Perennial Montauker Jerry O’Connell, who has been filling in as host for The Wendy Williams Show during Wendy Williams’ extended hiatus, debuted his own Jerry O’ show this week, on Monday, August 12. O’Connell began hosting Williams’ show earlier this year while the embattled daytime host took a hiatus for personal reasons. Williams made a brief cameo in Jerry O’s first episode, before turning the rest of the show, and her former studio, over to O’Connell.
Watch O’Connell in action on Monday’s full debut episode above, including a conversation with Williams as she hands over the reins, and his interview with fellow Hamptonite Kelly Ripa.
The show continues in a vein similar to its predecessor, with some slight tweaks. “It’s sort of like my version of Wendy,” O’Connell told Christal Young on FOX5 News, adding, “We’re going to be getting out on the street a lot more, we’re going to be doing some crazy sketches. I’m not ashamed to say this, very gossip-y stories.”
The set has also received some alterations for O’Connell’s show. The video wall has been employed as a digital logo backdrop featuring a new teal and orange color scheme, and each echinus of the set’s columns has been rebranded with the new host’s last initial in metallic lettering. On Monday, the show debuted with music similar to that of The Wendy Williams Show, and the elaborately monogrammed doors onto the stage still bore an intertwined “W.” This may have been an intentional homage to the studio’s previous resident, or may be gradually changed.
Beyond the usual promotional appearances actors make on talk shows, O’Connell has extensive experience as a guest host, keeping the seat warm for hosts on The View, The Talk and Watch What Happens Live. He also stood in as Ripa’s Live! co-host before Ryan Seacrest landed the permanent spot. Despite this, O’Connell says, “Filling in for Wendy was the scariest moment of my life.” It would seem, however, that O’Connell performed well enough, and Jerry O’ will continue for three more weeks as a test run before FOX decides its future with the network—and whether that W on the door will end up an O.
The Jerry O’ show concludes its first week on FOX5 this Friday, August 16 at 10 a.m.