Sherri Shepherd Reveals Key Advice Former The View Co-Host Barbara Walters Gave Her About Handling TV Interviews

Sherri Shepherd in yellow top for Sherri talk show
(Image credit: Debmar-Mercury)

Sherri Shepherd certainly made sure she was prepared before embarking on the first season of Sherri, her new daytime talk show. The comedian/actress served as a guest host on The Wendy Williams Show during its final season, before Debmar-Mercury decided she would permanently replace the longtime host with a series bearing her own name. Determined to not squander such an opportunity, Shepherd recalled the expert advice that she got from her fellow former co-host on The View, Barbara Walters, about interviewing people.

There are likely few better people to glean wisdom from when it comes to on-camera interviews than Barbara Walters. Sherri Shepherd had the privilege of co-hosting The View with her during Shepherd’s seven-year stint on the daytime TV staple, and she shared with CinemaBlend just how priceless that learning experience was for her. The Sherri host said: 

Barbara Walters, oh, my goodness. You couldn't pay to have a better education on interviewing people. Barbara Walters would always say, 'Be curious about people.' Barbara Walters would say, 'Do not take no for an answer.' Barbara Walters also said, 'Why don't you read a book, dear?' So, you know, even the way I started speaking. When I started doing The View, I was like, [in higher-pitched voice] 'Take a little time to enjoy The View.' Barbara Walters taught me that people take you as a woman more seriously when your voice has a deepness to it. So I literally would stand in the mirror and go [from higher to lower pitch] 'Take a little time to enjoy The View. Take a little time. Take a little time. Take a little time.' So now my voice is very, very deep, and when I'm trying to get back to being that person on ‘Blind Dates’ with the high voice that needs help, I can't get it.

Not only did Sherri Shepherd take away some key advice regarding how to approach interview subjects, but the daytime talk show host said Barbara Walters even gave her advice on her voice to better her chances of success. She took those words to heart and, now, she knows what she has to offer, and she’s confident that she conveys that in the pitch of her voice. Shepherd continued: 

I can't get a Paris Hilton, or LaToya Jackson, but I try. But I think that Barbara Walters shaped the tone of my voice. And, you know, I know what I'm bringing, and I know what I want, and it comes through my voice.

Barbara Walters wasn’t the only media giant who advised Sherri Shepherd ahead of her talk show debut. Shepherd said she took 15 pages of notes when picking the brain of Oprah Winfrey. The “Queen of All Media” told the Sherri host that the energy of the show was her responsibility and that the audience would give back to her the energy she put out.

Good energy definitely seemed to be in line with what the new host wanted for her show, as she said she was leaning into kindness and laughter. She said she was creating a celebrity-friendly environment, where guests wouldn’t have to worry about a “gotcha-moment.”

Sherri made its premiere in syndication on September 12, so check your local listings to find out the time and channel where you can catch the titular host in action. Also be sure to check out CinemaBlend's 2022 TV schedule to keep up with all of the upcoming premieres. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.