It was announced in February that a similar show hosted by Shepherd, also produced-distributed by Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury, will inherit the Fox O&O time slots of Wendy this fall.
Shepherd said it was an “honor and privilege” to be among the show’s roster of guest hosts after Williams was sidelined with health issues for the entire season.
Williams herself did not appear on the final episode. A montage of highlights from her 13-year run in syndication was about as close the finale got to that. Symbolically, a shot of her familiar purple chair sitting empty was posted to Williams’ social media accounts.
Actress Vanessa Williams, who was the first-ever guest on show, was the final guest on the last episode.
“She was real. She is real — she’s still with us — and she’s resilient,” said the actress. “She’s a fighter and she’s real, she was down to earth, she said it like it was. She kept it 100 but she did it with fun. And she was articulate and funny and has all these weird ‘Wendyisms’ that we would grow to love and know. I’m really gonna miss the show and miss her presence. You know she’s unique.”
Shepherd, for her part, thanked the show’s host.
“Because there is nobody like Wendy Williams. From her days on the radio to ruling daytime talk for 13 seasons, Wendy earned her title as the ‘Queen of all Media.’ If you think about it, Wendy Williams changed daytime talk with her unique take, her one-of-a-kind celebrity interviews, the signature ‘Ask Wendy’ segments and of course, y’all, her famous ‘How you doin’?’ Absolutely. And I wanna say, Miss Wendy, you are an icon and you are loved by so many, so many.”
The episode ended with the entire crew gathering onstage to deliver Williams’ signature line, “How You Doin?” in unison.