On TV the talk show host is totally over-the-top. At home she dials it down with her husband and 12-year-old...but only a little.

By Patty Adams Martinez

Q. You're famous for catchphrases like "How you doin'?" and "Oh no she didn't!" Any go-to sayings you use as a mom?

A. The standard one, like "Do as I say, not as I do," and "I'm going to tell your father!" Kevin Jr. is a great kid, but threats do work when it comes to getting him to eat his vegetables.

Q. Does your son open up to you the way your TV guests do?

A. Absolutely. We talk about everything. He's getting into girls and tells me what happens at school and at parties and asks for advice. In the car, he's the first one to say, "Turn the radio off." That's when the conversations begin. That could all end any day. So I'm treasuring it for now.

Q. You've said your family often eats in the bedroom. What's up with that?

A. Growing up, I was never allowed to eat anywhere but the kitchen. So my rule is we can eat wherever as long as we're together. Yes, I do find food on the carpet and gravy stains on the pillows. But nothing beats the good times we had making that mess.

Q. Your husband, Kevin, is your manager and a producer on your show. How do you spend all that time together without driving each other crazy?

A. We've survived because I know how to take off my talk-show-host hat and be Wendy Hunter. Plus we do have separate lives and do our own thing.

Q. After your stint on Dancing with the Stars, do you and Kevin dance more?

A. Oh no. As everyone could see, I'm not very good. But being a New Jersey girl, wearing all those beads and sequins was a dream come true.

Q. Okay, we have to ask — what's with all the big wigs?

A. I'm a big girl, so the bigger the hair, the smaller my hips look! Actually, I wear them out of necessity. I was diagnosed with thyroid disease 15 years ago and my hair has gotten very thin. On the bright side, I don't envy anyone else's hair. If I want a certain look, all I have to do is buy it!

Originally published in the June 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.