Joy Behar still sharing her view as stand-up comic
FIVE months after leaving her job as one of the founding hosts of ABC's daytime talk show "The View," Joy Behar says that one of her biggest surprises is that she doesn't have to have every moment of her life scheduled.
In fact, a recent call to Behar's Manhattan home found her doing a crossword puzzle and watching television.
"It's a funny thing," Behar said. "I thought, 'Oh gee, I have to have a lot of things planned.' But I don't, really. I'm busy, but I'm not overwhelmed, and I feel less stressed, to tell you the truth. So I'm enjoying the time."
But no longer being on "The View" doesn't mean that Behar, 71, a fiery redhead with a brassy personality to match, has stopped giving her own view on, well, pretty much everything.
Part of Behar's plan to expand includes a return to stand-up comedy, which lured her away from a teaching career in the early 1980s and at which she made a living for 15 years before "The View."
Behar said she never intended to leave television completely. When she started the "Joy Behar Show" on CNN's HLN network in 2009, then "Joy Behar: Say Anything!" on the Current TV network in 2012, she expected that she would continue those shows after leaving "The View." But both were canceled.
Behar spoke well of her time on "The View," which got her 14 Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Talk Show Host. She won in 2009.
One of her favorite moments, she said, was the October 2010 show on which she and co-host Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set after conservative talk-show host Bill O'Reilly, a guest, said, "Muslims killed us on 9/11."
She declined to share her least favorite moments.
"I really can't pinpoint a disappointing time," she said. "Sometimes the interviews just don't go anywhere and the topics are just not as interesting. . . . But I always say, those conversations are like similar ones you have in your own life - some of them are great and some of them are not."
Behar downplayed her contentious relationship with fellow "View" panelist Star Jones, which reportedly led to them avoiding sitting near each other and culminated in a 2005 argument over Jones' Christian faith. Jones left the show abruptly months later, announcing her departure on her last day.
Behar noted that she interviewed Jones on her HLN show in 2011. But she also made reference to Jones' gastric bypass surgery, which was controversial because Barbara Walters wrote in her 2008 memoir that Jones forced all of her co-hosts to lie about it.
Asked about her replacement on "The View," Jenny McCarthy, Behar said, "I think she's adorable. She's so cute."
"The show is very light right now," Behar conceded. "You know, no politics on the show anymore."
Behar, a liberal, and former panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a conservative, engaged in many heated political discussions.
Behar said she expects "The View" to change even more when Walters, 84, retires as its co-host in May. (The show announced yesterday that Rosie O'Donnell would return as a guest on the Feb. 7 program. O'Donnell had a stormy tenure as a "View" panelist from 2005 to 2007.)
Of Walters, Behar said, "I mean she's basically the . . . what's the word I'm looking for . . . the center of it, the glue, the person who started it. She thought of the whole thing, and her presence has been felt. But I think that, yeah, it's going to change. A lot."