter.

HANDLER: You told me to start reading --

MORGAN: And I need your help in fending off his assault on my followers.

HANDLER: I don't even know how to do it.

MORGAN: Everyone -- but we want to engage you. @piersmorgan. I want to hear what you have to say about Chelsea Handler live, because some of the comments so far, one guy has just tweeted me, "Stop flirting with Chelsea Handler, you ain't going to get any."

Is he right?

HANDLER: The chances are you probably will.

(LAUGHTER)

HANDLER: Why are you having a Twitter war with Simon Cowell? What happened?

MORGAN: We are just very competitive over everything. HANDLER: Oh, because all of all your reality world?

MORGAN: Yes. Yes.

HANDLER: You should steer away from that reality stuff.

MORGAN: I've (INAUDIBLE) "America's Got Talent."

HANDLER: Well, that's perfect.

MORGAN: Yes.

HANDLER: You need to focus on this show.

MORGAN: Exactly why I left.

HANDLER: Yes. My instincts are usually right.

MORGAN: Yes.

HANDLER: You should get away from all that nonsense. Simon Cowell is not a serious person. You could be -- you have the potential to be a serious person.

MORGAN: Chelsea, I like this.

HANDLER: Yes.

MORGAN: This is really -- now you're getting more and more attractive.

HANDLER: I -- thank you.

MORGAN: Let's turn to less attractive people, politicians.

(LAUGHTER)

HANDLER: OK.

MORGAN: What is your view of the political climate in America right now?

HANDLER: The political landscape?

MORGAN: Yes.

HANDLER: Well, where shall we start?

MORGAN: Let's start with Republicans.

HANDLER: Let's start with Herman Cain.

MORGAN: Yes. What do we make of Herman Cain?

HANDLER: Well, I --

MORGAN: He's engaging, isn't he?

HANDLER: Well, I think the whole point now in politics is to kind of get yourself out there. Not necessarily to try and win an actual election but to get famous enough to get your own realty show based out of Alaska.

MORGAN: I think that's what he's up to, isn't it?

HANDLER: But no, no, I firmly believe that people like Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann, and -- I think that they all really -- I mean Ron Paul, probably not. But I think all of those people just kind of take it upon themselves to say this is how you can get some fame and this is how you can get some attention, and then get a reality show on whatever network.

So now that I've realized that's what it's about I take less offense to people that are so unknowledgeable on affairs that they have no right to be.

MORGAN: He actually came out yesterday and said I'm not expected and I shouldn't have to be expected to know anything about foreign policy. This is the guy who wants to be president of the United States.

CHANDLER: Did you see the video of him when they asked about Libya and Obama?

MORGAN: He didn't seem to know what Libya was.

CHANDLER: He didn't know Libya was a country. He didn't know where, what -- he thought it was like a town in California. He didn't understand what was happening.

I mean, it's astounding because I feel like I am so -- I'm constantly trying to educate myself and read and really get to know what's going on. I still feel so not knowledgeable -- or unknowledgeable, I should stay. Stupid is what I should say.

And based on what I'm seeing from all these candidates, I could actually be running for president.

MORGAN: Rick Perry is an interesting case, where when he came on the scene, everyone is like, great, here comes Rick Perry. And then these debates just are excruciating, aren't they? He always forget what he wants to say.

CHANDLER: You have to be able to shoot from the hip. You have to be full of piss and vinegar enough to be able to be in a debating situation. Even if I don't know an answer to a question that you're asking me, I should pretend like I do.

MORGAN: You're never going to sit around and go, I can't remember what I was going to say.

CHANDLER: I would never say that. I would never say that. I would lie or cheat or steal. I would make anything up. MORGAN: Why don't you go into politics?

CHANDLER: Well, let me tell you why. Because I was sitting backstage and I was watching you. Well, I was watching CNN, and -- only because I was stuck in this building. And I was watching it, and I was thinking, gosh, this is so depressing.

I mean, every story, whether it's Sandusky or it's the Occupy Wall Street, or it's just -- the repetition is kind of takes the juice out of you. You know, at least you get to mix in politics with kind of celebrity and all that stuff. So it's a nice mix.

