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‘I Heard So Many No’s’: Sherri Shepherd Reflects on Living Her Dream as a Talk Show Host Despite Executives Claiming Audiences Wanted Someone ‘Younger’

Sherri Shepherd is living her childhood dream of being the daytime host of her very own talk show.

The comedian launched “Sherri” last year following her successful run as the fan-favorite guest host of “The Wendy Williams Show.” Shepherd and others took over the purple throne when the longtime radio personality fell ill and was forced to exit her syndicated show.

Sherri Shepherd basks in the success of her daytime talk show “Sherri.” (Photos: @sherrieshepherd/Instagram)

Prior to landing her new gig, the “30 Rock” actress held her own as co-host on ABC’s “The View” from 2007 to 2014. In a new Instagram post, Shepherd shared a video of her sitting in the empty chairs of her studio audience as she reflected on her path to landing her talk show.

“For 20 years I have wanted to have my own talkshow. So many executives told me I couldn’t do a talk show by myself… that audiences wanted younger hosts… NO NO NO.” she began. “I heard so many ‘No’s,’ I would cry myself to sleep because I knew that if I was just given a chance I would be a success.”

She continued, “I watched others do what I wanted and it hurt. But I never gave up on my dream of being a talk show host. I prepared and honed my skills by being a radio show host on the Tom Joyner Morning Show; a standup comic; co-hosting @theviewabc; co-hosting @dishnation and starting a podcast called “Two Funny Mamas (which won two @naacpimageawards by the way!) all the while staying positive despite the pain of rejection.”

Related: Sherri Shepherd Says She Went Through Some ‘Painful’ Years Co-Hosting ‘The View’

The 56-year-old said she stood strong in her faith that God would make a way for her to use her gifts of laughter and joy to bring her dream to fruition.

She declared, “I have come to realize ‘No’ is not denial… ‘No’ may mean ‘Not Yet!” before noting, “And sometimes you have to mature into your dream to be able to handle all the baggage that comes along with it.”

“But in your season of waiting, prepare. And if you ever feel like giving up, look at me and smile… because your time is coming and God’s timing & His promises never lie” she concluded for those who may be holding onto a dream that has yet to come to pass.

In the comments, Shepherd’s Hollywood peers, such as Neicy Nash, singer Deborah Cox, A.J. Johnson and several others applauded her success.

“Yes ma’am!! You’ve worked to be in this seat sister!! Over deserved and I love witnessing it all!! Inspiring my lovely friend!!!” read one comment.

“Love watching and laughing with you every day. It takes a strong sense of faith (in God and yourself) to persevere. If I listened to every one who told me I’d never make it as an actress,” read another.

And “You deserve it ALLLLL!!” wrote a third supporter.

The “Sherri” show became a breakout success with its first season having been nominated for four Daytime Emmy Awards. The show won Outstanding Talk Series at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards, and took home the Bronze Telly Award for its digital launch campaign.

According to the host, who also serves as an executive producer, the show is ranked No. 2 in syndicated daytime talk with women between 25 and 54 years old and No. 3 in daytime talk with women in that same age range.

In early June, it was announced that the Debmar-Mercury production had been renewed for its second and third seasons.

“I’m grateful for this rockstar TV team that helped make the first season of Sherri a success and the No. 1 new talk show in daytime. Expect the unexpected as we embark on our second season!” said Shepherd in a statement. The show returns Sept. 18.

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