Handler was born in the suburban town of Livingston, New Jersey in the USA. The youngest of six children, she was raised Jewish by her Mormon mother, Rita, and Jewish father, Seymour.
Handler is a stand-up comedian who has made multiple appearances across America. She was also a regular on the Oxygen Network series Girls Behaving Badly. She has appeared on many shows, including Weekends at the D.L., The Bernie Mac Show and The Practice. She is a regular commentator on E! and Scarborough Country as well as a correspondent on The Tonight Show and has been a guest on Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld and The View. Chelsea Handler also appears in her own late night talk show on E! titled Chelsea Lately. Chelsea was a co-host on The View on August 2, 2007 and again on September 5, 2008.
Handler has authored two books on the New York Times Best Seller List. Handler wrote My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands (ISBN 1582346186 ) as her memoir. Handler also wrote Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea (ISBN 0061173398), a collection of humorous essays. Are You There Vodka hit the NYTimes non-fiction best seller list on May 11, 2008 and has already had a print run of 250,000.
In 2007, Handler performed with the Hour Stand-Up Comedy Tour across the U.S.. Her stand-up has been televised on Vh1's Love Lounge, Comedy Central's Premium Blend, and HBO's broadcast of the Aspen Comedy Festival. Chelsea Handler was the host of the highly anticipated Fox show "On The Lot." The show, produced by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett, is a competition for aspiring filmmakers who are vying for a chance at stardom. She was replaced after one episode by former Robin & Company entertainment anchor, Adrianna Costa.
In July 2007, Handler began starring on her own half an hour late-night comedy series on E! titled Chelsea Lately. This series places Handler against a slew of male-dominated talk shows, taking both a female approach and adding a considerable amount of sarcasm to the format. On the show's 100th episode, Chelsea revealed to viewers that E! had picked up Chelsea Lately for another 150 episodes.
Since 2007, Handler has appeared in the Internet based program In The Motherhood with Leah Remini and (since January 2008) Jenny McCarthy. The comedic series is about moms, by moms and for moms. On September 8th, 2008, it was announced ABC would be turning In The Motherhood into a series starring Handler, Megan Mullaly, and Cheryl Hines.
Chelsea has confirmed she is dating Ted Harbert, who, as the CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group, oversees E! Entertainment Television. A common speculation is that Handler got her show on the E! Network as a result of dating the CEO, but this rumor was debunked when Harbert says he met Handler at a wrap party for her show, which had already begun production. On the January 29, 2008 episode of Chelsea Lately, she claimed that she was asked to do season six of the hit television series Dancing with the Stars but declined.