Sherri Shepherd Reveals the Advice Oprah Winfrey Gave Her for Hosting ‘Sherri’

·3 min read
Photo credit: Lou Rocco - Getty Images
Photo credit: Lou Rocco - Getty Images
  • Sherri Shepherd revealed the meaningful advice Oprah Winfrey gave her ahead of her talk show’s premiere.

  • Shepherd said she took 15 pages worth of notes from their phone call.

  • Sherri premieres on September 12.

Less than two weeks ahead of the premiere of her talk show, Sherri, Sherri Shepherd is taking all the advice from pros she can get. And who better to call than the most successful talk show host herself, Oprah Winfrey? According to Shepherd, the daytime TV legend had plenty of wisdom to bestow—15 hand-written pages worth, to be exact.

It was actually Winfrey who called Shepherd after they texted “two or three times” to discuss the upcoming program, Shepherd recently told Entertainment Weekly. “The advice that she gave me to do a talk show, I took 15 pages of notes until my fingers cramped up. I took a potassium pill because my fingers were cramped and I couldn't write anymore,” she recalled. “I said, hold on, I have to commit this to memory, because nobody will believe that I’m talking to and laughing with Oprah.”

Shepherd went on to reveal the most important piece of guidance Winfrey provided. “She said, ‘Sherri, the show is not about the ratings, it’s about the energy. You put out the energy, and it will come back in direct proportion to you from the audience. It’s your responsibility. You’re in charge of the energy that is on your show,’” she recalled. “I felt that, because I was like, damn, I just wanted to show some viral videos and make people laugh. But it’s true, it’s the energy you give off, which is why we love Oprah.”

For Shepherd, that interaction with Winfrey was much more than a simple phone call—it was a milestone achieved, which she doesn’t take lightly. “I’m literally going to frame the 15 pages of notes,” she said. “I’m not even throwing them away. Those will be in my memoirs, my biopic, the notes will be on the wall. If I could’ve recorded Oprah, I would’ve, because I said that nobody is going to believe this.”

In a promotional video for Sherri, Shepherd shares other bits of advice she’s gleaned from experienced women in TV, including her former fellow The View panelists Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar. “I’ve gotten some great advice from some really powerful, inspirational women,” she says in the clip. “Joan Rivers said to me, ‘Funny girls will always work.’ And she was right. Tina Fey said to me, ‘Just do it.’” Shepherd continues, adding that Goldberg told her, “Know that you’re taking people on a journey,” and Behar said: “The moment you open up your mouth, half the world is gonna hate you.”

That mix of advice perfectly represents the energy Shepherd hopes her show will bring, which she summed up to Entertainment Tonight as: “a little bit of the inspiration of Oprah, a lot of the laughter of Ellen [DeGeneres]. Put that together, and then you [get] Sherri.”

Sherri premieres on September 12, adopting the time slot formerly occupied by The Wendy Williams Show. Shepherd filled in as the primary guest host on Wendy before it ended in June.

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