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Sherri Shepherd bid goodbye to The Wendy Williams Show on Friday, calling its longtime host, Wendy Williams, an "icon" following a successful 13-year run.
Shepherd opened the show saying it was a "big day" because it was the final show. The crowd let out an audible sigh before the guest host commended the "incredible staff and crew" on the show. Shepherd then complimented Williams' run before diving into the show's iconic "Hot Topics" segment.
"Most of all, we have to thank you, Wendy Williams," said Shepherd as the audience erupted into applause. "You have to say -- there is nobody like Wendy Williams. From her days on the radio, to ruling daytime talk for 13 seasons, Wendy earned her title as the queen of all media. If you think about it, Wendy Williams changed daytime talk with her unique take on 'Hot Topics,' her one-of-a-kind celebrity interviews, the signature 'As Wendy' segments and, of course y'all, her famous 'How you doin?'"
Shepherd then had a message for Williams.
"And I wanna say: Miss Wendy you are an icon and you are loved by so many, so many," said Shepherd, prompting a chorus of "Wendy" chants. The final show also included a video montage of Wendy's reign on daytime television.
The final episode aired one day after Williams' ex, Kevin Hunter, slammed the production company behind the show for their handling of the series' final episode.
Hunter exclusively told ET, "I feel like it is a travesty on the part of Debmar-Mercury to have such an unceremonious departure without Wendy being involved."
"It is the first time in the history of talk shows for this to be done, especially for a show that has been on for more than 10 years," he added. "There is absolutely no reason why a bigger celebration that involved Wendy couldn't happen."
Hunter continues, saying that, as a co-creator of the show, "I know the blood, sweat and tears that went into making the show such a success, [and] I am not happy with the way the show is going out on a personal level and I am truly sorry that the show's fans have to see it go down the way that it is."
In March, Hunter filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Debmar-Mercury -- the producer-distributor of The Wendy Williams Show -- for unlawful termination. According to court docs obtained by ET at the time, Hunter claimed that Debmar-Mercury's decision to terminate him was on the basis of his marital status.
In his remarks to ET on Thursday, Hunter stated that the production company has shown "a lack of professionalism throughout the process and in the way they are letting Wendy go out."
"After 13 years, the show has been made a mockery the last two seasons and the reasons the show is having its untimely demise will come out very soon," Hunter states.
The Wendy Williams Show comes to an end after 13 successful years in syndication. Williams, who has been the original host of the show since its debut in 2009, has not been on to host since 2020.
In her absence, a number of guest hosts, including Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Leah Remini, Michael Rapaport and Shepherd have stepped in to talk “Hot Topics” and interview celebrity guests. In February, it was announced that the show would officially end in the fall, and that Shepherd will have her own daytime talk show, titled, Sherri.
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