Joy Behar will celebrate a milestone anniversary today on ABC’s The View as the comedienne and social commentator will mark 20 years on the talk series. While the series has gone through many incarnations in the years it has been on the air, Behar, an original panelist, has always been a constant.
Upon the show’s premiere in 1997, Behar stood out amongst original hosts Meredith Viera, Barbara Walters, Star Jones, and Debbie Matenopoulos.
The idea for the series, which was created by Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie, was to feature women of different generations, background, and views to discuss hot topics.
Behar left the show to pursue other opportunities in 2013 but remained a guest host, returning when the series needed to fill a spot vacated by a cast member. She returned in a full-time capacity in 2015.
TV Insider reported that the guest list for the Joy-centered episode is being kept under wraps. It has been confirmed that those who will show up to help celebrate her two decades on the series will include Gloria Steinem, Meredith Vieira, a fellow comedian, a longtime friend, an outspoken conservative, and a member of the press.
TV Insider spoke to Behar about her two decades on the popular series, favorite guests, the importance of being able to laugh, and what she did during her two-year hiatus from The View; she had a lot to say, as usual!
“They didn’t know what my purpose was [on the show] so they promoted me as ‘a divorcee who will say anything to anyone!’ I was on three days a week and Barbara was on two. Then, that changed and I was on every day,” Behar revealed.
“The show used to be a little lighter. It’s gotten more political over the years, but that’s not since [President Donald] Trump has gotten into office. We used to talk more about fashions and makeovers and women’s issues, but we have more of a focus on politics now. People come to us for that,” she said of the show’s current tone.
“We’re very educated women with points of view and we’re not afraid to speak out. I think the current group [we have on the panel] acknowledges the situation we’re in. We speak our minds and voice our opinions with impunity. That’s a very important function. That really kicked off after 9/11. We became very political after that,” Behar elaborated to TV Line.
During her two year departure from the series, Behar revealed that she loved having more free time. She wrote plays, traveled, and by her own admission, had “more dinner parties.”
Behar also admitted that while opinions between panelists can get rather “icy,” the feelings of annoyance that can occur between the women pass rather quickly.
She is grateful for her time on The View and is thankful for the fans of both herself and the series, stating that without the audience “you haven’t got a job.”
The View’s special episode honoring Joy Behar airs today at 11 a.m. EST on ABC. The show airs weekdays in the same time slot.