‘The Wendy Williams Show’ ends with only a video shoutout to Wendy Williams

The final episode of “The Wendy Williams Show” aired Friday without its eponymous host, who has been absent from the program since July. Williams had previously vowed to return before the end of the series, but his plan fell through.

The finale included a video tribute to Williams, who ran “The Wendy Williams Show” for 12 seasons before leaving the syndicated daytime series for health reasons. Friday’s episode host was Sherri Shepherd, who is set to take over Williams’ timeslot with her own talk show this fall.

In February, media company Debmar-Mercury announced that Williams’ popular program would end this year. The announcement came several months after the former radio DJ bid farewell to the public at the end of season 12.

Although his hiatus was only supposed to last “two months and two weeks”, it was extended due to a myriad of health issues, including a case of COVID-19 and Williams’ ongoing battle with Graves’ disease. , an autoimmune disease related to the thyroid.

While Williams was out, a number of guest hosts — including Shepherd, Michael Rapaport, Leah Remini, Fat Joe, Whitney Cummings and others — hosted the show’s 13th and final season.

At the top of the episode, Shepherd reflected on the “honor and privilege” of being part of the extended series.

“This is the most incredible staff and crew on ‘The Wendy Williams Show,'” Shepherd said, thanking them for supporting the guest hosts on their rotation. “On behalf of all of the guest hosts, I want to say a huge thank you to all of Wendy’s loyal watchers for making this show a success over the past 14 years.”

“Above all, we have to thank you, Wendy Williams,” Shepherd continued, earning a standing ovation from the audience. “Because there’s no one like Wendy Williams. From her days on the radio to her daytime conversations for 13 seasons, Wendy has earned her title as Queen of All Media. If you think about it, Wendy Williams has changed the talk of the day with his unique take, his one-of-a-kind celebrity interviews, the iconic ‘Ask Wendy’ segments and of course, y’all, his famous ‘How you doin’?’ Absolutely. And I mean , Miss Wendy, you are an icon and loved by so many.

Vanessa Williams, who was the show’s first guest when it premiered in 2008, returned as a celebrity guest for the final episode. The ‘Ugly Betty’ and ‘Daytime Divas’ star has described herself as a “true fan” of Wendy Williams since the former radio host’s debut.

“She was real. She is real — she’s still with us — and she’s resilient,” the stage and screen star said. “She’s a fighter and she’s real, she was down to earth, she said it like that. She kept it 100 but she did it happily. And she was articulate and funny and had all those weird ‘wendyisms’ that we would come to love and come to know. I’m really going to miss the show and her presence. You know she’s unique.

The episode also included a video tribute with memorable moments from the show including game shows, interviews. The tribute also included notable celebrity guests with Joan Rivers, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Tracee Ellis Ross, Chris Rock, Diddy and Nicki Minaj who seemed tailor-made to welcome the former host to the show’s stage.

But the episode was commercially cut instead.

The show’s final moment showed the cast and crew gathered on stage to send the show — and presumably the host — off with her signature line, gesturing with their hands like Williams does and saying “How It’s okay?”

“It’s also a bittersweet moment for us and our partners at FOX,” Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein said in a statement after “The Wendy Williams Show” was canceled in February. .

“We all have a great love and affinity for Wendy, who has become a true icon during her incredible 12 seasons as the solo host of a daily live talk show covering ‘Hot Topics’ and interviewing celebrities. … We hope to work with Wendy again in the future and continue to wish her a speedy and full recovery.

However, not everyone was happy with Friday’s send-off, including Wendy’s ex-husband Kevin Hunter.

“I feel like it’s a travesty on Debmar-Mercury’s part to have such an unceremonious departure without Wendy being involved,” Hunter told “Entertainment Tonight.”

“This is the first time in talk show history that this has been done, especially for a show that’s been around for over 10 years,” he continued. “There’s absolutely no reason why a bigger celebration involving Wendy couldn’t happen.”


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