Sherri Shepherd is making her wishlist of guests for the first season of her upcoming talk show Sherri, premiering in September. And she would “of course” welcome Wendy Williams as a guest on the show.
Shepherd is currently the permanent guest host of Williams’ eponymous series while Williams has been absent due to health reasons.
“I’m so thankful to Wendy for letting me fill in for her and letting me fill the gap to support her as all the other co-hosts have also done,” Shepherd told Deadline at the AAFCA Awards in Hollywood on Wednesday night. “I’m thankful because if it wasn’t for Wendy, the eyes wouldn’t have been on me. I’m so thankful to her. We’re all praying for her.”
She continued, “No, [I have not spoken to Wendy personally]. It’s not like everybody thinks that in Hollywood, we all have each other’s phone numbers. Wendy knows me because I’ve sat in as a guest and I guest hosted for her two years ago. So it’s not like she doesn’t know me but we’re not friends. I am glad that she trusted me when they asked if I could come in and trusted that I could do it.”
Sherri is taking over The Wendy Williams Show‘s timeslot on Fox Television news stations and broadcasters this fall. While Shepherd’s new show is positioned as a replacement, producer-distributor Debmar-Mercury is leaving the door open to resuming Williams’ show if/when she fully recovers and wants to do it.
In the meantime, for a sampling of talent who viewers could see during the show’s debut week, she revealed her dream guest list.
“For the first week, I am wondering what Oprah is doing? I want to know what Idris Elba is doing and if his wife could part with him for one hot minute,” she said. “Come on, Regé-Jean Page. Hey, Method Man! I want him to come on. ‘Michelle Obama, we’re both from Chicago. Are you and your husband doing anything that week?'”
Shepherd shared she’d always wanted to have her own talk show, and has been preparing for the role for many years. So when the opportunity came knocking she knew exactly what to say.
“Ever since I was about five years old, I had a toilet paper roll and my Barbie dolls and teddy bears in a chair in front of me. I was running my mouth. I came out of my momma’s womb running my mouth,” she said with a laugh.
She added, “My motto is to say yes. Even if it’s something that scares me. So when they asked me to co-host, I said absolutely not. I don’t need nobody sitting next to me, I know how to do this by myself. [The whole experience] has really been wonderful.”
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