For one special evening, Chelsea Handler is bringing her late-night raunch to primetime: Handler will be hosting the MTV Video Music Awards. The comedienne announced the gig on her E! talk show, “Chelsea Lately,” on Wednesday (August 18).
“Everyone knows that when you think of rap music and hip-hop you think of ‘Chelsea Lately.’ And that’s why I will be hosting [the show],” Handler quipped, before urging her staff to vie for the extra tickets MTV gave her. “Let the ass-kissing begin,” the funnywoman smiled.
Handler will work the mic at this year’s awards show, which airs live from Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET. This is the first time the L.A.-based star will host the event where celebs like Lady Gaga, Eminem, Drake, Usher and Katy Perry are up for Moonmen. Among the performers set to hit the stage are Kanye West, B.o.B, Florence and the Machine and Handler’s sometime suitor, Justin Bieber.
The talk-show diva is the latest in a long list of comics to handling host duties at the VMAs. In 1985, Eddie Murphy took the cameras backstage at Radio City Music Hall and surprised guests with an impromptu visit to the ladies room. Arsenio Hall presided over the festivities four years in a row, armed with a collection of Day-Glo suits and a quick wit that sparked the requisite “roo, roo, roo!” chorus from the crowd. Fellow late-night comic Jimmy Fallon kicked-off his 2002 hosting duties with an amped-up musical number. Chris Rock helped MTV turn 20 in 2003, delivering a memorable opening monologue that rivaled the infamous Madonna-Britney Spears-Christina Aguilera smooch. Potty-mouthed Brit Russell Brand flexed his skills on two different coasts; hosting in Hollywood in 2008 and returning the next year to helm the VMA’s 2009 New York City homecoming.
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The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 p.m. ET.