Wendy Williams: The Queen's New Court

How you doin'? Closeted stars may never be safe, but radio shock jock Wendy Williams is doin' just fine as she brings her "messy" talk show to daytime TV.

BY Brandon Voss

July 13 2009 12:00 AM ET

How will your daytime chat show compare to Oprah Winfrey's and Tyra Banks's shows?
We're all black, we all have beautiful smiles, we all battle our weight, and we're all big women — though I'm a little bigger than Tyra. And Tyra and I wear the same color wigs. Otherwise, there really isn't much of a comparison. I love Tyra, but it's generally a one-topic show, and my show consists of hot topics, advice, and one-on-one celebrity interviews. And Oprah has turned more informational first and then entertainment second. Last time I turned on Oprah, I got some really great information about self-body-checks.

Have you heard from Tyra or Oprah regarding your new show?
Tyra sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. The note was really sweet and thoughtful, but it was very short; it said something about "congratulations." I appreciated hearing from her. I haven't heard from Oprah; I don't even know if Oprah knows who I am, to be honest with you. But I have heard from Gayle! During the six weeks [sneak preview], I wore a Roberto Cavalli dress that Gayle really liked, so she called my outfit people at the studio to ask, "What was Wendy wearing?"

Your show was recently named Most Guiltiest Pleasure at Logo's NewNowNext Awards.
That was a real honor. And against Burn Notice and Real Housewives, which are my guilty pleasures.

Is it safe to say that gays love you unless they're still in the closet?
I think they still love me even if they are in the closet, but they might not care for my particular stance about the closet. I'm such a free-spirited person that I couldn't imagine not being able to express myself in totality -- like not being able to walk down the street holding hands with my new love or not being able to bring someone home to meet the parents over Thanksgiving.

But you've been criticized for attempting to publicly out celebrities in the past. And even when you don't say it outright, fans know that your "how you doin'?" is pretty much code for "queen, please." Particularly in the hip-hop community, what good does it do to suggest that a closeted celebrity is gay?
For people who are fortunate enough to have fans or anyone looking up to them, if they keep something in the closet, it's like reminding their fans that it's something to be ashamed of. Like me — I've always had a nice crossover audience, but I am so proud of being a black woman, and I'm so proud to be flying that red, black, and green flag on TV. Being in the closet would be like me slouching because I'm six feet tall. Instead, I put on my heels and I'm six feet five. I can't imagine not being proud of what you are.

You share executive-producer credit with out Emmy winner Rob Dauber. Which gay celebrities would you like to have on your show?
I've already had Carson Kressley on [during my six-week trial run], and I know he'll be back around. Isaac Mizrahi. I love my Ru, I love my Rosie, and I love my Ellen. Let me think ... I'm scared to say any more because I'm trying to think, Wait, who's out of the closet and who's not? [Laughs] Oh, and Chaz Bono.

You should snag his first official TV interview as Chaz.
That would be legendary. But I've adored Chastity since her parents used to pick her up at the end of The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour and take her backstage. I've adored her since before her weight problem and before she went on Celebrity Fit Club. I remember when Chastity first came out and Cher was very taken aback; it took Cher some time to adjust because she was afraid her little girl might not be into hair, makeup, and clothing. I'd love to have Chaz on the show.

Tags: Television

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