Chelsea Handler on Why You Won’t See Her Name on a Vodka Bottle

And how the Netflix host chooses her brand partners

Headshot of Kristina Monllos


Age 41

Claim to fame Comedian; host of Chelsea and Chelsea Does on Netflix

Base Los Angeles

Twitter @chelseahandler

Adweek: What is the first information that you consume in the morning?

Chelsea Handler: I scroll through Twitter to see if there's any major news, to see if there was an attack or bombing. If not, then I read the Skimm and Jason Hirschhorn's media roundup, and then I read The New York Times—not the whole thing, but whatever articles [catch my attention]. I read a hard copy of The New York Times. Everyone should get one.

What are your social media habits?

I do a lot of Snapchatting, a lot of Instagram Stories, Facebook. My show has a whole social media department, so they've really kind of edified me in the way of social media so I know how to do all of these little things. We're always doing Facebook Live, we're always doing [something], and I have to pick a different persona for each medium.

On Instagram you were part of the #FreetheNipple movement for a while. Have you lobbied Instagram to change its policies?

Oh, that was just for a short period of time. I did that for about a year. I'm over the nudity now; it's not interesting anymore.

What are your favorite TV shows?

I'm watching Masters of Sex. It's one of my favorite shows. I binged on Stranger Things with everybody else on the planet. Season 2 of Narcos was just released—I didn't realize that and now I have something to do when I get home later today. Binge watching is kind of my jam.

Are you a podcast person?

I listen to Unqualified with Anna Faris sometimes, or I listen to David Axelrod. He has a good podcast [The Axe Files], or Aisha Tyler [Girl on Guy]. I just did her podcast. I wouldn't say I listen to a lot of podcasts, but I try to keep up with my friends that are doing them. Marc Maron's podcast is great, too. His Obama interview was spectacular.

What's on your reading list?

I've been reading Madame Bovary for three months. That's my book that I read in the sauna. I have book for the treadmill, a book for the sauna and one for my real life. I just read that book Loving Frank, which is about the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and an affair that he had with this woman and the crazy house they built in Arizona. I'm reading a book that Trevor Noah wrote because I'm doing an interview with him. It's not out yet, so I have the manuscript. It's really good. A lot of the books that I've been reading have been work-related because I'm having [the authors on as guests].

In terms of brands and ads, how do you choose your partners?

It depends on who in my family needs money at that point. If I really need to do an ad campaign, then I weigh the options and just go with somebody that at least makes sense. I'm not going to go and do a hairspray commercial, even though I am from New Jersey, and I'm not going to come out with my own bottle of vodka. All those things are just too on the nose and too gross. If it's something that's lifestyle-related and something that I use—I can't pretend to hawk a product line that I'm not interested in. I make enough money, so I'm not going to do that unless it makes sense.

This story first appeared in the October 3, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.

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@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.