‘The View’: Joy Behar’s Life of Fame Didn’t Start Till She Was 55

For many reasons, The View is one of the most popular and critically-praised talk shows. This comes down to multiple factors: its star-studded yet multi-generational and diverse cast of female panelists which has included figures such as Whoopi Goldberg and Raven SymonĂ©, its panel format, and the broad array of topics it covers which range from global politics to lifestyle discussions that impact the everyday lives of its viewers. Though it’s been airing for over two decades as of 2021, one of the original hosts is still active on the show: Joy Behar.

You might, however, be surprised when you learn just when Behar became famous. Unlike other hosts on The View, Behar didn’t have years of fame in entertainment, journalism, or politics, but once she entered entertainment, she quickly showed her mettle. When and how did Behar become famous?

On ‘The View,’ Joy Behar is known for her comedic leanings

The different hosts of The View are known for different things. For instance, Barbara Walters was known for her professionalism and intelligence, Meghan McCain for nepotism, and Sunny Hostin is known for her legal experience and expertise. Behar brings experience in and knowledge of comedy to the show, as she has experience as a stand-up comedian. She has an intermittent segment, “Joy’s Comedy Corner,” where she invites other comedians on the show to perform and discuss their work.

Behar has won both a Daytime Emmy and a GLAAD Award for her performance on this show, and received several more nominations. Her long run on the show is also impressive: apart from a two-year break from 2013-2014, Behar has been present on the show since it began in 1997. Her experience with this show is truly impressive!

Behar was 55 when she started on ‘The View’

JOY BEHAR, COKIE ROBERTS
JOY BEHAR, COKIE ROBERTS | ABC/Lou Rocco

Though Joy Behar is now a household name, and her experience is so expansive it seems as if she must have been in the entertainment industry since childhood, Behar was actually an English teacher for decades before she even appeared on TV. Additionally, her entrance into the industry wasn’t as a host: instead, Behar started performing stand-up comedy in the 1980s, while working as a receptionist for Good Morning America. This gave her some TV appearances, and in the late 1980s appeared in some films and on some sitcoms.

In 1987, she also started her first talk show, Way Off Broadway. She also continued to appear on Good Morning America, mostly for comedy. But, when The View started in 1997, she really entered the public consciousness. At this time, she was 55 years old, and though she started out as a substitute for Barbara Walters, she soon became one of the main faces of the show.

Since ‘The View,’ Behar has had more media ventures

Though The View continues to be Joy Behar’s priority, it’s far from the only project she has worked on in recent years. She’s started a few of her own talk shows, and would frequently appear on Larry King’s and Bill Maher’s respective talk shows. Additionally, Behar has done stage work, with a solo show and appearances in shows like The Vagina Monologues.  She’s even done voice acting work for the Ice Age series!

On top of all of this, Behar has written and published several books: some collections of comedic essays, most recently The Great Gasbag: An A-Z Guide to Surviving Trump World in 2017, as well as books aimed at children. It’s clear that Behar has been quite active since her relatively recent rise to fame, and shows no signs of stopping.

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