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The 'Chelsea Lately' Roundtable: TV's New Casting Mecca

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jul 1st 2011 1:45PM
Chelsea HandlerIt doesn't really matter if you think Chelsea Handler's talk show is funny or not, because the TV casting gods have decided that it is.

Five -- count 'em five -- 'Chelsea Lately' comedians have secured lead and supporting roles on network TV shows this fall, and that's not counting how many guest spots the rest of them are probably lining up. So has the 'Chelsea Lately' roundtable become the new casting couch?

Now we should note that these aren't the first lucky/intrepid stand-ups to try to hit it big without Handler: Jen Kirkman famously quit her gig at 'Chelsea' to write for 'Perfect Couples' on NBC, but came back when that show got canceled. And roundtable regular Josh Wolf appeared on several episodes of 'Raising Hope' last season, but never really quit his "day job."

But a few full-time gigs might take the following funny people from late night to primetime for good ... or at least for a while. Take a look at what Chelsea's merry crew of inappropriate comedians will be up to next season.

John CaparuloJohn Caparulo, 'Work It'
Caparulo is known for raising his arms like a champ after a joke goes over well on 'Chelsea,' but with his casting as the most sexist character on the most sexist new fall show, we're not sure there's much to celebrate. We would tune in to see him out of his ever-present baseball cap and into a pretty dress and heels -- but we wouldn't feel good about it.
'Work It' premieres midseason on ABC

Whitney CummingsWhitney Cummings, 'Whitney' & 'Two Broke Girls'
Cummings always makes me giggle on 'Chelsea,' so I was thrilled when two shows she created got picked up. CBS's 'Two Broke Girls' is surprisingly delightful, but the self-titled 'Whitney' on NBC, which obviously also stars Cummings, is a laugh track-filled flop. Fellow 'Chelsea' pal Loni Love has a quick cameo in the 'Whitney' pilot. More to come, we're sure.
'Whitney' premieres this fall on NBC
'Two Broke Girls' premieres Mon., Sept. 19, 9:30PM ET on CBS

Jo KoyJo Koy, 'Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea'
Based on one of Handler's bestselling books, it's only right that the show cast some familiar 'Chelsea' faces. Koy, one of Handler's favorite punching bags, continues to get the brunt of the title character's harsh remarks. Practice makes perfect, so maybe this is the ultimate role for him.
UPDATE: It was just announced that Koy will be replaced on the show. Guess there is such thing as too much 'Chelsea' ...
'Are You There Vodka?' premieres midseason on NBC

Natasha LeggeroNatasha Leggero, 'Free Agents'
Leggero has been guest starring on comedies for years and she branched out a bit last year to judge 'Last Comic Standing' on NBC. This fall she'll play Hank Azaria's acerbic assistant on this new sitcom. Just like on the 'Lately' roundtable, she'll be surrounded by people greater than or equal to her on the funny scale, and we think that's when she does her best work.
'Free Agents' premieres this fall on NBC

Chelsea HandlerChelsea Handler, 'Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea'
And this list wouldn't be complete without noting that Handler herself is also doing a bit of acting. No, not as herself -- Laura Prepon will be playing the part of Chelsea -- but as Chelsea's brunette born-again sister she loves to make fun of.
'Are You There Vodka?' premieres midseason on NBC

What do you say? Good for them, or don't quit your day job?

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Chelsea is a cool cat, you go gal!

August 08 2011 at 7:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"UPDATE: It was just announced that Koy will be replaced on the show. Guess there is such thing as too much 'Chelsea' "

Koy wasn't replaced for "having too much Chelsea". He was replaced for politically correct nonsense. We are losing it people. Enough with stopping Earth's orbit because someone was offended. This will not make us better people.

July 11 2011 at 12:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think she's hysterically funny!

July 09 2011 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This just shows how out of the loop you are. Chelsea is terrible but her guests are pretty good. The problem is these guests have been around a long time. Whitney Cummings got her show because of the Comedy Central Roasts. Jo Koi has been around for a pretty long time. She often has the Sklar brothers on there and they already had their own show. Stop giving her credit for other people saying funny things. The only reason Chelsea even got a show was because she was sleeping with the head of E! and it is funny because he moved to NBC and guess who is in talks for her own show on NBC? That's right, yeah, her. Her jokes are horribly stale and she delivers with the smoothness of a rhino with MS. Look at her fan base. That should tell you a lot about how successful she really is.

July 08 2011 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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July 08 2011 at 3:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


July 08 2011 at 6:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oscar Love

Sarah Silverman-another female "comic" whom instead of trying to be funny spends most of her time trying to be edgy. Most comics today have that same unfortune trait. There is a saying "that funny is funny" and that is not Handler.

July 05 2011 at 10:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

oops, comical or comedic not comedica.

July 05 2011 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have mixed feelings for Chelsea Handler but more on positive side. She seems to want to push comedians in her show to the limit of their talents. You sure need a talent for quick, live comedica repartee, or you will just fade.

July 05 2011 at 2:06 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Like her or hate her you've got to admit she really has the only show on TV that introduces us to different comedians. The rest of the late night shows just go after already successful stars. So it's great that they go on to bigger and better things.

July 05 2011 at 12:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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