after-lately

Chelsea Handler wants more ladies in late night

Jan. 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM ET

As the only woman currently making waves on late-night TV, Chelsea Handler is a lucky lady. Her unique position has helped her gain attention and translate her "Chelsea Lately" success to a prime-time career with the new show "Are You There, Chelsea?" But despite the perks, she doesn't want her position to stay unique.

In an interview with TODAY contributing correspondent Jenna Bush Hager, Handler revealed what's really important to her: comedy, family and getting some female competition.

"Well, it's empowering (to stand alone), but I want other females to be in late night," she insisted. "So hopefully that will come. I mean, I'm up against all these guys and we're all doing fine … I think. I don't really look at the ratings."

That's because Handler measures her success in laughs.

"I really, really like to laugh, so it's important not only for me to make people laugh, but for me to laugh while that's happening," she revealed. "I like to surround myself with people that are ridiculous and funny."

Some of whom she happens to be related to, including the brother she lives with and the sisters she considers close friends.

"My family is amazing," Handler raved. "I mean, I never realized how so until I moved out to California, probably … I was trying to get away from them, 'cause I was like, 'You guys are losers.' And then I was like, 'No, they're not. They're actually good family.'"

And one can never have enough good family. That's why the comic-turned-actress keeps making more.

"I like to create family," she said. "Each of the shows I have is a family within itself. It's all a bunch of misfits coming together and co-existing."

As long as Handler maintains her identity among the misfits, she's happy.

"I always aspire to not aspire to be like someone else, because I don't want to be someone else. I want to be Chelsea, and I want to be me and I want to be an original."

For those who'd like to see more from Handler, there are plenty of options. Her primetime sitcom, "Are You There, Chelsea," airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Late-night audiences can catch Handler on "Chelsea Lately" weeknights at 11 p.m. on E! And "After Lately" airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on E!

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