The buzz that Chelsea Handler will not be renewing the comedienne’s contract with E! has everyone wondering just where the late night host is going to go next. Handler has been hosting Chelsea Lately for eight years and now Handler and manager, Irving Azoff, are trying to figure out the comedienne’s next move. “She hired me to figure out her life after E!” said Azoff to The Hollywood Reporter.
For the past few years, Handler has been spewing jokes against the network on Chelsea Lately and how unhappy the comic is. Handler appeared on The Howard Stern Show on March 5 to promote the comics new book, Uganda Be Kidding Me, which is on the New York Times Bestseller List. Handler said of the network, “They don’t know what they’re doing. They have no ideas. It’s a failure.” Handler also stated that the network was “a sad, sad place to live.” Not very kind words for a network that is paying Handler a whopping 9 million a year. Though some people are betting that the whole thing is just a scam in order for E! to dish out more cash, Handler’s manager says that the comic is not fooling around. “Chelsea intends to leave when her contract expires.” said Azoff.
Handler complains that the network never helped with the promotion of Handler’s spin-off, After Chelsea, and just watched as the show died a slow death. Though the comedienne’s viewership has declined from 800,000 to just under 600,000 since 2010, Handler is still in an excellent bargaining position. So just where is Chelsea Handler planning to go? According to Azoff, there are seven suitors knocking on Handler’s door.
One of the suitors might be Netflix as the bestselling author hinted on The Howard Stern Show. The outspoken, uncontrollable entertainer would fit in with Netflix just fine as the joker would have more freedom with the late night hosts comic routine. Another couple of the suitors are definitely other networks as the comic said to Stern that though Handler is not close to signing a deal with another network, talks are certainly underway. Another possible direction for the comedienne is to cross over into radio. Stern proves that radio is a practical place to be and with the sharp, back-handed humor that Handler has, radio would be another great fit. Of course there are also the possibilities that other digital services are scrambling to get Handler’s attention.
E! is keeping quiet which seems to suggest that the network is trying to make Handler happy and that when Azoff used the word “intends”, it implies that certain incentives could change the comedienne’s mind. While on The Howard Stern Show though, it didn’t sound like the comedic author believes in the network anymore. Handler said, “How many conversations can you have about it? Clearly,” the comic added “things aren’t gonna get better.” That sounds pretty finite when discussing the future of ones career.
Whether it be in radio, another network, Netflix or some other digital service, one thing is for sure; no matter where Chelsea Handler is going next, the comedienne’s fans are sure to follow. What is not so certain is if Handlers 150 employees will be following the late night host wherever Handler decides to end up.
By Derik L. Bradshaw