Using the somewhat-scientific method of dividing her salary by the number of viewers she attracts, in addition to watching her show, the L.A. Times has determined that Chelsea Handler is the most overpaid personality on television. According to the paper's research, Handler receives $12 million a year to find the puns in the day's tabloid reports for a mere 718,000 viewers, a figure that works out to a staggering $16.70 she's being paid per each Chelsea Lately watcher—an amount that could potentially provide similar, yet more lasting laughs with the purchase of a "Take Me Drunk, I'm Home" novelty T-shirt.
Of course, the Times' methodology doesn't take into account all mitigating variables, such as the actual number of episodes that someone like David Letterman or Jon Stewart tapes a year, the advertising value of the attractive 18-49 demo they bring in, the sexual favors provided by Handler to her former boss, etc. But it's still an interesting breakdown of who's actually worth what, including the surprising revelation that, according to this formula, both Ashton Kutcher and Jersey Shore's Snooki are somehow considered underpaid. That's because, despite Kutcher's $17 million deal to keep Two And A Half Men afloat, he's really only earning $1.16 for every viewer pacified, which only seems fair when you consider it compensation for the actual value of the jokes. Meanwhile, Snooki takes in a relatively paltry 16 cents per viewer, though this is less of an imbalance once you factor in that no one should be giving her money to do that in the first place. Pointing out such disparities is expected to have little to no impact, however, other than the shock of discovering that Judge Judy somehow makes $45 million a year. So why is she so mad all the time? Seems like she'd be able to take a little bull for $45 million.