Wendy Williams just wants to know one thing: “How you doin’?” But beyond her popular catch phrase, the host of the award-winning Wendy Williams Show is just a mom from new Jersey. We spoke exclusively with Wendy about her show, and how working moms still need to be soft fluffy bunnies.
I love how as we’re sitting here in your office at the Wendy Williams Show, you’re busy paying bills.
It never stops. I have tickets. Sometimes EZ-Pass doesn’t always work.
You can contest it. They won’t charge you.
I’m a regular contester. And every mother hates forms. I’m always filling out forms.
I find that today’s moms are so competitive. Everyone wants to look perfect, and on the inside, they’re cracking.
I agree with you. But I’m all about sharing. I’m the one that walks into the party and busts up all you chicks. I’m the one who says, “Stop.” I have a great group of friends of moms; we’re all from the same town and we go to all the parties together. When I have to leave town, I will call one of them to have my son sleep over. It’s a beautiful club to be a part of, once you kick down the door of lies.
My mom friends are important to me. But you can’t listen to random moms. If you live in Montclair, you can’t listen to your Randolph moms. You have to listen to the moms in your neighborhood. They are the ones who will tell you what you really need to know. Moms need to share information with each other.
You have a great relationship with your son.
He’s doing so much better now. He’s dangling A grades in front of me now, and I’m so proud of him. But middle school is the worst. It’s a very in-between stage in your child’s life. Now more than ever is when you need to talk to them. We’ll go to Michael’s and get crafts and talk. More importantly, I listen to him. There’s no question that I’ll laugh at or won’t answer. He will ask me things and he will ask his dad, too.
You can’t shut the door on that communication.
That’s what is so great about being a mother. Your boy will talk to you like his father. I can’t picture talking to my father the way our son talks to us. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Kev understands why I work and what I do and why’s it’s necessary. He sees a working woman but also a wife and mother. That’s what I want for my son in the future. My preference is that his future wife is educated, with a career, and knows a little something about the house. Pick up a screwdriver and tighten a cabinet, like your mom does. Know how to sew the hole in your Levi’s.
Absolutely. You can have an amazing career but you still have to know how to be a woman.
That’s right. You don’t have to do it all, but you should have the knowledge to know how to do it. Like, I’m not mowing the grass. Could I? Yes. But I’m not going to do it. My spot is the kitchen.
But did you notice your voice got softer, like it’s illegal for us to want to take care of our men? You can be badass outside the home, but spouses still need that TLC.
Damn right. It makes him feel good that you’re a soft fluffy bunny, but he knows that you’ll throw him right out of the house, too. I will punch you in the head if I have to! I think that a lot of women feel that it’s wrong to want to take care of a man. I enjoy being a family woman and enjoy having a career. I won’t choose one over the other. I couldn’t just be a stay at home mom and I couldn’t just have my career. I need to have both.
Do you believe in balance?
Yes, I am true to myself and won’t listen to outside voices. They would tell me to mogul it down like Oprah. For that, I would need to be here until six pm and I won’t do that. When I listen to my own voice, I say, “I don’t need that much to be happy.” But I need a whole lot here, in my heart. I’m just a family woman from NJ; I need to go home and go to Shop Rite. A lot of time I go to the prepared foods department, but the point is that you put in the effort. [laughs]
You can’t be a working mom and cook 5 meals a week.
I cook three times a week and I do it because I like to. I don’t decorate with pink and unicorns in my house. I live with two big guys; everything has to be sturdy. As much as I like MacKenzie-Childs, I am not putting my boys dollhouse furniture. [laughs]
You get your pink on here in the office.
I do! I love this office. It’s really a reflection of who I am.
Now let’s talk about the latest season of The Wendy Williams Show.
It’s going really well. We have a brand new studio, and the audience is bigger and better. All producers and staffers have big areas to work in and are feeling more confident than ever. Even I have more confidence in me as a woman. Everyone knows their roles, both at work and at home.
And I love the vibe of our show. It’s nice to just ball up on the couch and talk to people without them changing to be like me, or me changing to be like them. That’s the best part of the show. It’s built around me and my truth. I love hot topics (love!), I love a celeb interview, but for a moment. I love fashion shows, and when we do them, I like to be a show pony. There’s nothing better than to put on a wig and some lipstick, teeter out onstage and share secrets.
Another secret is that you’re about to start writing again, too.
I’m about to complete a deal for two books—One of them is Ask Wendy: The Relationship Book. I’ve written five books, but I haven’t written easily in seven years. I wanted to get back into writing, but now I want to add other layers to the whole talk show thing. I used to do Ask Wendy when I was on radio, so it was a common thread in my career. I deal with all kinds of relationships, from neighbors to boyfriends. I don’t know everything but I’m honored that people ask for my opinion and view me as a sounding board.
You’re everybody’s girlfriend.
I love that. It makes me feel good, like I’ve earned something. I want to take my time with the book; I have a great co-writer who will do the heavy lifting. You need help, and this is where you are honest.
I don’t believe in suffering, in any way.
I agree. I wear a lot of hats. I can’t, at this point in my life, just be a host. I have to be a part of the process, too. People might think that it’s such a good time and that I just show up. No! I’m part of the process too. I am a smart woman. But I don’t have to walk around angry and furling my brow, honey! We have the best staff. It’s important for working women to not only ask for help, but to also surround yourself with the best people. They will rise to the occasion. And at 48 years old, it’s hard for someone to convince me otherwise.
Wendy, you look ah-mazing.
Girl, I moisturize! [laughs] My 3 glams are younger than me. They do my hair, makeup and wardrobe. I say that this is a daytime talk show hosted by a younger middle-aged woman. I love short and tight, but that’s because it’s me. I’m not trying to be 25.
Sounds like you’re good in your skin.
You have to honor your path. I know I would be great on reality TV. It would be an extra paycheck and more fame. But I would never put my hubby, son and me on reality TV. There’s no reason for people to see that. There are sacred things. Even though I’m there on Hot Topics talking, the most precious thing to me is the Hudson River. Because the Hudson River clearly divides separates my two lives; the city is Wendy Williams and New Jersey is Wendy Hunter, and never shall the two mix.