Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Wendy Williams keeps it real
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 10278 times since Fri Jan 1, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

This year, a self-described "messy" bombshell hit the television talk-show circuit—and her name is Wendy Williams.

( By the way, her fans will be thrilled to know that The Wendy Williams Show—with the host saying her signature line, "How you doin'?"—has been extended through the 2011-12 season. ) In a candid interview with Windy City Times, Williams talked about everything from her recent induction in Chicago's National Radio Hall of Fame to why many gay people love her.

Windy City Times: How are you doing, Wendy?

Wendy Williams: How you doin', Andrew?

WCT: [ Laughs. ] You know, it's a little surreal right now. I'm talking with you and, yet, I'm also watching your show.

WENDY WILLIAMS: Isn't that weird? Yes, it's a Friday, and we're live from New York Monday through Thursday; the Friday show is taped Thursday afternoon at about 1:30. So on a Friday recently I walked into a place for breakfast—and there I was on TV in the bar area. It was weird, you know?

WCT: I have to say that you're really rocking that dress.

WENDY WILLIAMS: Oh, the pink one? Thank you! It's Robert Rodriguez. And you know what? When I saw Chris Brown's video, I said, "Oh, my gosh. Cassie [ the female singer in the video ] is wearing a similar dress to what I have on." And her hair is pushed to the side, the way mine is. [ Note: Singer Chris Brown was Williams' guest this particular day. ] I had no idea, but there I am!

WCT: What was it like interviewing Chris Brown? Did you have any preconceived notions going in?

WENDY WILLIAMS: No, because I had met him before—maybe twice, at the most. I didn't have any preconceived notions. The first time I met him I thought, "Here is a young boy with a whole lot of talent: the singing, the dancing, the charm, the charisma." He's one of the rare young men in R&B and hip-hop who's over 4'2" and he has a nice smile. I was very disappointed to hear about what happened back in February [ when he assaulted his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna ] , but I had no preconceived notions. I watched the video and had some conversation with him.

WCT: It seems like you're getting increasingly comfortable with your show. Do you feel you've made it as a TV host?

WENDY WILLIAMS: No. [ Laughs ] I don't like to be presumptuous, but I thought I had at least the [ moxie ] to get off the starting block. I've always had some sort of interest in having my own daytime talk show. That interest does not come without totally focusing on [ aspects ] like what types of guests I wanted and how I would act. This whole process is a culmination of my wildest dreams come true. I know it's more exciting to say, "One year ago, I was a nurse on the eighth floor of a hospital..." I've prepared all my life for this moment.

WCT: Something I like about you is that you're enjoyably over the top but you also keep it real. You remind me a lot of Dolly Parton in that way—and it was pretty fitting that you dressed as her for your Halloween show.

WENDY WILLIAMS: [ Giggles ] I love Dolly and I love that comparison. I take that as the highest honor for you to read through all the people you could compare me to and pick this woman because of the audacity she has to be herself. That is the highest compliment. Thank you.

WCT: Last night on The Jay Leno Show, she was asked, "What's the first thing you do in the morning?" She said, "I put my dress on and go home."

WENDY WILLIAMS: [ Laughs ] Oooh—the sloppy, messy answer! I love it!

WCT: I don't know if you recall this, but on an episode [ in August ] you were talking with this woman in the audience who was talking about her battles with food and weight, and you started crying.

WENDY WILLIAMS: I'm such a crybaby. I don't recall that, but so many women identified with me. Maybe I haven't gone through it, but they're comfortable asking me something. Or maybe they've heard me mention something, like weight. Again, I can be nothing but flattered.

I just love this whole talk-show world that's been created for me ( with this supportive staff ) and by me, because I'm not scared to be myself. The idea that, in one hour, we can go from hot topics to celebrities—today I'm talking with Chris Brown and the fabulously legendary Diahann Carroll, in a short tank dress with sweaty armpits [ Interviewer laughs. ] —to our "Ask Wendy" segment... I love this show. It's fabulous—and I can do it all in five-inch heels. [ Both laugh. ]

WCT: I have to admit that I saw you talking about your pits with [ guest ] Shanna Moakler.

WENDY WILLIAMS: OK—don't start yelling at me, Andrew. I don't sweat like that in real life. But when I get under the lights ... it has nothing to do with nerves, believe me.

I've felt like I've worked out with this show; I'm up in the audience, even when you guys aren't looking. I'm at the top or I'll be off to the side saying hello to a [ disabled ] person. There's even a "How you doin'?" lounge with extra audience members who you don't see, and I'm saying hello back there. I am fully involved.

So, one day I had on a silk blouse and it stained black [ because of sweat ] . So [ Today's ] Hoda Kotb sent me an e-mail telling me to use make-up powder puffs under my arms—and, I'll be damned, the puff worked. So she deserves a big "How you doin'?" But the show is so much fun.

WCT: How do you handle awkward moments? I remember on that show with Shanna, she called [ reality-TV star ] Khloe Kardashian a "donkey."

