How you doin’, Wendy Williams?


Williams’ daytime talk show, “The Wendy Williams Show,” is nationally syndicated.
Credit: Karl Giant for “The Wendy Williams Show”

Wendy Williams opens the door to her dressing room wearing fuzzy green frog slippers. On the wall are caricatures of the talk show host, plus a print of her PETA ad, for which she went nude. She takes a seat on her couch, which is adorned with a plush pink throw pillow and is underneath a giant sequined pink marlin. Despite the girliness of the room, Williams — hanging loose post-show in a wavy blonde wig (think Beyonce at the Super Bowl) — has a serious business side to her. It’s to be expected from the mogul, whose show has been renewed through 2014 on FOX and is airing new episodes in June and July (most daytime talk shows go on a summer hiatus).

But all of this television success was never the original plan for Williams, who built her career in radio.

“I always thought I’d stay on radio because I was good at radio,” Williams says. “And at the time that this talk show came along I had 23 years in radio, was making a terrific salary, I was able to live the life that I never thought I’d live, and I was comfortable with that. It was my dream. Growing up in Jersey, I wanted to be a news broadcaster or I wanted to be a radio personality, and when I got to college my freshman year I was reading the news for the college radio station and the DJ was sick one night and they asked me to fill in. I was like ‘Well I’m not this cool,’ and I’m gonna stick with the news items — it was more who I was raised to be, with a sensible haircut and short non-painted nails.”

But the life of a newscaster, Williams soon discovered, wasn’t what she wanted. “You’ve got to live a newscaster’s lifestyle,” she says. “You’ve got to be married to the right guy — not the right guy for you but also the right guy for public perception  — you’ve got to have the right hairstyle, your nails have got to be a particular length, you cannot be seen having fun. That’s not fair, but it’s the way newscasting is, so I said I’m gonna go with this radio thing. Once I got on the radio I was sideswiped by it and I never looked back.”

Williams attributes the success of her show to her producing staff and also her TMI personality. “One of the fatal flaws of my personality that my parents would attest to is, ‘You’ve given too much information. Everybody didn’t need to know that Aunt Florence is wearing a wig and she’s in the bathroom readjusting,’” she says. “I think people feel comfortable with people that they get to know long enough.”

When she’s not working on her show, Williams has other projects on her brain, like her forthcoming “Ask Wendy” book (her sixth) based on a popular advice segment from the show, and also her upcoming wig line, Wendy Williams Hair World, which debuts in June. Williams has been wearing wigs for the past 12 years, after being was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. She says her new line will have “everything respectful that wiggies want and that newbies can get used to” and that she’s out to disprove the idea that wigs are “old and tired and ridiculous.” “You don’t necessarily expect a fly girl looking at 50 — that’d be me — wearing a wig,” she says.

Williams will debut her wigs on air when they become available this spring. At that point, her goal for the show will be the same as it is now, as it always has been: to make her guests comfortable.

“When people walk through the double doors and you see my whole colorful crowd …it can take you back, even as a trained actor. And then you’re being hugged by a 6-foot-5 black woman with a lot of hair and a lot of boob — it’s a lot! So my producers [do pre-interviews and] give me all I need to know, and then I go out there and make people feel as warm as I possibly can, because the goal of me as a host is to keep you coming back for more.”


Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1


MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing


MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox


2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.