THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100
"I'm always surprised at my ability to work hard," jokes the 36-year-old comic and host of E!'s Chelsea Lately. "Because I consider myself to be inherently lazy."
Handler might be a lot of things, but unmotivated is not one of them. On the contrary, her fast-growing empire -- including three New York Times best-selling novels, her Borderline Amazing production company and a lucrative Belvedere vodka endorsement -- is testament to Handler's profound work ethic.
In 2011, the New Jersey native spent 12 consecutive weeks taping each of her three television shows: E!'s Chelsea Lately and After Lately and NBC's midseason replacement Are You There, Vodka?, which she executive produces.
On Nov. 27, the second-season premiere of After Lately attracted 937,000 viewers, up 12 percent compared with its first bow (Handler promises an impressive guest-star roster for After Lately, including pals Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon). In November, amid much speculation, she inked a two-year deal with E! to stay on as exec producer and host of her late-night topical series.
It also gives Handler a first-look deal through her production company. "I realize the success of Chelsea Lately and what it could become," says Handler of the show, which averages more than 1 million viewers an episode. "A friend also reminded me that I was the first woman to have a successful late-night TV show and what it will mean for women in the future."
Fresh off her national stand-up tour Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me (spawned from her most recent novel of the same name), Handler is ready to take some time off. "I couldn't be more sick of the sound of my own stand-up routine," she says. "One more week, and I would have ended up in a mental hospital."
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