Chelsea Handler
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Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler
Sec. John King and Chelsea Handler (cropped).jpg
Handler in October 2016
Birth name Chelsea Joy Handler
Born (1975-02-25) February 25, 1975 (age 42)
Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Stand-up
  • television
  • film
  • books
Years active 2001-present

Chelsea Joy Handler[1] (born February 25, 1975)[2] is an American comedian, actress, writer, television host, and producer. She hosted the late-night talk show Chelsea Lately on the E! network from 2007 to 2014, and released a documentary series, Chelsea Does, on Netflix in January 2016.[3] In 2012, Time named Handler one of the 100 most influential people in the world on its annual Time 100 list.[4][5]

In May 2016, she began hosting a new talk show, Chelsea, on Netflix.[6] In October 2017, it was announced that the show would be ending after its second season and it wrapped at the end of the year.[7]

Early life

Handler was born in Livingston, New Jersey, the youngest of six children of Rita (née Stoecker), a homemaker, and Seymour Handler, a used car dealer.[8][9][10] Her American father is Jewish; her German-born mother, who came to the United States in 1958, was a Mormon.[8][11] Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989,[12] and battled the disease for over 15 years before dying of it in 2006.[13] Handler was raised in Reform Judaism and had a Bat Mitzvah ceremony.[14][15][16][17] She summered in Martha's Vineyard, where her parents owned a house.[18]

Handler has two sisters and three brothers; her eldest brother, Chet, died in a hiking accident in the Grand Tetons in Wyoming when she was 9 years old.[19] At age 19, she moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles, California, where she lived in her aunt's home, in Bel Air,[20] and pursued acting while working as a waitress to support herself.[21] At 21, Handler decided to pursue stand-up comedy after telling her story about a DUI to a class of other offenders, who found it funny.[2]

Television career

Handler was a member of the all-female cast of the Oxygen network's hidden camera/practical joke reality television series Girls Behaving Badly,[22] which aired from 2002 - 2005. Other shows on which Handler has appeared include Weekends at the D.L., The Bernie Mac Show, My Wife and Kids, and The Practice. She was 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 episode aired, saying later that she left, "Because I smelled the disaster happening before it did."[23] The show, produced by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett, was a competition for aspiring filmmakers vying for a chance at stardom. It lasted one season. Handler was replaced by former Robin & Company entertainment anchor, Adrianna Costa.

Handler at LA Direct Magazines "Remember to Give" Holiday Party in 2007

In April 2006, Handler began hosting The Chelsea Handler Show on E!, which lasted two seasons. 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. She was a guest on Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld and The View, and she co-hosted The View on August 2, 2007, and September 5, 2008. 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.[24] This made Handler the second woman in the history of the VMAs to be the sole host of the ceremony, behind Roseanne Barr, who hosted in 1994.[25] The event took place at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12, 2010.

In July 2007, Handler began starring on her own half-hour, late-night comedy series on E! titled Chelsea Lately. The show 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. In a 2008 interview, Handler said, "The worse the guests are, the more pathetic they are, the funnier the show is."[26]Chelsea Lately was broadcast weekdays on the E! Network in the U.S., Canada, U.K, Australia, Germany, and New Zealand. After more than 1,000 episodes, the final episode of Chelsea Lately aired on August 26, 2014.[27]

The show had a spinoff, the mockumentary After Lately, in which the various cast members, writers, crew, guests and even "hangers-on" of Chelsea Lately are shown bickering over trivial matters and competing for airtime on the show. They also are shown seeking personal approval from Handler, who appeared in very few scenes of the program, and was always portrayed as having open and utter disdain for everyone beneath her. After Lately debuted on E! on March 6, 2011. Guest stars included: Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Jay Leno, Tori Spelling, Jenny McCarthy, Sharon Osbourne, Dave Grohl, Johnny Knoxville, and Jane Fonda.[28]

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.[29]

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 after only one season.[30]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 '70s Show), Mike Clements (of The Life & Times of Tim), and Tom Brunelle (of Chelsea Lately).

