Chelsea Handler recently said in an interview “You don’t get a TV show because you’re sleeping with someone.” She is speaking of her boss and former boyfriend Ted Harbert who was then Comcast president and CEO Ted Harbert when she got her show on the E!Network in 2007. Chelsea often has to defend this part of her career but she makes a pretty convincing argument. She told the latest issue of More Magazine:
“Ted Harbert is not responsible for me selling four books on the New York Times list. He’s not responsible for me selling out areneas. All he did was recognize talent. He put Roseanne Barr on the air. He put Brett Butler on the air. This is a guy who notices female comedians and he noticed me. You don’t get a TV show because you’re sleeping with someone. That’s when you get a walk-on role as, like, a female police officer.”
And Chelsea is right. He didn’t write those books or tell her how to be funny. It is just too bad that their relationship overshadows the launch of a great career because here it a few years later still being brought up in an interview.
But there is no doubt that Chelsea has an amazing career. As journalist Hampton Stevens wrote of the comedian for The Atlantic:
“Chelsea Handler is not a businesswoman. To paraphrase Jay-Z, Handler is business, woman. The New Jersey-born comic is conducting an all-out entrepreneurial assault on American mass media. And winning.
She’s written four bestselling books, mostly detailing her drunken sexual escapades and dysfunctional family. Three of those books went to number one on the New York Times‘ bestseller list. One of them, Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, debuted at number one, and her national stand-up comedy tour in support of the book raked in another $10 million. She has her own publishing imprint, and her own production company, Borderline Amazing. She’s been on the cover of Playboy, posing for a non-nude pictorial inside, and Forbes named her one of the World’s Most Powerful Women.”
She now also has a reported $25 million deal with E! to keep Chelsea Lately on air through 2014. More reports that she divided$138,000 of this among her staffers.