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Chelsea Handler left TV for Netflix, and she’s not looking back

Handler says “Chelsea” is a talk show, but don’t call it “late-night.”

Asa Mathat for Recode

After a seven-year run hosting the late-night talk show "Chelsea Lately" on E!, comedian Chelsea Handler was tired of only talking about celebrity gossip. Whatever she did next, she wanted to go after bigger fish: Science, politics, other countries, technology and more.

"I still want to be an idiot, but I want to give information in a fun way, and I want to do something a little more worldly," Handler said on the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher. "I don’t think people were ever tuning in to E! to be educated. They were tuning in to tune out."

With the four-part documentary series "Chelsea Does" and now a new talk show, "Chelsea," both on Netflix, Handler said she got her wish, which means going beyond her old comfort zone. Over the next three years, Handler is scheduled to produce 270 episodes of "Chelsea," which Netflix is translating into 24 languages for 190 countries every week.

"My impetus has never been money," Handler said. "Constantly creating things around my brand or my persona is not interesting to me. This is the first global talk show in the history of television. I want to focus on that and get really good at that."

On the new podcast, she also chatted about catching up to Snapchat after a year away from social media and what she thinks of the year’s big political issues such as transgender bathroom rights, Barack Obama’s final year in office and (of course) Donald Trump.

"I think everybody should use whatever bathroom they want to use," Handler said. "I use the men's room as often as possible because I think women are filthy."

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