In 2016, Handler filmed a documentary series for Netflix titled Chelsea Does, consisting of four episodes on marriage, Silicon Valley, racism, and drugs.[31] In May 2016, she began presenting her new Netflix original comedy talk show Chelsea.[32] The first season streamed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday each week; season 2 streams every Friday.[33] In February 2015, Handler said she envisioned a show more serious than Chelsea Lately. "I would like a healthy mix of everything that goes on around the world, mixed with interesting stuff in our country. The well-roundedness of 60 Minutes but faster, quicker, cooler."[3] In October 2017, Handler announced that the show will be concluding after its second season, as she wishes to focus on activism.[7]


Handler has authored five books that have made the New York Times Best Seller List, four of which have reached number one. Her first book, My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands (2005), describes the variety of sexual encounters she has experienced throughout her life. Her second book, Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea (2008), a collection of humorous essays, hit the top of The New York Times Nonfiction Best Seller List on May 11, 2008,[34] with a print run of more than 350,000.[35] She went on a nationwide tour to promote her third book, titled Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, which was released on March 9, 2010.[36]Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang hit Number 1 on The New York Times Nonfiction Hardback Bestseller list for March 21, 2010.[37]

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 their experiences with Handler, which was released in May 2011 and also hit the top of the bestseller list.[]

Handler has her own columns in Cosmopolitan and NOW, a UK celebrity magazine. In May 2009, she was the host of the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco.[38] In June 2009, she was named as Grand Marshal of the 2009 Los Angeles Pride Celebration "for her visible and vocal support of equality".[39] In July 2010, during a tour stop in Salt Lake City, Handler 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.[40] In March 2012, she hosted the Human Rights Campaign Gala in Los Angeles.[41]

In early 2014, Handler released the book Uganda Be Kidding Me, which was number one on The New York Times Best Seller list for two weeks and in the middle of the year did the standup show Uganda Be Kidding Me: Live, which was then released on Netflix in October 2014.[42][43]

Public image

In 2010, Handler was ranked on the Forbes Celebrity 100 at No. 98. In 2012, Time named Handler one of the 100 most influential people in the world on their annual Time 100 list.[4][5]

Handler appeared on one of the two covers for the December 2009 edition of Playboy. Inside the magazine, Handler posed for a non-nude pictorial. She was also featured on the cover of Shape in April 2010, The Hollywood Reporter in June 2011, on Redbooks March 2012 issue, and on the cover of the September 2012 issue of Marie Claire.[44][45][46]

Awards and recognition

  • In March 2009, Handler received the "Ally for Equality Award" from the Human Rights Campaign, recognizing "the outstanding efforts of those who dedicate time, energy, spirit and whole-hearted commitment to better the lives of LGBT people".[39]
  • In April 2009, Handler won the Bravo A-List Award for "A-List Funny."[47]
  • In July 2012, Handler received the Comedy Person of the Year Award at Montreal's Just For Laughs comedy festival.[48]

Personal life

In 2006, Handler began dating Ted Harbert, who oversaw E! as the former CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group.[49][50] On January 25, 2010, Handler confirmed, via her late-night talk show, that she had broken up with Harbert. The same year, a leaked sex tape of Handler was being offered for sale. After news of it became public, Handler said on Chelsea Lately the tape "was made as a joke" more than 10 years earlier, adding, "I put it on an audition tape for a comedy club, because I'm a comedienne, and I've been showing it at birthday parties for fucking years."[51] In a 2011 interview in The New York Times, Handler revealed that she had an abortion when she was 16, saying she had the procedure "because that's what I should have done. Otherwise I would now have a 20-year-old kid. Anyway, those are things that people shouldn't be dishonest about."[52] In a 2016 interview with Playboy magazine, Handler revealed that she had a second abortion when she was 16 in addition to the one she talked about with The New York Times.[53]

Handler was a vocal supporter of the 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and was critical of her opponent Donald Trump. In 2016, she told The Daily Beast that a Trump presidency would be the "end of our civilization."[54]

Handler resides in Bel Air, Los Angeles.[55]


