Chelsea Handler Talks Staying on TV, Being Pretty in Comedy and 'Exercising My Brain' More Than E! (Video)
It's a time of transition for Chelsea Handler, who will wrap her show Chelsea Lately at the end of the year, when her contract with the E! Network expires. While currently on a national tour to promote her fourth book -- the No. 1 best-seller, Uganda Be Kidding Me -- she is also planning her next career moves with her new manager, Irving Azoff, who says she'll "definitely" be staying on TV.
Handler makes it clear that her next show won't just be Lately 2.0. "I want to create my own job, for me, and I want to write my own books, and I don’t want anyone telling me exactly what I can and can’t do," she told Billboard.
Here are 5 things we learned about the media mogul, featured on this week's Billboard cover:
She's still deciding what she'll do after Lately. "I’m listening to a bunch of different offers right now and trying to figure out which direction I want to go in," she said. "I want to do something where I’m exercising my brain a little bit more, something that’s a little more challenging and exciting" and "not as stupid" as her E! show.
The busy celeb is ready for a (brief) break. Regardless of where she ends up next, she's going to insist on taking six months off to just chill. "After my last show at E!, I’m going to probably disappear for a few months,” she noted, adding that she wants to "go and be a real person."
A key to her comedy is her willingness to be self-deprecating. Sure, she's not above squeezing in jabs at the expense of others, but her most frequent target during her stand-up shows is herself. "I start with what I find embarrassing, and I go on about what other people do that is embarrassing or annoying, or that I find irritating," she said. "But I always come back to myself: I start with myself, and I end with myself."
She doesn't deny that her looks have helped her career. Handler started doing stand-up at 21, and she thinks it "was an advantage to be a pretty girl doing stand-up. There weren’t tons of them, so it was easy to stand out."
She's considering formats beyond a traditional TV talk show. Her name is routinely mentioned whenever a TV talk show needs a new host, but Handler isn't excited about a hand-me-down. "I don’t want to go and fill someone else’s shoes in a job," she said. Meanwhile, Azoff reveals that they are "kicking the tires hard on radio" and are also looking to get her into the "digital world."
A version of this article originally appeared on Billboard.com.