Chelsea Handler is anything but conventional.
Ever since she made a name for herself as a standup comedian and host of E!’s "Chelsea Lately," Handler has made no apologies for her brash, provocative sense of humor. But after seven seasons of being sandwiched between episodes of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," Handler is reinventing herself and the talk show format with the launch of "Chelsea" on Netflix on Wednesday, May 11.
Handler’s moved on from the whole late-night scene, revealing to ET she doesn’t miss the show that made her famous (“That’s done”) or feel like she missed out on an opportunity to join late-night’s boys club on the major networks. She met with CBS in 2014 when the network was looking for someone to replace Craig Ferguson on "The Late Late Show," but says she was never close to approaching a deal.
“I was never going to do it from my side,” Handler says of the show. (James Corden has since taken over.) “It was of no interest to me to do that. I don't ever want to step into somebody else's job. You know, if I'm in the position to create a job for myself, and create a show from scratch, I'm always going to choose that.”
That may be in part why the 41-year-old is ditching her sidekick (sorry, Chuy Bravo), gossip and reality stars, and the five-days-a-week rollout. Instead, Netflix will debut new episodes at 12:01 a.m. PT on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Most notably, "Chelsea" is more grown up, with Handler focusing her attention on weightier topics such as politics and human interest stories.
In the series’ trailer, Handler carries a piñata of Donald Trump through Mexico City, trains with tennis champion Maria Sharapova, and gets into “real” conversations with people on the street (or at the beach). “I’m treating the show like the college education I forgot to get,” she announces, promising something entirely different from her previous late-night experience.
Fans were given a glimpse of this change on her Netflix documentary series, "Chelsea Does," which explored marriage, drugs, racism, and Silicon Valley. “I wanted to do somethingwhere I would be learning something and then also in an entertaining way,” she says of the series. Both "Chelsea" programs are part of Handler’s overall deal with the streaming network, which also debuted her first hour-long standup special, "Uganda Be Kidding Me."