Whitney Cummings and Sherri Shepherd to Guest Host Wendy Williams Show amid Williams' Health Issues
"In my opinion, nobody is more entertaining or authentic than Wendy Williams," Cummings, 39, said in a release. "As an avid fan, it is surreal to sit in for Wendy, but as someone who has been a guest on the show so many times, I feel confident that my relentless habit of speaking candidly, often to the point of self-sabotage, may go over well with her fans."
She continued, "There are few places I'd feel as safe to be as unhinged and opinionated as on Wendy's show and I am looking forward to burning many a bridge. Each episode I do will be in celebration of her fearlessness, and the lessons I've learned from her fearless feedback and advice. I'd like to do whatever I can to make her life easier while she recovers so she can come back stronger and more powerful than ever."
"I'm so excited to return to the Wendy Williams Show to host for a full week! I had such a great time when I hosted the show in 2019 and I'm flattered that Wendy and the producers put their trust in me to fill in again. I'm sending my love and well wishes out to her," added Shepherd, 54.
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Season 13 of the syndicated talk show kicked off on Monday with a panel of guest hosts including Devyn Simone, Bevy Smith, Elizabeth Wagmeister and Michael Yo. Leah Remini has been tapped to host for the rest of the premiere week.
The season has been delayed multiple times due to Williams' health struggles. The premiere, originally set for Sept. 20, was first pushed to Oct. 4 after Williams, 57, tested positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19 amid other health issues.
It was then pushed back for a second time to Oct. 18, with the show announcing late last month that Williams had recovered from COVID but was still dealing with additional health issues.
Last week, the show announced there would be "an exciting lineup of guest hosts and panels" during her absence.
"Wendy continues to be under medical supervision and meets with her medical team on a daily basis. She is making progress but is experiencing serious complications as a direct result of Graves' Disease and her thyroid condition," the show said in a statement. "It has been determined that more time is needed before she is able to return to her live hosting duties.
"Wendy is a valued and stalwart member of the Debmar-Mercury family and has been so for 12 years. We want her health to be her top priority. As soon as she's ready, she will be back in her treasured purple chair," the statement continued. "We very much appreciate the respect for Wendy's privacy, as well as all the good wishes from her fans, station partners and advertisers."
Williams has long dealt with Graves' disease, an autoimmune disease that results in an overactive thyroid gland. She was diagnosed with the immune system disorder over two decades ago, she previously told PEOPLE, and took an extended hiatus from her show in May 2020 due to the condition.
The Wendy Williams Show airs weekdays (check local listings).