WENDY WILLIAMS: I really don't have that many choices. When she mentioned that, it was the end of our talk segment. I know she wanted to plug her new make-up line. When she made the comment about Khloe, I knew I couldn't expound on it. I wanted to make sure [ Moakler ] got out of the interview what she wanted—which wasn't just announcing that she is again involved in Miss America; it was also to let me and the world know that she has a new make-up line out called Smoke. As a good interviewer, I feel that, although Shanna makes good TV, my guests get to promote what they came for. All I could do is look, bite my lip and say, "So you have a new make-up line out..."

That was my first time meeting Shanna, and I really like her. I've known the Kardashians, and I like them a lot, too. In fact, the girls are coming back to the show in December.

With TV, you only have a certain amount of time to make a point—which is something I'm learning every day. On radio, I had four hours.

WCT: Why do you think you resonate with so many members of the gay community?

WENDY WILLIAMS: Probably because we share [ the fact ] that we're not like the rest—from the beginning. There's having a surprise to pop on the world; for me, it was, "Guess what, world? I'm not perfect. I am who I am. I'm taller and bawdier—and I'm not going to do anything about it. I'm not going to fit into your perfect little box." With a gay man or woman, it's, "Guess what, world? I am who I am, and there's nothing you can do about it."

Then, there's also the obvious: I'm brighter than the girl next door. [ I like ] my pink, my hair is too high, my boobs are too big, my hips come out too much, my heels are too high, my voice is too loud and my laugh is over the top. I laugh from my feet, and the laughter and joy ring through my 40-inch legs, wrap around my 30-inch waist, pass through my double-F boobs and out of my mouth. And you see all my big teeth—and it is what it is. [ Both laugh. ]

WCT: By the way, I have to congratulate you on being inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame [ in Chicago in November ] . I was looking at the list of previous inductees: Dick Clark, Abbott & Costello, Yvonne Daniels, Groucho Marx and Wolfman Jack are just a few of them. How does it feel to be included with them?

WENDY WILLIAMS: It feels groundbreaking and it feels fabulous. I feel deserving, though; I'm rolling with the big boys—and the legendary big boys, at that. It feels just great.

After 25 years of being in radio, and to still be young enough to matter—I'm not dead or irrelevant—feels wonderful. This is the real deal.

I have been called legendary before [ both laugh ] but this is truly LEGENDARY. My [ descendants ] will be able to walk in and see crazy Miss Wendy.

WCT: Tell me about this recent photo session with Mike Ruiz in which you were Jessica Rabbit.

WENDY WILLIAMS: Oh, my God! One of the great things about having a talk show now is having someone like Mike take me to a fantasy place. ( I don't think I photograph that well, to be honest with you. ) I think that was the first big photo shoot that I did in this new life, with the talk show. They gave me as much air-brushing as they did A-list actresses. Oh my God, Andrew—air-brushing is the best! And, Andrew [ if you have a big photo shoot ] , don't be shy about it; ask them to air-brush you to within an inch of recognizability. But I was really surprised with my gym [ results ] ; my face was tweaked more than anything else—that's really my body, including my hips and my two fake breast implants.

My glam squad from the TV show made things very, very comfortable. It was fun. He made me feel beautiful.

WCT: He made you feel beautiful? Don't you know you already are?

WENDY WILLIAMS: Oh, I know. [ Interviewer laughs. ] I know I'm a beautiful woman, but I feel more beautiful [ because ] of the things that come from inside. I don't think of myself as a world-class beauty; I think of myself as a woman who is beautiful once you add all the components. I'm a good mother, a great daughter, a great daughter, a good friend. I have a good career, and I feel as though I've been given the gift to make people smile authentically from ear to ear for one hour a day.

I believe my audience thinks of me as beautiful or fun. They don't thinnk of the outfits I'm wearing; they think, "Oh, God—she's such a crybaby. Oh, she keeps it so real." However, [ strictly ] in terms of looks, Mike made me look beautiful—like a sex symbol! I was smoldering.

Watch The Wendy Williams Show weekdays at 11 a.m. on Fox affiliate WFLD.

Robin Kelly fundraiser at Ann Sather

by John Fenoglio

Supporters of Robin Kelly, who is running for state treasurer, held a a

fundraiser Dec. 3 at Ann Sather Restaurant, 909 W. Belmont. Kelly, the chief of staff to Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias ( who is leaving his post to run for the U.S. senate ) , did not attend the fundraiser. Her staff said she'd received a last-minute invitation to attend a holiday party at the White House.

Kelly has a sturdy record of public service in Illinois. In 2002 she was elected to the Illinois General Assembly to represent the 38th legislative district. During that time she served as vice-chair of the Mass Transit Committee. She was also a member of the committees for International Trade and Commerce as well as Housing and Urban Development.

In 2007 Kelly was appointed as chief of staff to Giannoulias. In that role, her supporters credit her with improving efficiencies in the state and insisting on stronger ethical guidelines for elected officials.