But the repetition of talking about boys being molested and -- I mean, it's really -- I wouldn't have the energy or the capability to be able to deal with it.

MORGAN: If I was an average American -- obviously I'm British.

CHANDLER: Are you British?

MORGAN: I am a Brit.

CHANDLER: Are you circumcised?

MORGAN: I beg your pardon?

CHANDLER: No, you don't. You heard what I said.

MORGAN: I did. Let's get back to politics.

CHANDLER: So that's no.

MORGAN: What I find very dispiriting is that almost every pillar of American society is under attack at the same time. The institution of Washington, of Wall Street, of sport, with the whole Penn State thing, it's really cut to all the fabric of American society. Hasn't it? Everything is under attack.

CHANDLER: Look at the NBA. There's two sides to everything. I think we're in a really -- you know, it's kind of an -- it's an embarrassing time. It's a very -- it's a tipping point in many ways, because it can either turn the tide for things to come or we can fall apart. A lot of times it feels like we're about to fall apart.

MORGAN: But the NBA thing, I might just be naive about this because it's not a sport that I've followed for a long time. But I love American basketball. I can't believe what I'm watching. They're in an economic meltdown, with nearly 10 percent of Americans out of work. One of the few things they might actually be able to enjoy to get away from all this is basketball.

These guys, many of whom have come from absolutely nothing, are quibbling over whether they're going to make 20 million or 21 million dollars next year. As a result, they're not playing. I find it unbelievably selfish. CHANDLER: Well, what I have to say that is -- and I have no room to speak because everyone knows how much money I make. But to speak to that, you're doing the very thing that you love the most. You're not an accountant. You're not working at that Dairy Queen.

You get to do the very thing that every boy's dream -- or 90 percent of straight men's dreams are, is to play in the NBA or Major League Baseball or, you know, football, whatever it is. And to make the kind of money that you make is absurd to not be happy with a lesser amount.

MORGAN: They seem to have forgotten it's not their sport. It's America's sport. It's the American people's sport, as are the other major sports. It's not their sport to stop playing, to go on strike. I don't know who they think they are.

It's like wakey-wakey. Your country is creaking on its financial needs.

CHANDLER: Now it's my country. What are you --

MORGAN: I'm not American.

CHANDLER: But you're coming here with your TV show. Now you're blaming my whole country on me.

MORGAN: I love your country. I love the American people. I don't like the politicians behaving the way they have been. I don't like the sportsmen behaving the way they are. I think everyone in any position of kind of authority in these institutions American people love are just behaving really selfishly.

CHANDLER: Politics are complete profligate, obviously. I mean, everything is bought and paid for. And I think anybody who has any sort of idealism, like Barack Obama, comes into -- come into his position and, all of a sudden -- you know, he has these dreams and he has these big ideas. People want to listen to him.

He's so vociferous about how he's going to change the world. Then he gets into a situation where he had no idea that things were handled in a way that they were, that everything is bought, that everything is paid for, that there's lobbyists, that there's congressman, and that you have to palliate all of these people.

And that in itself is the most challenging thing. I mean, how can you get into politics for any real reason anymore? Because everyone is paid for. Everyone is doing somebody a favor.

So it is kind of the most -- it is -- it is embarrassing. It is embarrassing the way people comport themselves. You look at sports -- American sports and the way they buy baseball players from Japan and they buy basketball players from Italy. It's like, well, how is that America? That's not an American Sport anymore, if you're buying players from other countries.

MORGAN: It's the very debate that's going on on Wall Street, which is it's not actually anti-capitalism. It's anti-the abuse of capitalism. It's people being just overtly greedy at a time when a lot of people are suffering.

CHANDLER: I would like to say -- I would like to go on the record. I don't know what kind of salary you make. I assume it's not great. I would like to go on the record and say that I am more than happy to pay as much in taxes as possible.

MORGAN: Hold that thought. I want to come back after the break and talk to you about you've decided to support Warren Buffett. You want -- you and your rich celebrity friends to pay more tax.

CHANDLER: I'm happy to pay more.

MORGAN: God bless you. Let's discuss this after the break.

CHANDLER: OK.

MORGAN: Just don't write me in, for God's sake.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have to take eight back? I can't have him with the baby coming. He's mean.

