Chelsea Handler is famous for giving her guests on her show “Chelsea Lately” a hard time, but things seemed to get a little more heated than usual when CNN news anchor Piers Morgan stopped by the late-night talk show on Wednesday. But in an interview with Jay Leno after the incident, Morgan claimed that he thinks Handler had been flirting with him and was "misreading" his signals.
The news personality visited Handler’s set to promote the second anniversary of his CNN show, “Piers Morgan Tonight,” after a failed petition to deport him back to his native England nearly ousted him from his gig. But Handler seemed far from enthusiastic about having the British journalist on her show.
The episode opened with the two seated on chairs facing each other -- Handler was already squirming uncomfortably in her seat -- as they quickly launched into this charming exchange:
“What are you looking at?” Handler asked.
“Well, you’ve either had plastic surgery or makeup, because you look really hot today,” Morgan said.
“Oh, you’re so annoying. You’re so obnoxious, you wonder why everybody hates you,” Handler said, before adding, “I specifically covered up so you couldn’t look at me and undress me with your molester eyes,” to audience laughter.
“Normally when you do this show, you’re really hungover, aren’t you?” Morgan shot back. But Handler wouldn’t let him get away with the dig without putting up a fight.
“You think you’re gonna make fun of me in front of my own audience, and they’re gonna back you?” she asked. “It seems to be working, so far,” Piers answered.
Morgan continue to take jabs at the blonde talk-show host and author, telling her that the reason he’s so excited to get a live audience for his show is because every time he visits “Chelsea Lately” Handler’s audience “laughs at all my jokes so loudly. Imagine having that every night,” Morgan added with mock humility.
But the apex of the verbal brawl was when Morgan told Handler he could help her improve at her job, agreeing with her humorously inteneded comment that she is neither a great interviewer nor great at her job.
“You can suck my a--,” Handler retorted. But in an appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” Morgan attempted to explain the encounter, saying he thought Handler had been hitting on him.
Referencing Handler’s offensive comment to him, Morgan told Leno, “Things got a little touchy between us, and she ended up inviting me to do something to a certain part of her anatomy, and that’s why we’re trending. I can’t tell you, because you’re a family show.”
“Well, welcome to America!” Leno joked, adding, “now admittedly, you were flirting.”
“I think she was flirting,” Morgan responded. “She was misreading the signals.”
Did Handler seem like she was flirting with Morgan? View the rest of the fiery exchange here: