Chelsea Handler’s new sitcom, Are You There, Chelsea? debuts tonight on NBC, and while it’s been getting mixed reviews, lots of people are expecting it to be pretty good. Why? Because Handler has garnered herself a whole gaggle of fans from her stand-up comedy and E! show, Chelsea Lately. Turns out audiences respond really well to talking about your vagina and calling Angelina Jolie a c*nt.
On the show, Lara Prepon plays Handler, who is a standup comedienne on the show, too. Like a tall, blonde, female Seinfeld. To help kick off Chelsea’s show, we’re rounding up six other comediennes turned sitcom stars.
Whitney Cummings: Cummings appeared in the San Francisco audition for Last Comic Standing in 2008, and while she didn’t make the final cut, it certainly helped launch her career. Since then, she’s performed on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and HBO’s Down and Dirty with Jim Norton. In 2011, Cummings got her own sitcom on NBC, Whitney.
Ellen DeGeneres: In 1981, Ellen DeGeneres was the emcee at Clyde’s Comedy Club in New Orleans. She’s cited Woody Allen and Steve Martin as her comedy heroes at the time. Then, in the early 80s, Ellen was Showtime’s Funniest Person in America. From 1994-1998, Ellen had her own hit sitcom, Ellen.
Roseanne Barr: Roseanne was doing stand-up comedy at clubs before making a big name for herself on the 1988-1997 sitcom, Roseanne. Barr won both an Emmy and Golden Globe for Best Actress on the show.
Wanda Sykes: Wanda started her stand-up career at a Coors Light Talent Showcase in Washington, D.C. She got her big break opening for Chris Rock at Caroline’s Comedy Club. In 2003, Wanda had her own FOX sitcom, Wanda at Large. It ran for two seasons.
Mo’Nique: Mo’Nique got her start at open mic night at a club in Baltimore. But the comedienne rose to fame when she starred on the UPN series, The Parkers.
Brett Butler: If you were born sometime before 1998, you might remember the ABC sitcom, Grace Under Fire. It starred standup comedienne Brett Butler and, here’s a fun fact, it was created by Chuck Lorre. You know, Charlie Sheen’s arch-nemesis?