Sigh. Right now, everyone is trying their hardest, I guess, so the scrappy return of The Wendy Williams Show was to be expected and is entirely forgivable. The show has been off the air for almost a month—the last in-studio episode aired March 12—but returned in truncated form Monday morning. For a little over 20 minutes (the time that’s usually taken up by the Hot Topics segment at the beginning of each of her shows), Williams broadcast from her New York apartment.
“So this is the way it’s going to be for quite some time, so might as well just get used to this,” said a tchotchke-flanked Williams at the top of the episode. “I’m in my apartment. You’re going to get one angle, which is the angle that you see. There will be no virtual tours. No nothing. This is all my stuff. This is the mess that I am.”
Williams said her DJ Boof was in her apartment helping her record. Her producer Norman Baker, who functions as her sidekick (and frequently corrects her inaccuracies) during Hot Topics, joined her virtually. The broadcast featured regular chirping from a broken smoke detector that Williams has been living with for a month.
“Me and Chit Chat and My Way are so used to it we are sensitized,” said Williams, referring to her two cats. “Eventually you will be, too. You know, your house probably has something broken, too.” Fair. I feel like my entire life is broken. What’s a little smoke-alarm chirping at this point?
“We’ve got lots of notes and things like that,” announced a world-weary Williams. Topics discussed included the cancelation of the Empire finale shoot, the ongoing beef between Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy, and an extended rant about NeNe Leakes calling Williams on Friday in an attempt to get her on FaceTime, which Williams refused. “I don’t have face or time for FaceTime,” said Williams. She said part of the reason why she wouldn’t go live with Leakes is that “I am not a Housewife.” In a different time, this could signal burgeoning beef, but does anyone even have the energy? Regarding Leakes’s new single, which the reality star previewed last week on her Instagram, Williams said, “I don’t remember it. All I know is it’s good.”
After the live, at-home segment, Williams bid farewell and threw to an in-progress rerun of an episode from last year featuring an interview with Ja Rule.
Williams’s 2020 was hardly going smoothly when her talk show suspended operation last month. She’d received waves of blowback for insensitive things she’d said on air. But because practically any vestige of the Old World is at least somewhat comforting at this point, if only for the nostalgia, it was good to see Williams again on television.
Before her show started, I caught the tail end of the Fox 5 New York show that airs before, Good Day New York, which featured a brief acapella rendition of “Lean on Me” by call-in guest Darlene Love. It played over a shot of an eerily still New York, and it broke my heart all over again. Worth the price of admission, as they say.