Chelsea Handler has one of the most exciting careers in entertainment with a resume that includes bestselling author, talk show host, comedian, and actress to name a few. Chelsea is a permanent fixture in pop culture as she continues to build a multiplatform media empire. In July 2007, Chelsea broke into the world of late-night talk shows with her E! Entertainment series, “Chelsea Lately,” airing weeknights at 11:00 PM and is consistently one of the network’s highest-rated programs. Both Handler and the show have also been recognized as pioneers in late night with the show boasting five female writers to account for half of its writing staff. This is unprecedented in the late night arena that has historically been dominated by male hosts and writers.
Capitalizing on the continued success of “Chelsea Lately”, Handler introduced audiences to her latest series, “After Lately”, when the show had its March 6th premiere on E!. With increasingly impressive ratings and an immediate cult following, “After Lately” has since been picked up for a second season that promises to be even more entertaining and unpredictable than the first. “After Lately” is a semi-scripted show that follows the outside lives of the original series’ stars including Chelsea, Chuy Bravo, as well as those who write for and appear regularly on Chelsea’s show. Made to feel like a true reality show, each episode is outlined (a la CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM) and draws upon the entirely ridiculous – yet absolutely real – stories, events and people encompassing the world of “Chelsea Lately”.
For the past two years, Chelsea has ventured back into the primetime arena to host a one hour program, “Chelsea’s Big Interview Special”. Now an annual primetime event on E!, “Chelsea’s Big Interview Special” has included in depth interviews with some of Hollywood’s biggest names including Demi Moore, Robin Wright-Penn, and Bradley Cooper as well as Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Christina Aguilera.
Going in front of and behind the camera on yet another TV project, Chelsea has developed and signed on as executive producer on her scripted series, “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea”. NBC Universal recently picked up the series that is based on and titled after her second bestselling book of the same name. Laura Prepon of former “That 70’s Show” fame has been cast as the notoriously deviant and relentlessly amusing Ms. Handler while the real Chelsea guest stars in the pilot episode as her sister Shoshanna. Warner Brothers Television is producing the series for NBC Universal.
In 2010, Handler brought a refreshing new energy to the most important evening in music and pop culture as host of 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. She hit the stage as the first female to take on the role since Rosanne Barr in 1994. Handler’s gender, however, was not the only ground breaking characteristic of her performance—the 2010 VMAs had both the highest rating and viewership since 2002.
Chelsea is not only a beloved household name among television audiences but is also one of the leading nonfiction authors in publishing. Publisher’s Weekly recently named Chelsea one of “the clear winners for the year” with both Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea and Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang debuting at #1 on the New York Times bestsellers’ lists and ranking among the top ten highest-selling nonfiction books of 2010. Her first book, entitled My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands, published by Bloomsbury, was released in the U.S. and over twenty other countries to become a bestseller for several weeks running and has sold over a million copies. Her second book, Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, published by Simon Spotlight, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list in 2008 followed by Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, published by Grand Central Publishing, in March of last year. On March 28th, 2010, Chelsea’s three books held the #1, #2, and #3 spots on the New York Times’ Best Seller lists simultaneously.
In November of last year, Grand Central Publishing signed Chelsea for her own imprint “Borderline Amazing/A Chelsea Handler Book”. Chelsea is currently signed on to pen three books for the imprint, the first of which is titled Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me. Lies is Handler’s fourth bestselling book to date after hitting shelves in May and topping the New York Times Bestseller’s List in the coveted #1 spot. The second title, still in its preliminary stages, will be written through the eyes of Chelsea’s affable dog, Chunk. The third book is undecided at this time.
In 2010, Chelsea partnered with Live Nation for her “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang” comedy tour sponsored by Belvedere Vodka. Due to high demand and several sold out venues, Live Nation extended the tour three times since its launch last March. Chelsea has performed 79 shows in 53 markets across the United States and in Canada. The “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang” tour sold over 250,000 tickets total to become one of the highest grossing of 2010. On May 10th of this year, Chelsea once again hit the road with her first stop in Boston on her “Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me” Tour with Live Nation – this time with comedians and “Chelsea Lately” fixtures Brad Wollack, Heather McDonald, and Josh Wolf in tow. The tour is based on her latest collection of riotous stories included in her book of the same name. The tour includes performances by Handler and the Comedians of Chelsea Lately in the top 20 markets across the US.
Last year, Chelsea expanded her already diverse career further with her first feature film roles. Her first role on the big screen was a cameo in Universal Pictures’ HOP opposite Russell Brand and James Marsden. Up next for the actress is Fox’s THIS MEANS WAR opposite Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine. The film is slated for a February 2012 release. With her roots in television, Chelsea launched her acting career as the star of Oxygen’s “Girls Behaving Badly” (now syndicated in over 90 markets) for all of its four seasons. She also starred on E! in “The Chelsea Handler Show.” In 2007 – 2008, Chelsea starred with Jenny McCarthy and Leah Remini in the hugely popular MSN online web series “In The Motherhood.”
In March 2009, Chelsea was honored the prestigious Ally for Equality Award by 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. She continues to be an influential and dedicated advocate for the LGBT community.
Handler, who grew up in New Jersey, currently resides in Los Angeles.