Girls Behaving Badly
“My whole life is reading tabloid magazines. It’s really sad, because that’s what my show is all about, what is going on with celebrities. So I have to know everything.” Chelsea Handler
TV personality and actress Chelsea Handler has become one of the fastest-emerging female standup comediennes in America thanks to her sold-out performances at such events as the Montreal Comedy Festival and the HBO Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. Handler, however, is probably most popular to TV audiences as the host of “The Chelsea Handler Show” (2006-2008), which became one of E!’s highest rated programs in 2006, and “Chelsea Lately” (2007-2009). She has been a regular performer on the Oxygen Network series “Girls Behaving Badly” (2002), a correspondent for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (2006-2008) and a guest on various talk shows, including “Late Show with David Letterman.” As an actress, Handler has acted in the films “The Plotters” (2001, TV), “National Lampoon's Cattle Call” (2006), “Steam” (2007) and in episodes of “The Practice,” “My Wife and Kids,” “The Bernie Mac Show” and “Reno 911!” She then starred on the web-turned-TV series “In the Motherhood” (2007-2008).
Handler is also a bestselling author. She released a successful memoir in June 2005 titled “My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands.” Her second book, “Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea,” followed on April 22, 2008. A collection of comic essays, the book topped The New York Times bestseller list on May 11, 2008.
Handler is dating Ted Harbert, who is the CEO of the Comcast Entertainment Group. The blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty is a huge fan of Bette Middler and supported Barack Obama in his presidential election.
Childhood and Family:
Chelsea Joy Handler was born on February 25, 1975, in Livingston, New Jersey. She was raised in a conservative family by her Jewish father, Melvin, and her Mormon mother, Sylvia. Her mother later died of cancer.
The youngest of six children, Chelsea grew up feeling like an outsider because she wanted to be an actress. As a teenager, she entered the Miss New Jersey pageant and finished in the top 15.
Nicknamed The Sexy Handler, Chelsea headed to Los Angeles at age 19 to pursue a career in show business.
Chelsea Handler Show
Handler produced a tape of herself in her living room doing a standup routine and sent it to the Improv on Melrose. Impressed with her performance, they gave Handler a standup spot on Thursday nights. After her first job, she was spotted across the country performing standup comedy.
Handler branched out to television in 2001 with gigs on “Spy TV,” a show loosely based on “Candid Camera,” and the made-for-TV film “The Plotters,” in which she was cast in the supporting role of Ann, opposite Denise Bitidis and Don Boland. Guest spots on TV shows like the David E. Kelley-created “The Practice” and the Damon Wayans comedy vehicle “My Wife and Kids” followed in 2002 before Handler received her big break on “Girls Behaving Badly” (2002), a new prank comedy series on the Oxygen Network.
In April 2004, Handler made a guest appearance in an episode of Fox's “The Bernie Mac Show” called “The Talk,” playing Doris Flynt. She was invited back to the show to reprise her role for the June 15, 2004, episode “Five Stages of Bryana.” Her TV exploits continued with performances in the VH1 television movie “Dirty Famous” (2005), opposite Christine Lakin and Lindsey Stoddart, and the E! Entertainment comedy series “Totally High” (2005).
However, Handler did not enjoy her next TV success until she was hired to become a correspondent on the NBC talk show “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in 2006. It was her previous comedy and TV work, as well as her best-selling memoir, which convinced Leno to give Handler the coveted assignment. Also in 2006, Handler guest starred as drunk driver Pinky in one episode of Comedy Central's “Reno 911” and portrayed Nikita in the film “National Lampoon's Cattle Call,” opposite Thomas Ian Nicholas, Jenny Mollen and Nicole Eggert. Additionally, she appeared on the reality TV show “30 Most Outrageous Celebrity Feuds.”
Handler next starred on the show “The Chelsea Handler Show,” in which she mixed her standup routines with taped spoofs, shorts and sketches. Airing on E! Network, the comedy series debuted in April 2006 and its popularity led to a spin-off series called “Chelsea Lately” in 2007. Handler also portrayed Jacky in the drama film “Steam” (2007), which was directed and written by Kyle Schickner and starred Ally Sheedy, and joined Leah Remini and Jenny McCarthy to star in the web comedy series “In the Motherhood” (2007).
On March 7, 2007, Handler appeared in the standup special “Comedy Central Presents: Chelsea Handler.” A sought-after talk-show guest, she has appeared on “Last Call with Carson Daly,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” and became a guest host on “The View.”
Hard working Handler has never forgotten her roots as a standup comedian. She hit the road with the Hour Standup Comedy Tour for a nationwide tour in 2007. She stated, “I'll always be doing standup as long as people are still interested in seeing me.”
In June 2008, Handler was profiled on ABC's “Nightline.” Also in 2008, she released her second book, “Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea,” which became a New York Time best seller.