Wendy Williams returned to her daytime talk show Monday after taking off three weeks to combat hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease.
“So it’s really good to be back, nice to be missed,” Williams, 53, looking healthy and trim, told the studio audience. “I know society is so fickle these days,” she added. “You love something one day and you forget about it the next and you replace it with something else. So thank you for not replacing us.”
Launching into her “Hot Topics” segment on celebrity goings-on, she offered asides about herself in a more than 25-minute run uninterrupted by commercials. “I press the reset button over my entire life while I was off for three weeks,” she said at one point. “Reset on everything. Reset on how I’m dealing with my health. Reset on how I’m dealing with people in general,” she said, getting teary.
She later seemed to take a swipe at media mogul Oprah Winfrey, saying, “When you’re off for three weeks you examine everything — you examine people on TV, you examine everything about your own life, you examine people who call you, like, ‘Why are you calling? To be nosy?’ ” she said, miming a phone call. “ ‘I haven’t spoken to you in five months, now of all of a sudden you calling?’ ‘I hope you’re feeling well.’ Why, so you can take this back to your book club and talk about me?” The audience gasped and Williams told them, “Oh, yes. Oh, the shade is real up here.”
She thanked actor Jerry O’Connell, who filled in one week after two weeks of reruns, calling him “a one-of-a-kind fool. I love your tomfoolery. I’ll tell you, and I’ve said this before: He needs his own show. He needs to be doing something, either with the kids like one of those funniest-home-video shows, or next to Kelly [Ripa] on the ‘[Live with] Kelly [and Ryan]’ show. Just sayin’.”
Williams assured the audience that she had had “a very productive three weeks off. I was resting, doctor’s orders — rest, rest and more rest. . . . I am optimum right now.”
Finally, “I have to really credit my family. My son Kevin and also my husband Kevin [Hunter], the love of my life,” whom she credits with saving hers. “I have been having bats swimming in my head since maybe July. Didn’t tell anybody because I figured well, it’s menopause. . . . I have more important things to do. I have to miss this doctor’s appointment because there’s more important things to do . . . We put so many things ahead of ourselves and our health it’s ridiculous. So I want to thank my husband because I heard him talking to [surgeon and TV personality] Dr. [Mehmet] Oz on the phone.”
Oz, one of nine doctors Williams said was treating her, appeared after the commercial break and told her, “You saved your life.”