Chelsea Handler's net worth comes from being one of the best-known comedians of her generation. Not only is she one of just a small handful women to have hosted her own late-night show with E!’s Chelsea Lately, but she's also a successful stand-up, a bestselling author and a podcast host.
Writing about her career for a LinkedIn article in 2016, Handler stressed the importance of, as she calls it, showing up. "I hated doing stand-up in the beginning. I couldn't wait for a set to be canceled because no one showed, but after getting cold feet many times, I made an agreement with myself that I would show up, get up, and do my set, no matter what the circumstance," she wrote (via Business Insider).
Eventually, she explained, showing up became her norm—and one of the secrets to her success. "It was no longer an option to not show up," she shared. "I now practice 'showing up' with everything I do. It has permeated every facet of my life. Whether it's wanting to cancel a workout, a friend's party, a public appearance, my family in New Jersey. Whatever it is, when I commit, I show up."
Read on to find out how much money "showing up" has made Chelsea Handler over the years.
How did Chelsea Handler become famous?
Although Chelsea Handler is now best known as a comedian, she actually started out as an aspiring actress. At 19, she left her native New Jersey (where, as a teen, she competed in the Miss New Jersey pageant) and headed west to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.
Eventually, Handler moved her sights to comedy and started working the stand-up circuit. (As Handler has explained it, she got the idea to try stand-up after speaking in front of a court-mandated, post-DUI driving class, at which she apparently cracked everyone up.) In 2002, she landed a role on Oxygen’s all-women, hidden-camera prank show Girls Behaving Badly, then started making appearances on the E! Network and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as a correspondent.
In 2005, she published her first book, My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands, which went on to become a bestseller. Her star on the rise, Handler landed her own series on E!, The Chelsea Handler Show—a half-hour program that featured Handler's signature skewering of celebrities—which ran for one season in 2006. The latter part of 2007 saw the premiere of her late-night talk show on E!, Chelsea Lately, which ran from 2007 to 2014 and established Handler as a household name.
What is Chelsea Handler's net worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth Chelsea Handler's net worth is $35 million. She's built that through a well-rounded career that includes TV hosting, writing, stand-up, producing, podcasting and endorsement deals.
How much did E! pay Chelsea Handler for Chelsea Lately?
Handler herself never confirmed her salary at E!, where she hosted the late-night show Chelsea Lately from 2007 to 2014, but Deadline reported in November 2011 that she signed a two-year extension deal with E! (for what would be her final two years with the network, from 2012 to 2014), for $25 million. That amount covered her work as host and executive producer of Chelsea Lately.
It's unlikely Handler made anywhere near $12.5 million per year for her earlier seasons on the show, but it's fair to call her time at E! lucrative. Still, by the time she was leaving the network, it was clear she was unhappy with it. In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, she called it "a sad, sad place to live” and “a failure."
"They don't know what they're doing. They have no ideas," she said.
How much did Chelsea Handler get paid by Netflix?
In 2014, after leaving the E! Network and ending Chelsea Lately, Chelsea Handler signed a $10 million deal with Netflix. The deal included a talk show (the eventual Chelsea, which ran for just two seasons), a stand-up comedy performance, and a four-part "docu-comedy" special (2016's Chelsea Does). Handler has since collaborated with the streaming giant on other projects, including her 2022 stand-up special, "Revolution."
How many books has Chelsea Handler written?
Chelsea Handler has written six book, all to great success.
My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands (2005)
Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea (2008)
Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang (2010)
Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me (2011)
Uganda Be Kidding Me (2014)
Life Will Be the Death of Me: . . . and You Too! (2019)
How much does Chelsea Handler make from endorsements?
It has been reported that, so far, Chelsea Handler has earned a career-spanning $9 million from endorsements. However, Handler herself has not confirmed this number.
In 2022, Handler filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against lingerie company ThirdLove. In 2021, according to court documents, Handler had signed a one-year, $1.06 million deal with the company, the terms of which would reportedly have the comedian spearhead an advertising campaign and exclusively promote the brand. Handler alleges that ThirdLove did not “fairly compensate her for an advertising campaign it hired her to spearhead” after her contract and campaign were canceled in early 2022.
At this time, it appears this lawsuit may still be ongoing as no resolution has been reported.
How much does Chelsea Handler make from touring?
It's not known exactly how much Chelsea Handler has made over the course of her career from touring as a stand-up comedian. Top-tier comedians will usually have tours that earn in the tens of millions. However, all of that money does not go straight into the comedian’s pocket, as there are several parties that will profit from a tour, including the venue, TicketMaster, managers and so on. Even so, it's fair to assume Handler's made many millions of dollars in the two decades she's appeared on stage.