Chelsea Handler

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Chelsea Handler

Handler at the 2012 Time 100
Birth nameChelsea Joy Handler
Born(1975-02-25) February 25, 1975 (age 37)
Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.
MediumTelevision, stand-up, film, books, modeling, acting
Years active1996–present
GenresObservational comedy, news satire, blue comedy
Subject(s)Pop culture, celebrities, gossip
Notable works and rolesHost of Chelsea Lately
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Chelsea Handler

Handler at the 2012 Time 100
Birth nameChelsea Joy Handler
Born(1975-02-25) February 25, 1975 (age 37)
Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.
MediumTelevision, stand-up, film, books, modeling, acting
Years active1996–present
GenresObservational comedy, news satire, blue comedy
Subject(s)Pop culture, celebrities, gossip
Notable works and rolesHost of Chelsea Lately

Chelsea Joy Handler[1] (born February 25, 1975)[2] is an American stand-up comedian, actress, best-selling author, and producer. She has hosted the late-night talk show Chelsea Lately on E! Entertainment Television since 2007.


Early life

Handler grew up in the suburban town of Livingston, New Jersey.[3] The youngest of six children, she was raised in Reform Judaism by her Jewish father, Seymour, and her Mormon mother, Rita. Her mother was German and came to the United States in 1958.[3][4][5][5][6][7] Handler has said that while growing up, she felt like an outsider, and told a reporter, "We lived in this nice Jewish neighborhood...Everyone had Mercedes and Jaguars, and I was going to school in a Pinto."[8] Despite this, her family had a summer house on Martha's Vineyard.[3] In a June 2011 episode of her show, she and author James Van Praagh discussed the death of her brother, Chet, when she was nine years old.[9] Handler had an abortion at age 16, which she discussed during an interview in 2011.[10] At age 19, she moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles, CA to pursue an acting career, and two years later, decided to become a stand-up comic after telling her story about a DUI to a class of other offenders, who found it funny.[2]


Chelsea Lately

In July 2007, Handler began starring on her own half-hour, late-night comedy series on E! Entertainment Television titled Chelsea Lately. On the show's 100th episode, she revealed to viewers that the network had picked up Chelsea Lately for another 150 episodes.[11] The show has proved to be a hit by averaging more than a half-million viewers since its premiere (much more than the average for a late night cable program) and having clips on YouTube with more than one million views. All this success is despite the fact that Handler's guests often are not A-list celebrities. In a 2008 interview, Handler said, "The worse the guests are, the more pathetic they are, the funnier the show is."[8] The New York Times reported that Chelsea Lately had been renewed by E! Entertainment Television to run until December 2009;[12] Handler's most recent contract extension will keep Chelsea Lately on the air through 2014.[13]Chelsea Lately is broadcast daily on the E! Network in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

After Lately

After Lately is a mockumentary in which the various cast members, writers, crew, and even "hangers-on" of Chelsea Lately are shown bickering over trivial matters and competing for air time on the show. They also seek personal approval from Handler, who usually appears in very few scenes of the program, and is always portrayed as having open and utter disdain for everyone beneath her. After Lately began airing on E! Entertainment Television on March 6, 2011. Guest stars include: Reese Witherspoon (in seasons one and two), Jennifer Aniston, Jay Leno, Tori Spelling, Jenny McCarthy, Sharon Osbourne, Dave Grohl, and Jane Fonda.[14][15]


Handler has authored four books on the New York Times Best Seller List, three of which have been number one. Her first book, My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands (2005), describes the variety of sexual encounters she went through throughout her life. Handler also wrote Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea (2008), a collection of humorous essays that hit the New York Times Nonfiction Best Seller List on May 11, 2008,[16] with a print run of over 350,000.[17] She went on a nationwide tour to promote her third book, titled Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, which was released on March 9, 2010.[12]

On November 15, 2010, it was announced that Handler's publishers gave her her own publishing imprint (Borderline Amazing/A Chelsea Handler Book). She also signed a three-book deal with the imprint, the first of which is called Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me, where her coworkers and family members discuss what Handler has done, which was released in May 2011 and also hit number one.


Handler at LA Direct Magazine's "Remember to Give" Holiday Party 2008

Handler has performed nationwide as a comedian and appeared as a regular on the Oxygen Network series Girls Behaving Badly, as well as on other shows like Weekends at the D.L., The Bernie Mac Show, My Wife and Kids, and The Practice. She is a regular commentator on E! and Scarborough Country, as well as a correspondent on The Tonight Show. She hosted the first episode of the reality TV show On the Lot, but quit before the second one was aired, saying later, "Because I smelled the disaster happening before it did." [18] The show, produced by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett, is a competition for aspiring filmmakers who are vying for a chance at stardom. Handler was replaced by former Robin & Company entertainment anchor, Adrianna Costa. Handler also began hosting The Chelsea Handler Show in April 2006, which lasted two seasons. She was a guest on Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld and The View, and she co-hosted The View on August 2, 2007, and again on September 5, 2008. On January 25, 2009, Handler was on the CBS gameshow Million Dollar Password as one of the celebrity players.

