Joy Behar has been on The View longer than any other co-host, and according to her, there’s a behind-the-scenes secret to that success. Behar started on The View when it debuted in 1997, along with creator Barbara Walters, and co-hosts Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos, and Meredith Vieira. Behar took two seasons off in 2014 and 2015 before returning once again. As the show gets ready to start its 25 season, the 78-year-old comedian will have been there for 23 of them.
In a new interview with People ahead of the milestone season, the TV host shares the one thing that she swears has kept her from getting fired over the years and kept things working as smoothly as possible for everyone else, too.
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Behar says she isn’t too proud to do this—frequently.
“Well, I’ve gotten in trouble a few times on the show,” Behar told People. But, she added that she’s been willing to apologize—no matter what—in order to keep things moving.
“I’ve had to apologize, which I’m happy to do in order to save mine and everybody else’s job,” she said. “I don’t care. Even if I don’t mean it, I’ll do it. Even if I look like I’m in a hostage takeover, I’ll still do it, because if you don’t do it, you lose your job and everybody else’s.”
She recently apologized on air for a mistake made on the show.
In April, Behar apologized for misgendering Caitlyn Jenner and trying to correct herself in the moment. After a commercial break, she said (via Entertainment Weekly), “So first of all, let me apologize for my pronoun mixup. I think I just didn’t get enough sleep last night. I had no intention of mixing them up and I tried to correct it immediately, but whatever, it just came out. So, I’m sorry if anybody was upset by that.” Jenner accepted the apology.
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Behar also shared the one trait any The View co-host has to have.
The View is all about the co-hosts sharing their differing opinions on everything from politics to pop culture, which means that they sometimes get into arguments on TV and also have to endure hate from fans of the show. According to Behar, not being bothered by the backlash is necessary. “You have a bunch of women who speak their minds and enjoy the blowback,” she told People. “That’s our stock-in-trade.”
The host says her comedy isn’t meant to be “mean.”
Also in the People interview, Behar talked about how she doesn’t want her jokes to be “mean,” but knows she has offended people. “My comedy has never been vicious or mean because my intent is just to make you laugh,” she said. “That’s all. I don’t have any other motive. And so if the intention is in the right, and your heart is in the right place, I think that you can never really go wrong. I’ve offended people for sure, but whatever.”
In June, Behar quickly walked back a joke made about NFL player Carl Nassib. While the co-hosts were discussing Nassib becoming the first active NFL player to come out as gay, Behar said, “After they said ‘penetration in the end zone,’ they lost me.” She immediately took back the comment. “I just long for the day when you can just be gay in the world, and it doesn’t become a big deal,” she said. “By the way, that inappropriate joke I made for daytime television? Scratch it. Make believe I never said it.”
The View will be changing things up for the new season.
Season 25 is premiering on Sept. 7, and while Behar will be sticking around, some other changes are on the way. Meghan McCain recently left after four years on the show, so the series is on the search for her replacement. In the meantime, a series of guest hosts will fill her seat. Also, to celebrate a quarter century of The View, the show will feature Flashback Fridays in which former hosts will show up to co-host an episode. The first guest alum will be Jones.
In addition to Behar returning for the new season, Whoopi Goldberg, Sara Haines, and Sunny Hostin will also be back on the talk show for another year.
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