Chelsea Handler to Host 2010 MTV Awards

She is already the rare woman on the roster of late-night comedy hosts, and now Chelsea Handler, the star of the E! network series “Chelsea Lately,” is about to join another mostly male club.

On Wednesday, it was officially announced that she would be the host of the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, which will be shown Sept. 12.

That makes Ms. Handler the first woman in that role since 1994, when the awards program was hosted by Roseanne Barr.

“If there’s one awards show that I should be hosting, it’s probably this one,” Ms. Handler said in an interview by phone. “My personality probably wouldn’t jell with the Emmys or the Golden Globes.”

Ms. Handler is better known for her bawdy best-selling memoirs like “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” and “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang” than for her program’s occasional roundtable discussions with rap artists like Lil Jon, Big Boi and Rick Ross.

But she says her irreverent comedic sensibility will help her win over an MTV viewership that is more likely tuning in for a performance by Justin Bieber, the 16-year-old pop sensation.

Stephen K. Friedman, the general manager of MTV, described Ms. Handler as “an unexpected choice.”

“And yet,” he said, “you look at her following from our audience and it makes sense. They’re passionate fans.”

Mr. Friedman said that in addition to Ms. Handler’s nightly duties on her E! show and her frequent live comedy shows, her books have sold particularly well with the college-age audience that MTV covets.

“There is a sweet spot that loves her,” Mr. Friedman said. “Her college fan base, for us, really made the point that she will appeal more broadly.”

Ms. Handler said that she would present a week of music-award-themed episodes of “Chelsea Lately” before the MTV broadcast. The lineup of guests is still being determined.

NY Times

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