The office of the treasurer is an important one. The agency manages roughly $17 billion in state and local funds. Simply put, it is the responsibility of the treasurer to protect and invest your tax dollars.

Kelly's Republican opponent is state Sen. Dan Rutherford. To learn more about this candidate log on to .

This article shared 10278 times since Fri Jan 1, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer actors, icons duet, Hunter Schafer, Oscars, Elizabeth Taylor 2024-03-01
- Queer actor Kal Penn is set to star in Trust Me, I'm a Doctor—a film that chronicles the final days of actress/model Anna Nicole Smith, whose overdose death in 2007 at age 39 sparked a tabloid ...

Gay News

SAG Awards honor Streisand, few LGBTQ+ actors 2024-02-25
- Queer entertainers made their mark—although not a major one—at the 2024 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, held Feb. 24 in Los Angeles. The event was live-streamed on Netflix for the first time. Indigenous and Two-Spirit actor ...

Gay News

THEATER Dot-Marie Jones talks Goodman production, 'Glee,' 'Bros' 2024-02-12
- Running through Feb. 18 at the the Goodman Theatre, the production Highway Patrol works with a script conceived entirely from Emmy-winning actor Dana Delany's (TV's China Beach) digital archive of hundreds of tweets and direct messages ...

Gay News

GLAAD finds missed chances for LGBTQ+ inclusion in Super Bowl ads 2024-02-12
--From a press release - Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024 — GLAAD is reacting to a lack of LGBTQ storytelling in ads that aired duringSuper Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11 and is reminding brands, corporations and advertising agencies why including the LGBTQ ...

Gay News

SAVOR 'The Bear,' new pizza lounge, Chicago Black Restaurant Week 2024-02-11
- "Bear" necessities: The third season of the Chicago-set series The Bear will debut in June, per Variety. FX chairman John Landgraf made the announcement during the network's presentation at the Television Critics Association's winter 2024 press ...

Gay News

Quantum Leap reboot springs into LGBTQ+ representation 2024-02-09
- Through the magic of television, Quantum Leap is once again jumping into the past to bounce back into the future—and in a recent episode, "The Family Trasure," non-binary artist and performer Wilder Yuri and writer Shakina ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Raven-Symone, women's sports, Wayne Brady, Jinkx Monsoon, British Vogue 2024-02-09
- In celebration of Black History Month, the LA LGBT Center announced that lesbian entertainer Raven-Symone will be presented with the Center's Bayard Rustin Award at its new event, Highly Favored, per a press release. She joins ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, Tom Holland, Bowen Yang, Pet Shop Boys, Mariah Carey 2024-02-02
- In the wake of Nigel Lythgoe exiting So You Think You Can Dance, queer personality JoJo Siwa is returning to the series, per Deadline. Siwa, who was a judge on season 17 of the Fox show, will replace Lythgoe, who left ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Sundance items, Green Day, 'Wednesday,' Queerties, 'The Wiz' 2024-01-26
- At the Sundance Film Festival, Jodie Foster told Variety that the $1.4-billion success of Barbie helps confirm that Hollywood no longer views women directors as too much of a risk. She said, "With a big success ...

Gay News

GLAAD announces nominees for the 35th annual GLAAD Media Awards 2024-01-21
--From a press release - Following its acceptance of the iconic Governors Award at the 2023 Emmys Ceremony presented by the Television Academy, GLAAD announced the nominees for the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The GLAAD Media Awards honor media for ...

Gay News

EMMYS RuPaul, Niecy Nash-Betts win; Elton's EGOT status; GLAAD's award 2024-01-16
- Succession, The Bear and Beef dominated the 2024 Emmys, held Jan. 16. The ceremony was televised on Fox. Succession was named best drama series, The Bear was named best comedy series and Beef was named best ...

Gay News

GLAAD holds reception ahead of Emmys honor 2024-01-11
- On Jan. 10, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis and Kathy Hilton hosted a pre-event cocktail reception celebrating The Future of Representation ahead of GLAAD's historic Governors Award Emmy honor at Hilton's private L.A. residence. ...

Gay News

Few LGBTQ+ individuals score Golden Globes wins 2024-01-08
- The Golden Globes took place Jan. 7—but, for the LGBTQ+ community, there wasn't much to cheer about. For example, queer actors Andrew Scott (All of Us Strangers) and Colman Domingo (Rustin) fell short, as Cillian Murphy ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Indigo Girls, best songs, queer 'Nutcracker,' Colman Domingo, 'Gilded Age' 2023-12-29
- Following appearances at multiple film festivals, the documentary Indigo Girls: It's Only Life After All is getting a theatrical release next spring, The Advocate noted. Directed by Alexandria Bombach, the film dives into the four decades ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Streisand, Kristen Stewart, James Baldwin, Cher, 'Relighting' 2023-12-22
Video below - Barbra Streisand will be honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild, TheWrap noted. The honor will be seen live at the 2024 SAG Awards, which will take place at the Shrine ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.