Dan Gross: Wendy Williams speaks out

WHEN WENDY WILLIAMS was commuting from Mount Laurel to Roxborough, working at Power 99, she was secretly dreaming of the TV talk show she hosts now.

"I don't think I would have been able to pull this off 10 years ago," Williams said Friday when we caught up with her at the offices of 92.5 WXTU and Wired 96.5 on a visit promoting "The Wendy Williams Show," which airs at 10 a.m. weekdays on Fox 29.

"This is where I became a woman. I had a wonderful career in New York and then I came to Power 99 with a boyfriend, now a husband. I hadn't thought about kids. I got pregnant and miscarried three times and I shared it with my listeners," Williams said when asked about her openness discussing her personal life with her audience.

"I gave birth at Methodist Hospital and left Philly a woman with a new perspective on life, what makes me happy."

Williams says that she "didn't start in radio with the intention of putting it all out there, but as a kid I always said three words too many. To my parents, teachers, whoever."

We asked her about her habit of calling celebrities out on their behavior, something other radio and TV hosts avoid. "I was doing that since back in the day. It was a little awkward. Now we're all looking at you, Lindsay Lohan, and saying you need new teeth and your parents are bums."

The talk-show host, who will soon be seen in Steve Harvey's film "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man," said she enjoyed performing on "Dancing with the Stars," but was upset that the producers were "looking for drama. As a sassy, black woman - the stereotype - they thought I was going to bring all that," she said. "I'm not going to go in and argue and fight with my dance partner. I told Tony [Dovolani] before I got eliminated that at the most we will dance two more weeks and I will fake a broken toe. I'm not going to sit there and deal with this ridicule," Williams said.

You can watch our video interview with Williams online this afternoon at PhillyGossip.com.

 

Supporting the Union

Jimmy Rollins, Scott Hartnell and James van Riemsdyk were honorary captains at last night's Union playoff game against Houston. The Flyers and J-Roll watched the match from the PPL Park suite of team chief operating officer Nick Sakiewicz, as did Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

 

For Lappy it's personal

Injured Flyers winger Ian Laperriere will be a special guest and speaker at PurpleStride Philadelphia 2011 on Saturday at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park. The 5K walk and timed run benefits the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Laperriere lost his father to the disease. For info, or to register, visit purplestride.org.

 

'Jr.' does Delmonico's

Frank Sinatra Jr. dined Wednesday night at Delmonico's at the City Avenue Hilton with longtime friend Merrill Kellem, a former Atlantic City cop; radio host Sid Mark, who specializes in his father's music; Mark's wife, Judy, and some other friends. Sinatra was here taping an interview with Mark before a weekend of shows at the Borgata.

 

Punk project

What better day for an item about horror punks The Misfits than Halloween? TV Casualty, the punk cover band featuring Brian Sokel (Franklin, AM/FM), Andy Nelson (Ceremony, Paint It Black), Atom Goren (Atom and His Package) and Chris Wilson (Ted Leo & the Pharmacists), has put out a 7-inch vinyl of Misfits covers to benefit The Attic Youth Center, the city's only LGBT youth center. The group has assembled as The Ramones (with Dead Milkmen frontman Rodney Anonymous), Black Flag (with Paint It Black/Kid Dynamite/Lifetime's Dan Yemin) Minor Threat (with Kill The Man Who Questions/Armalite's Mike McKee) and The Misfits, with Ted Leo on vocals, and plays The Fest in Gainesville, Fla., this weekend. You can preorder the record at matadorrecords.com.

 

Movie matters

Tom Wheeler, screenwriter for the new animated film "Puss in Boots," is the son of former KYW-TV reporter Judi Barton. Wheeler is also a former member of the Philadelphia Young Boys Choir.

* It's a big week for Media, Pa.'s Jeffrey R. Ayars, an aspiring filmmaker in his junior year at Cornell University. His film "Philadelphia Ti Amo" just screened as a finalist in the Philadelphia Film Society's first-ever Short Film Competition, and was also accepted into the Finger Lakes Film Festival in Geneva, N.Y., where it screens tomorrow.

 

Primo mojito

Bartender Poppy Brewster of Alma de Cuba (1623 Walnut) won Thursday's 4th Annual Mojito Olympics, sponsored by DonQ Rum. The contest was held at Rum Bar (2005 Walnut).

 


Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit www.philly.com/DanGross.