Joy Behar had a good run on The View before leaving on her own terms this past August. But that run was very nearly cut short seven years ago. Appearing on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on Wednesday, Sept. 18, the comedienne confessed that she was almost fired by series creator Barbara Walters.
At the time, Behar told Leno, Walters had been planning to announce during the Primetime Emmys that Rosie O'Donnell would be joining her and her co-hosts on The View. But that plan was ruined when Behar accidentally let the news slip while talking to Entertainment Tonight. Walters was none too pleased, to say the least.
"You ever feel like you’re going to have a heart attack?" Behar asked Leno, recalling the phone call she received from Walters after her mistake. According to Behar, her boss said, "Hello, Joy? It’s Barbara. And I just want you to know I’m not renewing your contract."
Behar apologized repeatedly, but Walters wasn't having it. "It was a big mistake! I'm not renewing your contract!" she recalled the veteran journalist, now 83, telling her.
In the end, of course, Walters did renew Behar's contract — though it's unclear how exactly the two managed to repair their professional relationship. In any case, Behar went on to co-host the show for seven more years, during which time she got herself into several other awkward situations.
"I got in trouble a lot. I mean, people don't know how much trouble I got into," she quipped to Leno, citing one incident in which she made a joke about Donald Trump's hair. That joke resulted in a very angry letter from the Apprentice host's people.
"'Trump is livid about the comment Joy made on air yesterday. He does not wear a wig,'" she read from the letter. "'She can come over to the office and pull it and see for herself that it won't come off. People over there need to check their facts before running their mouths.'"
Behar also talked with Leno about her replacement on The View, Jenny McCarthy, who made her debut on the show earlier this month. "Jenny's good. Jenny McCarthy, lovely girl. Very controversial. She's against inoculations," Behar said, referring to the comedienne's claims that vaccines caused her son's autism. Then, making a joke about McCarthy's sex life, she quipped: "But she loves a beef injection, I heard!"