Television and film

Year Title Role Notes
2001 Spy TV Various
2001 The Plotters Ann
2002 The Practice Callie Fairbanks
2002 My Wife and Kids Nurse Amy TV series
2004 The Bernie Mac Show Doris Flynt TV series
2004 Girls Behaving Badly Various TV series
2005 Totally High
2006 National Lampoon Presents Cattle Call Nikita
2006 Reno 911! Pinky TV series
2007 Steam Jacky
2007 In the Motherhood Heather Webseries
2011 Hop Mrs. Beck
2011 Whitney Dr. Price TV series
2012 This Means War Trish
2012 Are You There, Chelsea? Sloane TV series
2012 Fun Size Joy DeSantis
2013 Web Therapy Chris Endicott Showtime series
2013 Call Me Crazy: A Five Film Alex A Lifetime Original Movie

As herself

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Weekends at the D.L. Herself Talk show
2006 The Chelsea Handler Show Host Talk show
2007 Comedy Central Presents Herself Standup
2007-2014 Chelsea Lately Host Late night talk show
2009 The Good Wife Herself TV series
2010 2010 MTV Video Music Awards Host TV special
2011-2013 After Lately Herself Mockumentary series
2012-2013 Love You, Mean It with Whitney Cummings Executive producer Late night talk show
2013 Who Do You Think You Are? Herself Documentary series
2013-2014 Hello Ross Executive producer Late night talk show
2014 Uganda Be Kidding Me: Live Herself Standup special
2015 The Muppets Herself Episode: "Too Hot to Handler"
2016 Chelsea Does Herself Documentary series
2016-2017 Chelsea Herself/Host Talk show
2018 We Still Rise Herself Documentary; Post-production

