Wendy Jo Smith, better known by her stage name, Wendy Ho is one part skilled singer, one part comedienne, one part white rapper, and 100% entertainer. Over a million youtube views, having drag queens cover her songs, and being spoofed by Ryan Murphy are just a few of this ho’s claim to fame. Ho got her start as a little honey boo boo child in a trailer court in Ohio. From the time she first belted out the theme from “The Jefferson’s,” at her Meemaw’s Bunco party, one thing was for certain “that chubby lil white girl has SOUL!” Throughout the course of her adolescence she was told repeatedly, “you know you really do sound like a black girl,”–and later “you know, that ASS is definitely black.” By the time she landed in college she added rapping to her repertoire of talents, and her peers stopped calling her “Wendy Jo,” and started calling her “Wendy Ho.” Even though Miss Wendy trained to become a serious actress, the Ho followed her wherever she went. Whether she was singing live blues in a New York City dive, or touring the country in legit musical theater, people would clamor for more Wendy Ho! She finally threw her hands up and said “why not just embrace this shit!?”
Fast forward to Harlem USA 2007. Stealing ladies’ handbags from coat rooms at parties inspired her track “Bitch, I Stole Yo Purse!,” which became the #1 Funniest Video of 2008 on the MTV/LOGO Network, and was ripped off by Ryan Murphy on FX’s Nip/Tuck with Jennifer Coolidge playing their version of Wendy Ho. Although Ho has never been given true credit for origination of character, Coolidge did acknowledge their intentions in this article. This track came from the beloved cult classic album, The Gospel According to Ho which includes the torch song parody of Brenda Russel’s “Get Here,” now known as the drag classic, “Fuck Me!” This irreverence and balls-out femininity struck a special chord with the gay community, inspiring drag queens around the world to perform her songs and celebrate Ho.
With a rainbow hurricane of gay support behind her, Wendy Ho tours non-stop nationally with her one woman show, “The Wendy Ho Show” playing at gay bars, comedy clubs, theaters, and cabarets. Her act is always evolving with original songs and parodies. Her YouTube Channel, “HOtube,” is also always growing its web presence with regular music videos and sketches, her newest single, “Public Place,” a parody of Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” is starting to pick up traction. Ho resides in Los Angeles with her film-maker husband Stas Tagios (who collaborates with her on many videos), and she’s a regular at The Comedy Store, Hamburger Mary’s, Rage, and The Abbey. RuPaul and Victoria Beckham are two of her biggest fans, and her work has been featured on Logo, Showtime, and HereTV. She has also opened for comedy legend Sandra Bernhard.
Her discography also includes: Number Two: freestyles, mashups and remixes, including the dirty disco anthem “Poop Noodle.” Ho’s first full-length all orignal album Yes, I’m a Ho! was released to satisfied hobags worldwide. Featuring the Ho Pride Anthem title track and edgy, thematically diverse tracks like “I Can’t Afford It (I’m Gonna Have to Abort It)” and “Gurl, Putcho Tampon In,” Ho combines tongue-in-cheek delivery with in-your-face prophecy.
Ho is an artist. Ho is a state of mind. Ho redefines women in music and comedy with true liberation. She is funny and sexy, never sacrificing one for the other. A pretty bitch, a witty feminist, a self-possessed, self-assured mashup of street and trash who makes you laugh while she makes you think. The responses she evokes from audiences are as diverse as her roots, but at the core there is no question about who she is. Wendy is all woman. All Ho.
For the full on story of how Wendy Jo became Wendy Ho interview, listen to this podcast with Michelle Lecours: https://soundcloud.com/wendyhoshow/michellelecoursshow