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November 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Feature

Wendy Williams hosts Soul Train Music Awards in Vegas

Entertainer returns to Las Vegas on a mission.

BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD

Wendy Williams

Seen by millions each day as the host of a popular daytime talk show, Wendy Williams is returning to the scene of a recent triumph: Las Vegas, where she will reprise her Lipshtick Comedy Series show at the Venetian on Nov. 1, and host the Soul Train Music Awards on Nov. 30, with the latter set to air on the cable networks BET and Centric. Williams gave Las Vegas Black Image Magazine the honor of an exclusive interview about her plans for the world’s entertainment capital.

How do you feel about hosting the Soul Train Music Awards here in Las Vegas?
I am very excited, in a slightly nervous way.
It’s surprising that you might be nervous because you do such a great job on your talk show and were so wonderful doing standup comedy at the Venetian recently.
Well, the standup comedy has to do with telling humorous stories. Hosting the Soul Train Music Awards is about keeping the show moving. These are two different things. Both of them are about being in a room full of people, but past that there are no similarities.
You are scheduled to perform again at the Venetian’s Lipshtick Comedy Series on Nov. 1?
Yes, I am again very excited to be back at the Venetian. I can’t believe I have the good fortune to have had one good run there and I thought that was it. I am so honored that they asked me to come back and perform my standup comedy. I know this is a unique thing to be asked to perform in Las Vegas period. I mean, it’s Vegas! We are not talking about some hole in the wall. I am very excited and taking it very seriously. I know sometimes people think when you hear “comedy show” that I might be telling jokes. On the contrary, I will be telling stories with more humor injected in them. A lot of the stories for instance are simple things that I might share on my talk show’s “Hot Topics.”
What can we expect from you when you host the Soul Train Music Awards?
For the awards show you will see a lot of razzle-dazzle because it’s being taped in Vegas. I will be giving everything that Las Vegas is. I might come out in a full-blown costume like a showgirl and or channel Cher or Tina Turner. My stylist and I are working on all of the costume changes. I really want to give a show and I don’t want to disappoint. I realize I am not the star of the awards show; I am the host. My job is to keep the show moving and not to stand there to tell a ton of jokes with the spotlight on me. It’s a unique thing to host an awards show, because in the past I have only watched them. Fortunately, it is taped — so we can have do-overs.
What are some of your fondest memories of “Soul Train”?
I remember “Soul Train” coming on every Saturday morning when my big sister and I had to clean the house. My sister, Wanda, is six years older, and it was great to have that sisterly bonding time when she was 16 and I was 10. Watching “Soul Train” on television was something we both looked forward to. It was really cool.
Do you have any memories of Don Cornelius, host and creator of Soul Train?
My favorite memory of Don happens to be a personal one. I was working on a red carpet for an event a dozen years ago. I was working the microphone, and harassing celebrities as usual — being Wendy. Don Cornelius was coming down the red carpet, walked or and put me in a headlock. He could do that because he was very tall. He gently gave me a noogie with his knuckles rubbing against my forehead and he said, “Wendy, don’t start no stuff out here!” (Laughing). Here I am years later, and I hope I make him proud and give him a laugh.

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