CHANDLER: I'm kind of surprised you didn't eat him, fatty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh. A fat joke to a pregnant lady. How original. You've gotten so much funnier since your DUI.

CHANDLER: When is that baby coming out? Hello? Hello in there? It's aunt Chelsea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: That's from the new NBC series "Are You There, Vodka, It's Me, Chelsea," which is coming next year, based on your outrageous book. The Twitter feed is going berserk.

CHANDLER: I know people are asking what's wrong with my neck. I get red when I get heated, people. Deal with it.

MORGAN: You are, I think the word is flushing, aren't you?

CHANDLER: I'm flushing. No, it's blushing actually, on this side of the pond.

MORGAN: It's all the same kind of thing.

CHANDLER: Not quite. Flushing has to do with a toilet. Blushing has to do with when you're embarrassed.

MORGAN: Is that true?

CHANDLER: Yes, flushing and blushing.

MORGAN: But if a woman flushes or blushes back where I come from, she's excited by the person she's with.

CHANDLER: Well, then you --

MORGAN: Your neck was kind of on fire in that segment.

CHANDLER: Sometimes when I -- because it's very hot in here. If I start to get kind of effusive, it will get red. Well, don't take it the wrong way. Don't get an erection or anything.

MORGAN: I think it's because you Tweeted -- you just did this in the break. "I'm on Piers Morgan Live."

CHANDLER: You told me to Tweet.

MORGAN: The phraseology has got people going. Even Roseanne Barr has piped up with cool, I'll now watch you.

CHANDLER: I love Roseanne.

She's a great comedian.

MORGAN: She is a great comedian. Who is the most naturally brilliant comedian, male, female, in the world right now?

CHANDLER: Oh, well, right now? I don't know. But when I was growing up, it was Bill Cosby, for me. I mean, I just loved him. I just thought he was so funny. I got to meet him a couple of years ago. Of course, it was pretty disappointing. It's always good not to meet the people you really admire.

MORGAN: You should never meet any heroes. Really?

CHANDLER: He was just much older.

MORGAN: I would set my bar much, much lower, like you. Then when I meet you and I'm thrilled, it all goes really well.

CHANDLER: Right, right, right. It's better to do that.

MORGAN: You want to pay more tax?

CHANDLER: Yes.

MORGAN: Warren Buffett wants the very rich to pay a lot more taxes. You agree with him so much so you've been campaigning. You've been writing, e-mailing, Tweeting celebrities saying pay for tax.

CHANDLER: I haven't been campaigning as hard as I should be, because I actually have been quite busy. But I am -- I am and have gone on the record saying that I am very, very willing to pay as much tax as possible. I think the rich should pay more taxes than the poor or the less fortunate, not necessarily the poor. I mean, what five percent is to a million dollars, versus five percent to 100 million dollars is a completely different thing. I'm happy to do it. Oh, I'm getting a phone call. That's my agent. It's probably another job.

MORGAN: That will be your accountant saying can you stop saying --.

CHANDLER: Shut up. Shut up. I'm on Twitter, watching you on PIERS MORGAN. Shut up about the money.

MORGAN: I hear a lot of people say, what about the basketball owners? A stain on all their houses. They're even richer. Sort it out.

CHANDLER: The thing that gets frustrating is when you become public about something, you know -- and I have a big mouth, so it's hard for me to shut it. But when -- you know, I become passionate about something. People say, why don't you pay more taxes? It's not that simple. I'm trying to help the less fortunate, too. You don't just pay more taxes.

MORGAN: People criticize Warren Buffett and said, yeah, it's all right for him. He is worth billions, and actually he could just write a check, which he could. But actually he did make a stand.

CHANDLER: Write a check to whom? The government?

MORGAN: Exactly.

CHANDLER: Where are you supposed to write the check to?

MORGAN: Exactly. But I think the point is that he was creating a mood, which is, come on, rich guys in America. There's no real evidence historically that if the rich -- very rich pay more tax, it affects their ability to create more jobs. There's no evidence of that. It's a myth. It doesn't have any effect.

You're making lots of money. You're employing lots of people. There is a way to get through this if you have enough energy and dynamism.

