On July 14, 2008, “The Wendy Williams Show” premiered in select major markets in the United States. Wendy Williams is famous for her unfiltered wit and wisdom, as well as her always inviting catchphrase, “How you doin?” Two million viewers tune in daily to catch up with the always outspoken, authentic and hilarious talk show host. Currently, her show airs in 52 countries.
Williams was born on July 18, 1964, in Asbury Park, NJ. From a young age, her bold personality made her stand out from the crowd. She graduated from Northeastern University in 1986 with a B.A. in communications. After college, Williams was ready to launch her career. After making a name for herself in the radio DJ circuit, she launched her call-in radio show on the New York City radio station WBLS.
Twelve million listeners tuned in to listen to “The Wendy Williams Experience,” a call-in show where she interviewed A-list celebrities and also offered frank advice to listeners. All the while, she shared her unfiltered personal experiences. No topic was taboo for Williams, discussing everything from her plastic surgeries to the difficulty she had conceiving a child.
Williams parlayed her on-air radio success into two New York Times best-selling books, “Wendy’s Got the Heat” and “The Wendy Williams Experience,” as well as television appearances. Then, on July 14, 2008, BET aired the first test episode of “The Wendy Williams Show.” Her show soon received a green light for national syndication.
Williams prides herself on staying true to herself while conquering the competitive entertainment world. She has noted that it has been a particularly difficult feat as a black woman. In a 2017 People magazine interview, she shared, “I’ll come out and laugh uproariously, but I am an intelligent woman, and I will not dumb down — unless I’m imitating someone dumb, you know?” In that same interview, she shared that the secret to her success is her authenticity: “I’m one of the people. I don’t feel any different. I just feel like I’m on TV, but a regular person.”
In March, Williams revealed that she was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. For the first time in the history of “The Wendy Williams Show,” she took three weeks off for her health. She used her own health scare to raise awareness for other women. In an interview on “Good Morning America,” she shared: “We take care of everybody but ourselves, and it’s really unfortunate… No matter what the woman’s status is, it seems like we’re all in the same boat.”