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30 Comedians to Know in 2016 PT 2



“There are two kinds of people I don’t trust: people who don’t drink and people who collect stickers.”

Chelsea Handler

In today’s comedy scene, it seems impossible to not know who Chelsea Handler is. The American comedian/ actress/ author/ host/ producer has been in the entertainment business since 2001 and it doesn’t seem like she will be out of the spotlight anytime soon. After the end of her well-known talk show Chelsea Lately on E! Network, which aired from 2007-2014, Handler is finally back in the game and she’s back with a bang. After almost six months since Handler first agreed to work with Netflix, her much anticipated docu-series Chelsea Does (which Handler produced and will star in) is quickly reaching its premiere date on the popular streaming service on January 23 (although in early December, Handler announced that the series will actually be making its true debut at the 2016 Sundance Film festival on January 22, just one day before the Chelsea Does worldwide Netflix premiere).

Handler’s comedy material focuses on three genres: observational comedy, news satire and blue comedy. The content of Chelsea Does will reiterate Handler’s willingness to take taboos and issues that make people uncomfortable talking about by the horns. The series is made up of four feature-length documentaries that will explore four topics: marriage, racism, technology and drugs. Some of the documentaries specifically, will feature the comedian interrogating children about marriage, smoking pot with Willie Nelson and informing a Native American that the last time she was on a reservation was probably when she was at a casino.

The comedian has also received a great amount of recognition. In 2009 Handler received the “Ally for Equality Award” from the Human Rights Campaign for being recognized for her “outstanding efforts” in dedicating her time, energy, spirit and whole-hearted commitment to better the lives of LGBT people. Also, in 2010, Handler was ranked on the Forbes Celebrity 100 at No. 98, and in 2012 she was placed on Time’s list of influential people.

At the Television Critics Association panel in July, Handler talked about her choice to leave E!, how she made headlines for slamming the network on her way out and her excitement about her move to Netfilx.

(On leaving E!): “I’m really fortunate that I was in a position to quit,” she went on. “I don’t miss it. I loved it, it was fun and I was done. I don’t think anyone needs to hear me bitch about E! I’m very happy where I am now.”

However, when discussing her move to Netflix, she explained the choice was “because I had to get my brain working again,” adding, “It’s the difference of playing with kids on the playground or being in a really well-respected college.”

The experience of working with Netflix has brought Handler to, as she says, a new level. “You respect their opinion,” she says. “It’s so important to be in a job where they’re smarter than me. Their notes are really respectful and open.”

Handler also offered up details on her new talk show that will be premiering later this year. It will, according to Handler, be broader than Lately and will air twice per week.

“We’ll be in your face,” says Handler. “Don’t worry.”

Knowing Handler, it’s probably a safe bet that she’ll be keeping her promise.

Follow Chelsea Handler Twitter.

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