What did you think of Barack Obama today? He said America has got a bit soft in its production line. It's not working as hard collectively as it used to. And as a result, the Far East is catching up and taking over. I agree with him.

CHANDLER: There's no -- there's no upside to having people uneducated or having people out of work or having people on the streets and being homeless. There's no upside to that. The whole idea is to build your community, to have a community that that has strength, that has funding, that you have to -- when you are more fortunate, your responsibility is to help less fortunate.

There's no shortcut or way around that. If there is, in your mind, then you're not playing with a full deck of cards and you're not a human being. That's the way it's supposed to be. You're supposed to build people up with you. If you have a job and you make a lot of money, then you give out other jobs and you give other people opportunities. Then it spreads out.

It's like anything else in life. So it's very frustrating when you hear all of this government nonsense. You read the same thing over and over with the Republicans and the Democrats and they can't figure out anything. It's not about the bigger picture or a collective society. It's just so -- it's such partisanship. It's nothing more than that.

MORGAN: Let's turn to job creation. I want to talk about you after the break about Ricky Gervais being rehired for the Golden Globes.

CHANDLER: Was he? Where have I been?

MORGAN: Do you not watch any news?

CHANDLER: No. Not after I saw this show.

MORGAN: Can I powder your neck again? I think we're overheating again. Powder, please.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTRESS: I'm here to tell you that I'm madly in love. And I'm madly in love with the one and only Chelsea Handler. It's really hard not to admire her dynamic, brash and ridiculously hilarious woman. And she's drunk half the time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: That was your good friend, Jennifer Anniston, at the Glamour Awards, where you got an award recently. I want to get Jennifer on the show, and she is resisting, bizarrely, my advances and charms.

CHANDLER: Is she?

MORGAN: Why don't you come on with her? Wouldn't that be cool?

CHANDLER: Well, It wouldn't make any sense. But I will talk to her. I will ask her for you definitely. I will tell her how much I like you.

MORGAN: Don't you think? Because you were staying in the break how, under different circumstances, you'd go for me?

CHANDLER: Well, that's one version of what happened.

MORGAN: -- rather oddly -- CHANDLER: I said if you were single, I said you were -- I said you were cute in a very English chubby way. I said that you were cute.

MORGAN: And I said this isn't English chubby. This is like the proper face. Not surgically disastered by the American process.

CHANDLER: Absolutely.

MORGAN: This is real flesh, proper human being.

CHANDLER: Obviously it's not fake. Who would add that on? Obviously, it is real. No, but I like you because you have a really good sense of humor. That is what I was going to say and I like that in a man. I mean, you can have a good laugh and that's fun.

MORGAN: Thank you, Chelsea. Talking of Brits with a good sense of humor, Ricky Gervais taking over the Globes. You didn't even know this?

CHANDLER: No, when did that happen?

MORGAN: They got him back for the third year, despite all the anger last year.

CHANDLER: He should do it again. He was the best host they ever had.

MORGAN: Is Hollywood beginning to understand that kind of humor?

CHANDLER: I hope so. I really hope so.

MORGAN: There was some chronic sense of humor failure last year. I thought he was hysterical.

CHANDLER: Was it just last year? Wasn't it two years ago?

MORGAN: Yes, but I think it's been getting worse. As they have a go at him, he obviously revs it up and gets ever more outrageous. But the whole thing is about balloon pricking. It's about stop taking yourself too seriously, isn't it?

CHANDLER: Well, I believe it is. I don't think anyone should take themselves too seriously, unless, you know -- you know, I think there is a fine line. Obviously if you're going to host the Oscars or -- Ricky Gervais is hilarious, I don't think anybody can say that he isn't.

If Tom Cruise is offended, then good. Really? Is that what we're worried about?

MORGAN: I hope there are more cutaways to all their faces when he -- when I had Ricky on the show just after the Globes last year, it was brilliant, because when I played back the stuff to him, he never laughed at the punch line. He only laughed when they cut to the faces of the horrified victims. That's what turned him on, which I found hilarious.

CHANDLER: As a comedian, I think you're not ever really -- as narcissist as it is to be on stage with a microphone and no one else standing there, it is also -- it is kind of one of the most, you know, not generous acts -- that is not the right word, but the reaction you get from other people is so much more important than what you're hearing yourself say. So as a comedian, I can appreciate that.

