Wendy Williams
“The Wendy Williams Show” first aired in July 2008. Karl Grant

When Wendy Williams isn’t occupied hosting her wildly popular daytime talk show, “The Wendy Willams Show,” the ambitious entrepreneur is busy trying to make the world a better place through fashion, charity and a ton of laughs.

Starting out in 2008, Williams landed her own talk show, which is currently in its tenth season. Making milestones in a tremendous way, Wendy is less than two weeks away from her 1500th episode, which is typically unheard of in the daytime talk show universe.

During a chat with International Business Times, prior to her on-air fainting on Tuesday, Wendy dished about her road to success, the bumps along the way in the form of an inappropriate guest and much more.

Check out Wendy’s Q&A with IBT below:

International Business Times: How do you keep “The Wendy Williams Show” so popular after all these years? What’s the secret to making good TV?

Wendy Williams: The secret sauce is a great support system. My staff is wonderful, I’m the lucky one who walks through the door and once the magic happens, when they say, “Here is Wendy,” I can only be me. I am not good at acting the part of someone other than Wendy. I’ve been a broadcaster for over 30 years and I just get out there and I shimmy and shake and I’m not scared of mistakes.

IBT: How does it feel knowing that you’re going into Season 10 of your talk show?

Wendy: Euphoric. I’ve seen many talk shows come and go and I have business partners who constantly remind me of the numbers. I think it’s over 40 talk shows [daytime talk shows] since we launched our six-week sneak peek back in 2008. There are over 40 talk shows on various channels that have tried and failed, and I feel like I am in the deepest part of the ocean on Noah’s Ark. We’re just doing it and I can’t look to the left or to the right. For me, I run it like a racehorse. When a racehorse runs, it has blinders on the left eye and the right eye and they run forward. I can’t look at the others, I have to focus on me.

IBT: What guest would you love to have on your show? Is there anyone you would never let on the show?

Wendy: Ivana Trump was wonderful the other day. I’ve met so many lovely people on our show. When I first got started as a newbie, I had my list and then I quickly, within two months, realized these people don’t know you and they’re not wasting their time going to you. They’re going to “Good Morning America” or whatever. They’re not stopping at you, Wendy, so you need to make the magic happen. So that’s where “Hot Topics” and “Ask Wendy” and the games and the tricks that we pull [came from]. The games and tricks had to be harder and they worked, all of a sudden it worked and people continued to watch. So I couldn’t fantasize about guests. I really was a wide-eyed girl who would fantasize about, “Oh my gosh, I’ve got a talk show. I want this one, I want that one.”

Nick Cannon came to the show and hosted with me for a full hour, everything from “Hot Topics” and “Ask Wendy,” all the games and trickery, he was fabulous! I want to do that again. I would love to have John [Leguizamo] back. I’ve known John for many years but he was just at our show the other week. Johnny L is fab!

As far as guests on the show, I have no favorites. I don’t desire any particular one in the future...come one come all is my policy. As far as the worst guest, I won’t mention names, but I will say that when I introduced him to come to the couch, he led with both hands and they landed on my boob. I was not expecting that. It was really disrespectful and I had to quietly push his arms away and then the whole interview was weird. He will never be invited back and I will never mention his name in polite company.

But my camera people and people behind-the-scenes know because they caught all of the awkwardness, it was so awkward. This day and time, it’s only being highlighted because of Harvey Weinstein, but this has been going on since forever, where men just feel like they can do whatever they want. It was really insulting.

IBT: On the show, you have a very popular segment called “Hot Topics,” where you discuss what’s going on in the world. Is there any particular “Hot Topic” that you felt more passionately about compared to others?

Wendy: Politics, to me, are for your private life. I don’t do politics on the show but I do talk about the president in a light-hearted way. Our show is fun, it’s a little retreat from every day daily life, for adult people who happen to be home at the time our show is playing. We’re free to have fun, it’s not like I’m 23 and grown people are listening to a child. I’m 53, I’m having fun right along with everyone who’s watching because that one hour is as therapeutic for me as it is for everyone else… and then we go back to our problems in life.

IBT: What do you think makes people trust you enough to share their personal problems with you in the “Ask Wendy” segment?

Wendy: Well, the great thing about “Ask Wendy” is that it was invented before the TV show. I was doing “Ask Wendy” while I was on my radio show and people would call, but you know radio is very anonymous. People would ask low down, dirty questions or really silly questions but their faces weren’t seen. Once we got the talk show, people were brand new to the talk show thing. The questions, for the purpose of TV, were very tapid. They were like, “Wendy, I just dyed my hair black but my whole family hates it. They want me to dye it back blonde, what do you think I should do?”

It’s a very basic question that I can answer and I have no problem with that but now, the questions are, “Wendy, my husband just asked for a threesome.” I say to her, “Well, have you ever been with a girl?” And she is so comfortable. Now, nine seasons later because Wendy is somewhat of a household name, she says to me, “Well, you know Wendy, back in college I’ve had a couple of experiences, it’s just why is he asking that now? What’s he up to Wendy?”

