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Wendy Williams Talks About Her Hit Talk Show, Why This Is The Best Mother's Day Ever
|May 7, 2010 Dolly Parton, Kathy Griffin, Mariah Carey, Pam Grier, Lil Wayne, Whoopi Goldberg, Kenny Rogers, Queen, Joy Behar, Wendy Williams, Justin Bieber, The View|
Wendy Williams is spending her first Mother's Day as the host of "The Wendy Williams Show," the show debuted last July, with her mom as her co-host. Parts of the episode left Williams in tears (or "misty" as she calls it), thanks to her mom Shirley Williams telling the audience she was a "ray of sunshine" in her family's life. Williams, known for her "letting-it-all-hang-out" ways, called having her mom by her side for the episode "a mess."
"It was just a hot mess. But that's the beauty of 'The Wendy Williams Show,'" Williams said. "We laugh, we cry, then we go home."
Plenty of people do go home to tune in to her show, so much so that the freshman show has been renewed through 2012 due to strong ratings, especially amongst women 18-49 years old. But while the media personality and proclaimed "Queen of all Media" (sorry, Perez) may have won the support of her mom now, she didn't always have that parental backing when she was a "shock jockette" on New York radio.
"My choice in career was so unfamiliar to my parents," Williams said. "It's changed a lot these days. Parents totally understand the showbiz thing and they encourage their kids if they want to be actors or actresses or famous. My parents are in their 70's now and I'm 45 years old. Kids were supposed to be doctors, or laywers, or politicians or engineers. They weren't supposed to aspire to be on the radio."
After 25 years at radio, which she's only left for a year, Williams now has one of the highest-rated daytime talk shows and will likely grow even bigger as Oprah and Tyra leave the airwaves over the next year. The daytime diva has already been named "Most Guiltiest Pleasure" by Logo for her show and "Woman of the Year" by "The Soup," likely for giving Joel McHale and company enough material of wig-tilting and line-flubbing for each episode of it's television mockery.
But while she made some celebrity enemies while on her radio show stint (she's been name-checked in songs by artists from Jay-Z to Mariah Carey to Lil Wayne and a Whoopi Goldberg confrontation on her talk show in February left her in tears), Williams is focusing her daily television hour more on bringing people together. She's has had everyone from Kathy Griffin, to Pam Grier, to the girls of "The Hills" on her couch. She even headed to a gala for Kenny Rogers to interview Dolly Parton, which airs later this month. "I've always had an appreciation for country music, believe it or not. Dolly was just as delightful and sweet as I imagined her in my head," she said.
Along with commenting on entertainment news, Williams has also been making the news, for being a no-show at the White House Correspondents' Dinner last week, where she would have mingled with celebs like Joy Behar of "The View" and Justin Bieber. But while bloggers typed away that she dissed the Obamas over Omarosa being seated at her table, Williams fessed up she just got into a nasty coughing fit earlier in the day. "There's a three cough rule," she says. "The first cough is okay. The second cough is still okay. The third cough is like, 'What you got? Anthrax?'"
But Williams is hoping to be invited back to the White House. While she's often used her voice to tear down celebrities and make her radio and television shows a hit, she's also wanting to take on issues that are important to women and mothers everywhere. The big girl from New Jersey with an even bigger personality wants to use her voice for good.
"I do have a couple of things on my agenda that I would like to use my voice to help get done. The first thing that affects all mothers is the quality of food being served to our children in our cafeterias," she said. "I'm not saying I'm the best mom. I'm a mess. But I make my child's lunch every single day because I know what they're eating because I made with my hands."
"We also need better health care for women. One paid pap smear a year? That's ridiculous," Williams continued.
But now celebrating the first Mother's Day with her show on the air, this summer reaching the first anniversary of "The Wendy Williams Show," and feeling for the first time that her parents truly embrace who she is and what she's doing, Williams says, "This is the best Mothers Day ever."
"I've grown up. I've grown up to be the woman that my parents raised me to be and a woman that I love," she says. "I love the 45-year-old, mother of a 9-year-old, married for 12 years me. I love the woman that I am now."
"I don't know how long 'The Wendy Williams Show" will be around," she says. "All I know is, while it's here, I am having the time of my life and I take none of it for granted. "
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By: Maverine Lane
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