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Chelsea Handler speaks at an event hosted by Accent Speakers Bureau and UF’s Jewish Student Union on Monday evening. The discussion was moderated by MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff.


On the stage behind Chelsea Handler and Jacob Soboroff was a list of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises, complete with a “reality check.”

“Don’t bomb Syria,” his promise read.

“Bomb Syria,” the reality read.

“What do you do?” Soboroff asked. “What are the consequences for a president who doesn’t keep his word like this?”

On Thursday night, Accent Speakers Bureau and UF’s Jewish Student Union hosted Chelsea Handler, a comedian and talk show host.

They paid her to give a talk titled “Chelsea Does Politica” at UF’s Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

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Chelsea Handler and Jacob Soboroff talk in the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on Monday evening. Handler emphasized that people should vote and ask questions.


Soboroff, an MSNBC correspondent, moderated the interview. More than 1,600 people came to the free public event, held on the eve of the season-two premiere of Handler’s Netflix talk show, “Chelsea.”

Handler and Soboroff talked about Trump’s presidency, fake news and the importance of being politically active. Members of the audience also asked questions. Handler and Soboroff were offered a combined $125,500, with $105,500 from Accent and the remaining $20,000 from JSU, according to Alligator archives.

Soboroff declined the money, per news standards, an MSNBC representative told the Alligator. The full $125,500 honorarium went to Handler, Accent chairman Mike Greenberg later said. Soboroff, a 34-year-old from Los Angeles, was part of MSNBC’s “Road Warriors” group that covered the 2016 presidential election. He has appeared on Handler’s show in the past and the two are friends.

Before the doors opened, a group of about eight friends and UF students arrived six and a half hours before Handler took the stage to be one of the first in line, said Lindsay Gottlieb, a member of the group. They all wore white T-shirts with iron-on designs reading, “Chelsea DOES University of Florida” and brought large cut-outs of Handler’s head.

They’ve watched Handler’s shows together since 2009, the 22-year-old said.

“We’re really big fans,” the UF communication sciences and disorders senior said. “She’s very real. She’s no B.S.”

Handler, 42, said she wants to encourage young adults to vote and ask questions.

“I don’t think there’s anything shameful about asking questions until you understand the concept,” she said.

The quick-witted New Jersey native had no qualms discussing her alcohol and drug usage and hatred of Trump.

During the audience-question portion of the talk, Alex Orta, 20, a UF business administration junior, asked Handler if she would consider running for president.

“No, I would never run for office,” she replied. “You can’t do drugs.”


Contact Paige Fry at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @paigexfry