He hosts a morning program on KFI in Los Angeles, California weekdays in which he comments on current events. The program is the top rated morning program in the Los Angeles market, with over 1 million listeners. He also hosts a legal advice show on weekends called Handel on the Law, syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks. As of the Spring 2007 Arbitron (ratings book), Handel on the Law has over 1 million listeners weekly. It is also played across the United States live on America's Talk channel 158 on XM Radio, and replayed later the same day.
He spent the remainder of his formative years growing up in the San Fernando Valley, the northern portion of the City of Los Angeles. He attended Cal State Northridge, where he obtained his bachelor's degree. He then earned his J.D. degree from Whittier Law School.
Before beginning his talk radio career, he provided legal counsel for some of the ground breaking cases establishing the bounds in the field of surrogate parenting, including the writing of one of the earliest surrogate parenting contracts ever written, and helping establish many of the legal precedents of the field.
Bill Handel is the director of the Center for Surrogate Parenting, which helps childless couples have children through surrogacy. The company has offices in California and Maryland and has clients from all over the world.
Handel is known to refer to himself as as a "Latino Jew". Although he makes fun of his own heritage, and all stereotypes, one of his more serious and memorable excursions involved taking white supremacist John Metzger to Auschwitz to view the concentration camps and the gas chamber where his grandfather was executed. The German government originally thought that KFI was a neo-Nazi radio station and did not want to allow the trip, but finally relented after being presented with more information. In addition to his strong pro-Israel views, Handel generally expresses a center-right viewpoint, with support for civil liberties and scientific research and opposition to wasteful government spending.
He has hosted his own television show, Judge For Yourself, which was canceled due to low ratings and the lack of time in Handel's schedule. Judge For Yourself was unique in that it solicited comments from a 900 number, whose results would be broadcast on the next day's show. He has also served as a fill-in host on The Glenn Beck Show, which airs on CNN Headline News.
At one point extremely overweight, he underwent bariatric surgery at Centinela Freeman Hospital to lose weight. Handel's experiences with this surgical procedure have been thoroughly documented in a series of segments on his morning radio show. Handel has also openly discussed his previous drug addiction.
Bill Handel is married to Marjorie, and has twin daughters named Pamela and Barbara.
On his Saturday show, Handel on the Law, he gives terse "marginal legal advice" designed to point callers in the right direction. He often makes fun of callers for getting themselves into their legal predicament, stating bluntly "you have absolutely no case." Still, the show is informative in that it deals with many common legal problems such as landlord-tenant, child custody, and divorce in an easy-to-understand way.
On September 11, 2001, Bill Handel was on air live when the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center took place. Most Clear Channel music stations switched over to a live feed of Handel's show as news reports and further attacks unfolded. Rush Limbaugh's show normally follows The Bill Handel Show on KFI. Not only was Limbaugh on a plane heading to a golf tournament that day, but telecommunications systems were devastated in New York, where his show emanates. Because KFI is the West Coast flagship of the Limbaugh's EIB Network, Bill Handel continued to broadcast for another 3 hours, taking the place of the Rush Limbaugh show on most stations in the country (as well as the taped broadcast for Armed Forces Radio overseas). This led Mr. Handel to guest host on two more occasions on the Rush Limbaugh show, and showcased his skills at hosting a nationally syndicated show.
On September 23, 2005, Bill Handel was named Major Market Personality of the Year at the 2005 NAB Marconi Radio Awards for his KFI show. During his acceptance speech, Handel said, “I haven’t been this affected since my circumcision. Seriously, I’m proud and honored to be singled out for this incredible award.” On March 15, 2008 he was honored with Local News/Talk/Sports Personality of the Year by industry trade publication Radio and Records for the third time, his second being in 2007, and the first in 2005.
Bill Handel received the Distinguished Alumni Award from CSUN (Cal State University at Northridge)on April 26th, 2008. In his acceptance speech he revealed that his father had always wanted him to go to CSUN because he had helped with electrical aspects of the construction of the school. Bill said he was so enthusiastic about going to the school his father helped build that he graduated high school early and enrolled in CSUN at the age of 17. He proceeded to point out that he graduated when he was 26.
On June 19, 2008, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce's Walk of Fame Committee announced that Bill Handel will be one of 25 to receive a Star on the Walk of Fame in 2009.
In 1996, Asian-American leaders called for Handel's resignation after making comments about Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan. Handel was quoted as saying; "And when I look at a box of Wheaties, all right? I don't want to see eyes that are like all slanted and Oriental and almond shaped. I want American eyes looking at me. Handel apologized, claiming that he was mocking bigotry. In March 2004, Handel made jokes about Muslims not bathing, hating Jews, and practicing bestiality; KFI was forced to apologize.
On January 12, 2006, Handel joked that pilgrims should hire traffic reporters to reduce the possibility of deadly incidents during the Hajj. The Council on American-Islamic Relations demanded an apology. Handel offered to apologize on the condition that CAIR would denounce terrorism, agree that Israel is a sovereign country, and claim it does not have ties with terrorists. CAIR did not take him up on his offer. Handel refused to apologize to CAIR, but did apologize to the actual victims of the Hajj stampede.
Handel had long joked that he should have a voice mail system for groups that called demanding an apology, with prompts such as "Press 1 if you are African-American. Press 2 if you are Muslim." Shortly after the Hajj incident, they implemented a similar in concept theme when producer Michelle Kube began to close each show with blanket and specific apologies to those who might have been offended during the broadcast. The apology is intended to be funny and to remove any special significance to any one person or group receiving an apology from Handel, and while it always uses at least the standard statement "any and all...groups that might possibly have been offended during the broadcast of this show," it includes references to specific groups, persons and individuals like "Radio Disney and God," "middle schools that give birth control to minors," and "Wisconsin prostitutes," when they were discussed during the day's show. Handel on the News, KFI OnDemand, October 18, 2007
On December 15, 2006, KFI suspended Handel for one week after an on-air shouting match with Jamie White on KYSR. White allegedly told one of Handel's daughters to "get out" of the studio. He later apologized, claiming he lost his temper. tape of the exchange