Chelsea Handler Net Worth: How Much Does the Comedian Make?

Despite ruffling more than a few feathers in her time as a talk show host, writer, and actress, Chelsea Handler continues to find her way into the spotlight. Handler is famous for not holding back her opinion, a trait that has often gotten her into hot water with friends and critics alike. 

How much money has all of this time in the spotlight amassed Handler, and what’s the current state of her career? 

How Chelsea Handler got her start in stand-up

Chelsea Handler | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

When Handler was just 19 years old, the New Jersey native headed for Los Angeles with plans of becoming a famous actor. She quickly found her calling comedy and began performing in stand-up shows. These funny gigs landed her the chance to be on Girls Behaving Badly, a hidden camera show that aired on the Oxygen network beginning in 2002. 

Through this comedic work, Handler got a reputation for having a no holds barred, get in your face, tell it like it is kind of style. She would double down on this image when she released her first book in 2005. It was titled My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands and it showed a kind of self-deprecating humor and openness about her dating life that many found refreshing and hilarious. 

When did Chelsea Handler get her own show?

Some appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno would eventually help push Handler into her own programming on the E! Network. The Chelsea Handler Show was a combination of sketch comedy and stand-up and ran for a single season in 2006. The next year, Handler E! aired Chelsea Lately, which paired Handler’s signature stand-up with a roundtable of other comedians. Chelsea Lately ran from 2007 until 2014, and during its run, Handler saw a lot of professional success. 

She guest-starred on several popular comedy series such as Reno 911! and The Bernie Mac Show. She even hosted the Video Music Awards in 2010. As Chelsea Lately wrapped up in 2014, Handler announced a partnership with Netflix where she would first release a four-part documentary series called Chelsea Does. That project led to the premiere of Chelsea, an experimental attempt to bring elements of live TV to the streaming service. The show aired in 2016 and was canceled the following year, leaving Handler teasing potential new documentary projects

While neither of those projects has materialized yet, Handler has recently released her latest book. It’s titled Life Will Be the Death of Me . . . And You Too! and was released in April of 2019. 

Chelsea Handler has faced controversies along the way

While Handler’s career has continued to grow, she has sometimes sparked controversy stemming from her “say anything” approach to comedy. She was once good friends with Jennifer Aniston, but her tendency to bring Aniston’s personal life into the spotlight in an attempt to be funny caused a split in the pair. While losing a friend is bad enough, Handler and Aniston shared a publicist, and Handler found herself dropped from representation in the midst of the fight. 

In 2017, she attempted to make a political joke about Mike Pence and his brother by calling the two “gay.” Handler faced criticism from the right and the left for the insensitive comments that appeared to present homosexuality as a slur. 

Handler has amassed a considerable net worth

Despite the controversies, Handler has leveraged her work in comedy into considerable net worth. She reportedly received a $10 million annual salary while working on her Netflix show, and she is estimated to be worth a total of $40 million. With the launch of her latest book, fans can expect to see even more from Handler in the near future.