On August 18, 2010, it was announced that Handler would be the host of the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. The announcement was surprising to many, including MTV representatives, who claimed that the final decision was unexpected.[19] This makes Handler only the second woman in the history of the VMAs to be the sole host of the ceremony, behind Roseanne Barr, who hosted in 1994.[20] The event took place at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12, 2010.

In 2007, Handler performed with Comedy Central's Hour Stand-Up Comedy Tour across the United States. Her stand-up comedy has also been televised on VH1's Love Lounge, Comedy Central's Premium Blend, and HBO's broadcast of the Aspen Comedy Festival.

In the Motherhood

In 2007, Handler appeared in the Internet-based program In the Motherhood with Leah Remini and Jenny McCarthy (since January 2008). On September 8, 2008, it was announced that ABC would be turning In The Motherhood into a series starring Jessica St. Clair, Megan Mullally, and Cheryl Hines.[21] Handler decided to drop out of the project due to scheduling commitments to her show Chelsea Lately.

Are You There, Chelsea?

Are You There, Chelsea? was an NBC sitcom, based on Handler's 2008 best-selling book Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, which aired from January 11 to March 28, 2012. On May 11, 2012, the network canceled it.[22] Laura Prepon played the main character, "Chelsea Newman," a cocktail waitress while Handler portrayed "Chelsea's" born-again Christian sister, "Sloane," a married, conservative, new mom who had little in common with her carefree sister. Dottie Zicklin (of Dharma & Greg) and Julie Larson (of The Drew Carey Show) were creators and executive producers. Handler served as executive producer, along with Tom Werner (of That 70's Show), Mike Clements (of The Life & Times of Tim), and Tom Brunelle (of Chelsea Lately). [23]

In popular culture

On April 15, 2009, she won the 2009 Bravo A-List Award for "A-List Funny." [24] From her work on Chelsea Lately, Handler is ranked on the Forbes Celebrity 100 at number 98. In 2012 Time magazine placed her on the list of its 100 Most Influential People.[25][26]Handler was ranked number 91 in 2009 and number 87 in 2010 on the Maxim (magazine) Hot 100. She appeared on one of the two covers for the December 2009 edition of Playboy magazine; the alternative cover featured Dancing with the Stars semifinalist and model Joanna Krupa. Inside the magazine, Handler posed for a non-nude pictorial. She was also featured on the cover of Shape magazine in April 2010. She has her own columns in Cosmopolitan and NOW, a UK celebrity magazine. In July 2010, during a tour stop in Salt Lake City, Chelsea took part in the 'I AM EQUAL' Photo Documentary project in memory of her mother, Rita, who died from complications of cancer. Along with her photo being added to the documentary and accompanying photo mosaic, she also shared a "Photo Story" with a message that inspires people to take chances in life.[27]

Published Works


Television and film

2012Fun SizeWren's motherFilm
2012Are You There, Chelsea?SloaneTv
2012This Means WarTrishFilm
2011WhitneyDr. PriceTV
2011– presentAfter LatelyHerselfTV
2011HopMrs. BeckVoice
2009The Good WifeHerselfTV
2007– presentChelsea LatelyHerself-Talk show
2007–2008In the MotherhoodHeatherWebseries
2007Comedy Central PresentsHerselfStandup
2006The Chelsea Handler ShowHerselfTalk show
2006Reno 911!PinkyTV
2006National Lampoon Presents Cattle CallNikita
2005Weekends at the D.L.Herself
2005Totally High
2004Girls Behaving BadlyVariousPrank Show
2004The Bernie Mac ShowDoris FlyntTV
2002My Wife and KidsNurse Amy
2002The PracticeCallie Fairbanks
2001The PlottersAnn
2001Spy TVUnknown

