- Faith & Family
She is known across the U.S. and abroad for her signature question, “How you doin’?” Now as she enters her third season as the host of her own syndicated weekday television program, The Wendy Williams Show, the New Jersey native has found her niche and a slew of adoring fans. And with segments that include “Ask Wendy” and “Hot Topics” in which she shares her unique spin on some of the juiciest headlines, as well as going toe-to-toe with some of the hottest celebrities in pop culture today, Williams is doing things her way — and loving every minute.
“I am having the time of my life,” said Williams, 48, who is one of only a handful of women inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, boasting a successful 23-year career in radio. “I have put together a great body of work during my years in radio and I’m proud of it. I made some money, got into the Hall of Fame and got the attention of a lot of television executives.”
“I’m just like any other woman — I struggle with my weight, I believe in love and relationships . . . ”
— WENDY WILLIAMS
But for Williams, making the move to TV would take 10 years of conversation and negotiation.
“They often wanted to contain me and my personality but I come from the pop-culture and have always been very comfortable in my own skin so I waited until things felt right,” she said.
The first time this writer met Williams was about six years ago in Chicago when she served as the celebrity guest for a fundraiser for the City’s Black Pride event. What mattered most to her then has remained the same.
“As a wife and mother I am all about unions, perpetuating positive images of the Black family and being honest about who I am as a Black woman,” she said.
Wendy and Oprah: Two different slices of Black life
Many like to compare Williams to the iconic Oprah Winfrey, but she says that their shows and styles are quite different.
“She [Oprah] will always have a special place in my heart and I guess we are often compared because we are both Black women,” she said. “We have some hidden comparisons, like our love for mankind but beyond that I think there are significant differences. I am a product of pop-culture and the stars from that genre and their messages are what my viewers want to see. And then I like to have my parents on the show a lot too. One thing I don’t do is talk about my personal views on politics. For me, that’s a private matter — something that I learned from my mom and dad while growing up.”
Williams and her family can be seen in South Florida quite frequently as her folks have long retired from their home in New Jersey and taken up residence in Miami. She tends to avoid the cameras of the paparazzi she says, preferring to “chill out beside the pool while having fun with my sisters, nieces and nephews, along with husband Kevin and 11-year-old son, Kevin, Jr.”
“I’m just like any other woman — I struggle with my weight, I believe in love and relationships, I enjoy doing things with my son, like taking him to basketball practice and sometimes my mother and I don’t see eye-to-eye,” she said. “And I wouldn’t change a thing.”
By D. Kevin McNeir