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Chelsea Handler panned as VMA host

Comedian among 'worst in show's history,' writes N.Y. Times

When MTV announced last month that E!'s Chelsea Handler would be hosting this year's Video Music Awards, it was met with some surprise. So how did she do Sunday on one of music's most star-studded nights?

"She was among the worst in show's history -- purposefully out-of-touch, with brief, alarming flashes of off-color racial humor," the New York Times said in its analysis of the telecast.

Handler "never looked comfortable, undone by nerves, brittle material and the wattage of those around her," the N.Y. Times concluded.

The Washington Post held the same sentiment, noting that "a string of flat punch lines felt a few degrees below crass."

And even though Handler urged the crowd in her opening monologue "to be on their worst behavior," the evening was met with little to no controversy.

Though Handler is known for being brash and inappropriate on her late-night show "Chelsea Lately," Entertainment Weekly made the point that Handler's entrance -- in a Lady Gaga get-up, no less -- was quite standard since the singer is "the easiest and the lamest ... target around."

AOL TV recognized Handler's efforts, but it wasn't enough since "most of her skits fell flat." The reviewer even blasted the lack of A-listers at the ceremony, writing that the presenters "were decidedly C-list" and "Hollywood just didn't show up for this shindig."

Handler's hosting gig didn't seem to bother the Los Angeles Times, however.

She "was a game presence all night, hopping into a hot tub with the cast of 'Jersey Shore' ... and talking smack about Mel Gibson, young Justin Bieber ... and, of course, [Kanye] West," the Times wrote.