And then we get into it, I love it! The success of “Ask Wendy” is all in part of becoming a household name to certain households and people being comfortable with Wendy and the show. Nine Seasons, I’ve got to tell you something, it’s really something else. Nine seasons, it really makes you a household name.

IBT: When was the first time you realized you were famous? How did you deal with it?

Wendy: Honestly, in college. I was a very popular DJ on our college radio station. I knew that I wanted to go into radio from the time I was in sixth grade.

I graduated from high school and stepped right into college, majoring in communications and minoring in journalism and knowing that my concentration wanted to be either in news or radio. I quickly learned news wasn’t my thing because newscasters have to live a particular personal lifestyle, I guess I wasn’t ready to. It was just too much back then in the ‘80s, it was too much to live up to. I quickly said, “A radio DJ is perfect!” Growing up here in the tri-state, having the best radio broadcasters and the most glamorous city in the world, I would listen to these people talk about parties they went to or the night after, or where they’re going and I said, “Yes, I want that.”

In terms of recognizing the first time I was famous, it’s always been, in my opinion, for me, Wendy, it’s always been a slow roll to fame. That’s a good thing. I was popular on campus, but I still sequestered a serious lifestyle. From my dorm room to the radio station, a few classes here and there, I had a fabulous internship at 108 FM in Boston, Matty in the Morning. He would let me talk on the mic a bit, once in a while.

Between the college campus and Matty, I was a bit of a celebrity even before all of this and then it just grew from there. For me, that was the healthy way to grow fame. One step at a time. I can’t imagine what people go through now when they rocket to fame.

Wendy Williams
Wendy Williams whose marital name is Hunter, makes up one third of the Hunter Foundation. The TV personality is pictured attending the Global Citizen Festival on Sept. 23, 2017 in New York City. Noam Galai/Getty Images

IBT: What tip would you give fans trying to get tickets to your show?

Wendy: I am so flattered that our show is in such high demand. The tickets are free but they are virtually unavailable a lot. People come to the show from Russia, from Asia, from [New] Jersey, from Chelsea [New York City] where our show is filmed. They come from everywhere! They’re old, young, Filipino, Latino, women, men, straight and gay. When I look at my co-host, I get chills.

Every single day the double doors open and I can’t believe our show is the United Nations of talk shows. We attract everyone and how you get the tickets is you go online, WendyShow.com. Yes, they are free, and yes, you must dress your best. Fashion is a part of the show, we are glamorous, we are fabulous, come one, come all!

IBT: Can you describe the aesthetic of your HSN line?

Wendy: My next line infuses a lot of comfy stuff. By November, we are tucking in the house and we want robes, slippers, luxury pajamas and things like that, but it’s also the holidays, so we want it affordable. I love the whole process of my HSN collection, feeling fabrics, choosing colors and choosing prints. Everything is from a size extra small to a 3X, and the shoes run all the way up to a size 12 and we do widths. So if you’re a wide girl order an 8 wide, 10 wide, or 7 wide or a 12 wide.

IBT: Do you have a more hands-on role with the collection? Can you share how the design process was different?

Wendy: Actually I have [been] hands on since the day we signed the deal for the collection, which was back in 2015, where I won the award for the best new person on HSN. I was in competition with people with makeup and other clothing lines. I won’t mention their names but you know a few of their names, however, I won best new [brand] in 2015. I have been involved every step of the way. If there’s a shoe, I’m feeling the shoelace, if the shoelace is not thick enough, I want it thicker. I go to all of the meetings regarding the design process, if there is a buckle on a shoe, I am there and I am choosing the buckle. Do I want it gold, silver or pewter? I am very involved in what I do, I take my career very seriously, I have a lot of people around me.

Sometimes my husband [Kevin Hunter] says, “This is a meeting you don’t have to go to,” and I’m like, “Nope, I’m going,” because I need to feel the buttons or speak to the new person being hired or whatever it is. I am very involved in the whole business of being Wendy.

IBT: Are there any other upcoming projects that fans should look out for? Anything you want them to know more about?

Wendy: Well, the holiday season is upon us and my husband Kevin and our 17-year-old son, Kevin and me, the three us, we are the Hunter Foundation. We try to do good for the people. During the summer, we send people to camp and during the winter we do food. Hunger in America is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard of. We serve food to undernourished people. This year, I would like to have a coat drive but you can never do enough. Homelessness is going up in my city. The people on the streets, they need blankets and it is going back to the 1970s and ‘80s and early ‘90s, it’s disgusting. So, the Hunter Foundation will be doing a lot of good for the people over the holidays.

The 1500th episode of the “Wendy Williams Show” is scheduled to air on Monday, Nov. 13.