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Wendy Williams, born July 18th, 1964, is an American television talk show host, writer and media personality. She is best known for her nationally syndicated daytime talk show The Wendy Williams Show, which ran on BET and Fox between 2008 and 2022. Williams has accumulated a large online presence due to her fans and TV fame, with many various clips and images of her used in reaction images, videos and GIFs around the web.
Wendy Williams rose to fame as a shock jockey with a nationally syndicated radio show on 107.5 WBLS, which had its television counterpart in The Wendy Williams Experience, airing in 2006 on VH1. She was known for her candor in sharing information about her personal life, as well as her tendency to ask celebrity guests outrageous questions. She launched her own TV talk show called The Wendy Williams Show in 2009, giving notable competition to The Ellen DeGeneres Show for the top-ranking talk show slot for years, which ran for 13 seasons. She was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2009.
In 2022, television executives announced that The Wendy Williams Show was set to be taken off air due to health concerns about the talk show host, which were widely reported on by the media and speculated about on social media. The series finale of the eponymous show aired on June 17th, notably without the involvement of Wendy herself.
At the peak of her fame, before her online accounts were wiped in June 2022 by the networks that owned the rights to her show, Wendy Williams' Instagram page had over one million followers, and her YouTube account had over 2.6 million subscribers as. Her personal Instagram account had over 100,000 followers as of August 2022.
Show Cancelation Reactions
The Wendy William Show's official website, as well as various social media handles including its Instagram and YouTube were deleted two weeks following the cancellation of her talk show in June 2022. Several fans were distraught over the loss of hundreds of hours of footage, insinuating their distrust of the network responsible for the erasure and wishing for Wendy's swift return to health. One such tweet by Twitter user @DISC0D0WN was posted on July 4th, 2022, and received over 30,000 likes and 3,000 retweets in approximately one month (seen below).
Wendy Williams has long been considered by some as the internet "stan" community's poster woman, with clips from her show being used as reaction memes on Tumblr and Twitter for over a decade. Many culture writers have asserted that images, clips and GIFs from The Wendy Williams Show are predecessors to reaction memes as we know them today.
Wendy Faints In Lady Liberty Costume
In a 2017 Halloween episode of The Wendy Williams Show, Wendy, dressed as Lady Liberty, fainted on live TV. Wendy made a swift recovery after the broadcast cut to commercial and went on to blame overheating in her costume for the sudden fall. A clip of the fall was reuploaded to YouTube by Entertainment Tonight on October 31st, 2017, gathering over 7 million plays and 43,000 likes in nearly five years since its upload (seen below).
What Was That?
In a 2019 Halloween episode of The Wendy Williams Show, Wendy, dressed in a top hat and sequined red dress, said, "That’s what she said, and you know what? I-- what was that?” She then paused and said, “OK… James,” seemingly surprised by the camera cutting to an audience member wearing a grotesque mask. A reupload of the clip on YouTube by user velvetdreaming on October 31st, 2019, garnered over 900,000 views and over 41,000 likes in nearly three years (seen below).
The audio was popularized on TikTok in the following years, with people using it to point to strange things they caught on video. The sound has been used over 100,000 times in the three years since its upload.
Oh, She Passed Away?
In an October 2018 episode of The Wendy Williams Show, Wendy suggested that Cardi B and Nicki Minaj should go on tour to squash their beef and bring along other famous female rappers like Miss Melodie. She was then timidly informed by a stage hand that Miss Melodie was in fact dead, to which she replied, "Oh, She Passed Away?," sobbed briefly, and then said, "Alright." A reupload of the clip was posted to YouTube by August Midnight on September 16th, 2019, accumulating over 3 million views and 145,000 likes in nearly three years (seen below).
The audio clip was also remixed on TikTok several times, often used to display transformation or weight loss videos.
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