Personal life

In 2006, Handler began dating Ted Harbert, who oversaw E! Entertainment Television as the former CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group.[28] On January 25, 2010, Handler confirmed, via her late-night talk show, that she had broken up with Harbert.[29] On the July 19, 2010 episode of her show, Handler confirmed she was dating Animal Planet star, animal handler, print model, and television producer Dave Salmoni.[30] However, on September 2, 2010, when asked by guest Melanie Brown if she was single, Handler stated that she was.[31] In 2010, a sex tape of Chelsea Handler was reportedly being offered for sale. This tape was a copy of Handler's audition tape from the 1990's. Handler has stated she added the sex scenes to her audition tape to appear as if she had accidentally taped over her homemade sex tape, and has been showing the tape at parties "for years".[32] On the April 18, 2011 episode of Chelsea Lately, Handler announced to the audience that she was dating again, and at the end of the show revealed a photo of herself and Andre Balazs at a table. However, when interviewed on E! News and Piers Morgan Tonight on May 10, 2011, she declined to confirm that she and Balazs were together and stated that she was respecting her current boyfriend's privacy because he had children.[33][34] Then, on the November 9, 2011 episode of her show, Handler revealed that she had broken up with Balazs.[35] In the May 2012 issue of More, Handler revealed that she and Balazs were back together but it was reported a few months later that the couple had called it off once again. [36]


  1. ^ Handler, Chelsea (2008). Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea. City: Simon Spotlight Entertainment. ISBN 1-4169-5412-0. 
  2. ^ a b "Chelsea Handler: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Len Righi (2007-11-01). "Chelsea Handler and the responsibility of ridiculing Britney". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  4. ^ Smason, Alan (2006-02-02). "Comely comic reveals laughs in 'Horizontal Life’". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  5. ^ a b Rita Handler Was Known for Great Love of Family – 3/17/06 – Vineyard Gazette Online. (2006-03-17). Retrieved on 2012-01-27.
  6. ^ German grandmas? Not so much, Chelsea Handler and Gwyneth Paltrow curse Mutti. Monsters and Critics (2011-04-26). Retrieved on 2012-01-27.
  7. ^ Antonella Gambotto-Burke Chelsea Handler. Interview from The South China Morning Post. Retrieved on 2012-01-27.
  8. ^ a b Jacob Bernstein (December 2008). Chelsea Handler, Insult Queen. W magazine. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  9. ^ Antonella Gambotto-Burke Just keep going. Sight&Sound. July 11, 2010
  10. ^ Cathy Horyn (May 2011). Comedy With a Side of Disgust. NY Times. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  11. ^ Marikar, Sheila. (2007-07-13) Chelsea Handler:Too Hot to Handle? ABC. Retrieved on 2011-06-09.
  12. ^ a b Stelter, Brian (January 18, 2009). "A New Bigmouth on Late Night". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Chelsea Handler re-signs with E! through 2014". Reuters. November 15, 2011. 
  14. ^ After Lately (2011– ).
  15. ^ Chuy Bravo – On E! Personalities | E! Online. Retrieved on 2012-03-18.
  16. ^ Best-Sellers Non-Fiction. New York Times. May 11, 2008,
  17. ^ In search of the next Grisham. LA Times. Josh Getlin. June 25, 2008.
  18. ^ "Summer Press Tour: Posh Beckham, Chelsea Handler". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2007-07-16. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  19. ^ "Chelsea Handler to host 2010 MTV VMAs – MSN TV News". 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  20. ^ Posted 9/2/10 (2010-08-19). "Chelsea Handler To Host The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards – Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  21. ^ "About the show". Archived from the original on 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  22. ^ Seidman, Robert (May 11, 2012). "'Awake, 'Are You There Chelsea?,' 'Best Friends Forever,' and 'Bent' Canceled by NBC". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  23. ^ Are You There, Chelsea? (2011).
  24. ^ "Chelsea Handler wins 2009 A-List Award". Bravo. 2010-03-37. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  25. ^ Kathy Griffin The 100 Most Influential People in the World: Chelsea Handler. Time Magazine. April 18, 2012
  26. ^ Forbes Celebrity 100 List Forbes, June 28, 2010
  27. ^ Peck-Wagner, Medeleine (2011-12). "Beauty in Diversity". Arbus Magazine. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  28. ^ Karpel, Ari (July 11, 2008). "Too hot to Handler". Entertainment Weekly (1008).,,20211732,00.html. 
  29. ^ Edward Lewine (2007-12-16). "Domains: Chelsea Handler". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  30. ^ Chelsea Handler (2010-07-19). "Chelsea Handler Walks on the Wild Side With Her New Man, Animal Planet's Dave Salmoni – E! Online". Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  31. ^ "Chelsea Handler is Single, 35 & Would Like to Date Black Dudes (VIDEO)". 2010-09-03. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  32. ^ "Chelsea Handler Sex Tape Sale Stopped". Radar Online. October 18, 2010. Retrieved June 5, 2012. 
  33. ^ "E! News". E! News. May 10, 2011. 
  34. ^ "Piers Morgan Tonight". Piers Morgan Tonight. May 10, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Chelsea Handler on her long-distance relationship with Andre Balazs". Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  36. ^ "Chelsea Handler splits from boyfriend again". SFGate. August 2, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Russell Brand
MTV Video Music Awards
Succeeded by
No Host (2011)