Cheers to Chelsea! The evening after the Emmys, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux toasted their pal Chelsea Handler at Chelsea Lately’s series finale dinner in L.A., on Tuesday, Aug. 26. The engaged couple and woman of the hour were joined at the celebration by other stars like Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy and husband Ben Falcone, and Mary McCormack.
The group convened at Craig's at around 10 p.m., mingling and downing drinks as they anticipated Handler's arrival. Aniston, 45, and Theroux, 43, took their spot across from Aniston's new friend Bullock, 50, inside the "packed and lively” eatery, an eyewitness tells Us Weekly.
"He had his arm around her shoulders," the observer says of the dynamic duo. "They were having such a fun time — the whole restaurant was energetic."
According to the insider, the comedic crowd "kept clapping for random reasons… Like, when the waiter brought something over or when someone stood up to move seats."
Handler, 39, arrived solo at the hotspot at around 10:40 p.m., where she was greeted by thunderous applause. "They all stood up for her," the insider tells Us. "Everyone gave her hugs. You could tell Chelsea was moved." After Handler ordered a vodka soda, the restaurant changed its TV channels at 11 p.m. to E! for the final episode of Chelsea Lately.
The waiters brought dinner out during the opening scene in which Handler stood naked in a shower with Ellen DeGeneres. "It became super awkward… because everyone was eating dinner while Chelsea was naked on the screen," marvels the source. Viewers kept looking over at Handler to see her reaction, but she played it off.
When Bullock, Aniston, and McCormack joined Handler on-screen for their hilarious appearances, each woman cringed, and buried her hands into her face. The show host, meanwhile, never looked up at the show until Miley Cyrus performed.
"She had her hand over her heart and was watching it with a huge smile on her face," the observer tells Us. "She looked very touched."
During a commercial break, the waiter brought out a giant heart-shaped cookie cake to Falcone, and everyone sang him the Happy Birthday song. "Chelsea ran over to give him a hug and Melissa was beaming," the source tells Us of McCarthy, 44, and her hubby (who turned 41 on Aug. 25.)
Once the episode aired, the entire crowd stood up and went up to Handler to congratulate her before dispersing. "It was clear they were all good friends and were all there to support Chelsea," the insider says. "She seemed to be having a moment and was surrounded by lots of love."
Handler later posted a picture with her pets after the taping. "It's over," the comedienne captioned the pic of herself sprawled out on a couch with her leg lifted in glee.