How to be Wendy Williams: ‘Be your own best friend’

Wendy Williams didn’t go to the prom. That one fact explains why Williams will tell you the truth to your face even if it hurts your feelings.

Listen to this explanation from Williams — who performs stand-up comedy Friday and Saturday at The Venetian.

A long time ago, Williams realized people want to be popular, liked and included. But she was none of those things.

“I was the black one when everybody else was white. I was the Amazon when everybody else was short,” Williams told me.

Williams figured she had nothing to lose by telling people how she felt about them or society, because they didn’t want her anyway.

So she boldly spoke her mind, first as a radio personality and now a TV superstar on “The Wendy Williams Show.”

And guess what happened. Being a brash truth-teller made her popular, liked and included.

Now that she’s a celebrity, she has found showbiz is high school, all over again.

“When you’re in high school, everybody wants to go to the prom. I’ve never been to a prom in my life,” she said.

“When you’re a celebrity, you want to be at Heidi Klum’s Halloween party. I have never been included anyway, so don’t look at me now,” Williams said.

Sometimes, Williams does go to parties she’s invited to.

“And it’s fun,” she said. But it’s “very weird” to be included.

“It feels odd to be invited to everything,” she said. “But I know I got there on my own merit, and not because I was this head cheerleader-prom queen.”

There’s no chance she’ll change her outlook on life at age 50.

“I’d rather be respected than liked,” Williams said.

This weekend, her stand-up about life with her husband and teenager, at The Venetian’s “Lipshtick” series, will reflect her outsider unpopularity-which-became-popular.

“I see the world from a very, very tall perspective, an interesting take people might not realize — what it’s like to be a tall woman with large breasts,” she said and laughed.

She even shies away from calling herself that most insider of terms, “celebrity.”

“I look at myself as a commenter of celebrity culture. The magnitude of my life now has come along so late in my life, I’m still used to being ordinary Wendy,” Williams said.

“If I was 25 years old, I might look at it differently, a little more celebritized, if you will. But now, at 50? Please.”

Williams’ truth-telling is very evident on her TV show when she answers questions from viewers during “Ask Wendy” segments.

“They will ask me things like, ‘Wendy, I’m having an affair with my neighbor, and I’m not married, our kids play together, he’s married, and I don’t know what to do, I’m in love with him. What’s your advice?’ ”

Williams has drawn praise for her advice. She told me she comes up with answers on the fly.

“I am a woman who’s 50 years old, who’s been through a lot of ups and downs in my life, and I’m not scared to give you my straightest answer,” she said.

Actually, Williams thinks people already have solutions to their problems somewhere in their consciences. They just need guidance, she said.

People are scared of living their own lives, she said, and they are scared of being rejected, and they’re scared of alienating certain friends.

But it’s good for people to live their lives without such fears, she believes.

Williams herself has had the strength of character to cut bad people out of her life, because she is her own best friend.

What does that mean, to be your own best friend?

“I delight in my own company. I don’t need somebody to go to the movies with me. I don’t need to be talking on the telephone all day on Saturday. I enjoy my own company,” Williams said.

“If people were their own best friends, it would be a lot easier to cut people off,” she said.

So to all you outsiders, Williams has this very Wendy Williams advice:

“Everything becomes so much easier,” once you learn how to amuse yourself, she said.

“And one day, you’ll have a good job, and you can choose any friend that you want. But you can choose a lot more carefully, because you’re so used to being your own best friend.”

Doug Elfman’s column appears on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Email him at delfman@reviewjournal.com.

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