Published works


  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 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Andrew Wallenstein (February 18, 2015). "Chelsea Handler Rips E!, Says Upcoming Netflix Show Like '60 Minutes' But 'Faster, Cooler'". Variety. 
  4. ^ a b Kathy Griffin The 100 Most Influential People in the World: Chelsea Handler. Time Magazine. April 18, 2012
  5. ^ a b Forbes Celebrity 100 List Forbes, June 28, 2010
  6. ^ Ariana Bacle. "Chelsea Handler announces title of her new talk show". EW. 
  7. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (October 18, 2017). "Chelsea Handler's Netflix Show Canceled After 2 Seasons". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Len Righi (November 1, 2007). "Chelsea Handler and the responsibility of ridiculing Britney". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009. 
  9. ^ Stated on Who Do You Think You Are?, August 6, 2012
  10. ^ Egan, Mary Ellen (June 28, 2010). "Blonde Ambition: Chelsea Handler". Forbes. Retrieved 2014. 
  11. ^ Smason, Alan (February 2, 2006). "Comely comic reveals laughs in 'Horizontal Life'". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved 2010. 
  12. ^ "Rita Handler Was Known for Great Love of Family". Vineyard Gazette. March 16, 2006. Retrieved 2016. 
  13. ^ "The Great Losses in Chelsea Handler's Life". The Oprah Winfrey Network. Retrieved 2016. 
  14. ^ Rita Handler Was Known for Great Love of Family - 3/17/06 - Vineyard Gazette Online. (March 17, 2006). Retrieved on January, 27 2012
  15. ^ German grandmas? Not so much, Chelsea Handler and Gwyneth Paltrow curse Mutti Archived April 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Monsters and Critics (April 26, 2011). Retrieved on January, 27 2012.
  16. ^ Antonella Gambotto-Burke Chelsea Handler. Interview from The South China Morning Post. Retrieved on January 27, 2012.
  17. ^ "Chelsea Handler sports big hair at her bar mitzvah in Eighties snap". Retrieved 2017. 
  18. ^ Lyons, Ben (May 27, 2011). "CHELSEA HANDLER: HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE". Hamptons Magazine. Retrieved 2017. 
  19. ^ Antonella Gambotto-Burke Just keep going Archived October 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Sight&Sound. July 11, 2010
  20. ^ Reilly, Phoebe (February 2016). "CHELSEA DOES EARNEST ... Sort of". Vulture. Retrieved 2017. 
  21. ^ "Marriage". Chelsea Does... January 23, 2016. Netflix. 
  22. ^ "Cast Biographies". Girls Behaving Badly. Volume 1. Season 1 DVD. Disc 2 Bonus Features. Starlight Video. December 26, 2006.
  23. ^ "Summer Press Tour: Posh Beckham, Chelsea Handler". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. July 16, 2007. Retrieved 2009. 
  24. ^ "Chelsea Handler to host 2010 MTV VMAs - MSN TV News". September 17, 2010. Archived from the original on August 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010. 
  25. ^ 9/2/10 (August 19, 2010). "Chelsea Handler To Host The 2010 MTV Video Music Awards - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2010. 
  26. ^ Jacob Bernstein (December 1, 2008). "Chelsea Handler, Insult Queen". W magazine. Retrieved 2008. 
  27. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 28, 2014). "'Chelsea Lately' Starring Chelsea Handler Officially Cancelled by E!; Series Finale to Air Tuesday, August 26". TV by the Numbers (Press release). Retrieved 2014. 
  28. ^ Chuy Bravo - On E! Personalities | E! Online. Retrieved on March 18, 2012.
  29. ^ "About the show". Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved 2010. 
  30. ^ Seidman, Robert (May 11, 2012). "'Awake, 'Are You There Chelsea?,' 'Best Friends Forever,' and 'Bent' Canceled by NBC". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2012. 
  31. ^ "'Chelsea Does': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. January 22, 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  32. ^ Erin Jensen. "Chelsea Handler gives deets of her new Netflix show in a letter to herself". USA Today. 
  33. ^ Elizabeth Wagmeister. "Chelsea Handler Announces Title for Netflix Talk Show: 'Chelsea'". Variety. 
  34. ^ Best-Sellers Non-Fiction. New York Times. May 11, 2008,
  35. ^ In search of the next Grisham. LA Times. Josh Getlin. June 25, 2008.
  36. ^ Stelter, Brian (January 18, 2009). "A New Bigmouth on Late Night". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010. 
  37. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction". Retrieved 2013. 
  38. ^ 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards - Press Information. GLAAD. Retrieved on September 20, 2012.
  39. ^ a b Chelsea Handler named Grand Marshal at LA PRIDE Parade. Retrieved on September 20, 2012.
  40. ^ Peck-Wagner, Medeleine (December 2011). "Beauty in Diversity". Arbus Magazine. Retrieved 2011. 
  41. ^ Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Dinner Gala. Retrieved on September 20, 2012.
  42. ^ "Uganda Be Kidding Me: Live Tour". Harris Theater. Archived from the original on January 4, 2015. Retrieved 2014. 
  43. ^ Todd, Carolyn (October 10, 2014). "'Uganda Be Kidding me' react: Chelsea Handler nails Netflix debut". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2014. 
  44. ^ Kohen, Yael. (August 14, 2012) Chelsea Handler Interview - Chelsea Handler at Work. Marie Claire. Retrieved on 2012-09-20.
  45. ^ Fox, Maria Chelsea Handler Puts it All Out There.
  46. ^ Bruce, Leslie (February 6, 2011). Chelsea Handler's Split Personality; May Be 'Done With This Show'.
  47. ^ "Chelsea Handler wins 2009 A-List Award". Bravo. March 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010. 
  48. ^ Vlessing, Etan (May 9, 2012). "Just For Laughs Fest Books Chelsea Handler, Aziz Ansari and The Muppets". The Hollywood Reporter.
  49. ^ Karpel, Ari (July 11, 2008). "Too hot to Handler". Entertainment Weekly (1008). 
  50. ^ Edward Lewine (December 16, 2007). "Domains: Chelsea Handler". New York Times. Retrieved 2007. 
  51. ^ "Chelsea Handler Sex Tape Sale Stopped". October 18, 2010. Retrieved 2012. 
  52. ^ Cathy Horyn (May 20, 2011). "Comedy With a Side of Disgust". The New York Times. 
  53. ^ Kimble, Lindsay. "Chelsea Handler Reveals She Had 2 Abortions at Age 16 in Playboy Essay". People Magazine. Retrieved 2016. 
  54. ^ "Chelsea Handler: A Trump Presidency Would Be 'the End of Our Civilization'". The Daily Beast. September 26, 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  55. ^ David, Mark (November 17, 2010). "Chelsea Handler: Home For the Holidays". Variety. Retrieved 2017. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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