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Chelsea Handler Wants to Return to Late Night: 'White Men's Opinions Are Pretty Irrelevant'

After a week of hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live, Handler is ready to host her own show again.
  • Chelsea Handler hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live (Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless)
    Chelsea Handler hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live (Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless)

    After a week of guest hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live, Chelsea Handler is ready to be a mainstay on late night TV, once again.

    In an interview with Variety, Handler reflected on her week on Kimmel and her future in late night. When asked if she's had any conversations about hosting her own show, particularly as James Corden prepares to leave The Late Late Show, Handler said, "I personally have not had any conversations with anyone other than my agents, and they were just testing the waters to see how interested I was, so I haven’t talked to anyone directly about a specific slot. But yes, I am interested in getting back out there."

    Handler is no stranger to the late night landscape: the comic hosted E!'s Chelsea Lately from 2007 to 2014, and later landed a Netflix talk show, Chelsea, that ran from 2016 to 2017.

    Five years later, Handler is eager to see more women in late night television, speaking to issues that impact female viewers.

    "I feel like this is a time where it's so important to be represented and to be representing women and to remind people why it's so important to be loud and to be strong and to be indefatigable about it and to get up and say something," said Handler.

    "It gives a lot of people comfort when they have somebody speaking for them — you know, not just a white guy," she continued. "There's really nobody that can experience what it's like to be a woman other than one of us. So having anybody else comment on that, white men's opinions are pretty irrelevant."

    Handler acknowledged that while Amber Ruffin and Samantha Bee currently have late night shows, "it's not enough."

    "I think I would like to reboot Chelsea Lately as Chelsea Later," said Handler. "There are just too many great, talented comedians that are coming up that I want to give a voice to, and there's just an overabundance of straight white guys over a certain age that get a lot of props in this medium. We have a bunch of talk shows, but we need the format that really brings joy and can take the piss out of everything that's going on politically and culturally. We have to have a sounding board for that, and that person is me."

    Handler also took aim at the current wave of comedians who complain about the difficulties of doing comedy in a "PC world," saying, "It's not hard to just respect the new rules. It's not hard to not discriminate against people in the medium of comedy."

    "That's weak. I'm so sick of everyone going, 'You can’t say this.' You can’t say that.' Well, good," she added. "That just speaks to your level of talent, if you can't work within a certain set of parameters. We shouldn't be making other people feel bad about themselves, anyway."

    Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs encore episodes featuring guest hosts Handler and Sean Hayes next week before returning with new episodes Monday, July 11 at 11:35 PM ET on ABC.

    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: Chelsea Handler, ABC, Chelsea Lately, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Jimmy Kimmel, Late Night