Because you really just want the reaction. And that's always kind of golden.

MORGAN: Let's have another break and we'll come back and talk -- I've got to talk to you apparently about your two E! shows. I'd actually shoot myself that just give you a free plug. But we'll get through it somehow.

CHANDLER: We don't have to talk about that if you don't want? We have to plug "After Lately" because it is premiering the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

MORGAN: I haven't actually done what I promised to do on Twitter, which was to grill you about your sex life.

CHANDLER: There is no sex life. I'm not having sex now.

MORGAN: Historic.

CHANDLER: Historic?

MORGAN: It can be.

CHANDLER: About who?

MORGAN: Anyone. 50 Cent?

CHANDLER: No, no. You want to --

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHANDLER: Forget about a statement. You're going to make a video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why? Why? You would never do it.

CHANDLER: That's because I love autistic people who have autism. That works. Walk out of the office right now and make that video. Walk out of the office. I don't want to see you. Turn around.

If you don't, I'm going to give you the HPV vaccine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's for women, I thought.

CHANDLER: Exactly.

Thank you for loving people who have children with autism.

You're welcome.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: That, unfortunately, is a very, very funny clip from your other show on E1, "After Lately," which returns on November 27th. You are funny. I mean, I wish you weren't. It would make it easier.

CHANDLER: Anyway, my show, "After Lately" is -- I'm so excited about this show. You have no idea. It's so funny. I love it. It premiers --

MORGAN: Why are you repeating what I said?

CHANDLER: Because I'm speaking now. This has nothing to do with what you said. OK? You are supposed to be listening to me. Can you try to listen? Are you a listener?

MORGAN: Keep the shameless plugs down to a minimum.

CHANDLER: I'm not shamelessly plugging something. I'm not plugging my TV show. I haven't mentioned my TV show once. This is what I want to plug. This is my little pet baby project. Don't you have a baby on the way?

MORGAN: Yes.

CHANDLER: Wouldn't you plug that baby, if you could?

MORGAN: No, I wouldn't, because I protect my own privacy unlike you American celebrities.

CHANDLER: So are so great at protecting American privacy.

MORGAN: Privacy.

CHANDLER: I'm a little delirious now.

MORGAN: We have got about -- I don't know -- a minute and a half. What do you want to get off your chest, other than that rather strange red rash.

CHANDLER: I know. I don't know what that is. I don't have --

MORGAN: How do you want this interview to be remembered?

CHANDLER: First of all, you have a new show every day, just like I do. So no one is going to remember this after tonight.

MORGAN: I think they will. This is like one of those moments. It's like Frost/Nixon.

CHANDLER: You'll have to come on my show. Oh, this is like Nixon/Frost?

MORGAN: It's a bit like that. The celeb version.

CHANDLER: Well, we have a good time together.

MORGAN: We do. I will come on your show next. Help your ratings.

CHANDLER: Oh, thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. I will make sure to let everyone know, so they can tune in for that night. You are right in my age bracket, right in my demo.

MORGAN: Why did you call me chubby? Because everyone is just banging on about this?

CHANDLER: You have a chubby face. It's true.

MORGAN: I don't have a chubby face.

CHANDLER: What would you call it?

MORGAN: Well rounded, well fed, we would say in England.

CHANDLER: Or you can call it athletic.

MORGAN: Nothing wrong with my arms.

CHANDLER: Touche.

MORGAN: Chelsea, it's been a total delight, as always.

CHANDLER: It's been a total nightmare.

MORGAN: Come back whenever you like. Be as rude as you want. And bring Jennifer.

CHANDLER: OK, I'll bring Jennifer.

MORGAN: Why not. It would be fun.

CHANDLER: Yes, it makes total sense.

MORGAN: The reason to do it? There is no reason.

CHANDLER: I'm going to talk to Jen for you.

MORGAN: It'd be fun, just the three of us. We'll just hang out. Just don't fight over me.

CHANDLER: We'll just hang out like Demi, Ashton and, you know, the other one.

MORGAN: Chelsea, thank you.