The last of the original hosts on ABC's daytime talk show "The View" -- except for the program's inventor, Barbara Walters -- made her exit Friday.
Joy Behar's last day was punctuated by a profane joke. Taped a week ago, the program was a salute to Behar with special guests, a serenade and highlights of her memorable moments, including interviewing President Barack Obama and walking out on Bill O'Reilly.
Among the guests on the show were Regis Philbin, Meredith Vieira, Joan Rivers, Alan Alda and Tony Bennett, who performed a song. The celebrity guests reminisced about how they met Behar and some of their best times together. Laughs were all around, while the audience screamed and cheered throughout the episode. Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett were among the stars sending wishes in brief taped segments.
Behar began her co-host duties with the first episode of "The View" in August 1997. Walters' idea for a talk show with women hosts kicking around the news of the day, followed by celebrity guests, proved to be a success from the start.
Walters recalled learning about Behar after being taken by Philbin to hear her nightclub act. "For years she has been proving how right I was" to hire her, she said, noting, "I discovered Joy Behar."
In her parting words, Behar thanked her "hair and makeup people," publicists, producers and members of the crew. "They are like the unsung people," she said before thanking her co-hosts: "I was born an only child, but now I know what sibling rivalry is all about." Behar kept it light, refused to get mushy and didn't shed any tears.
Behar's going-away joke, in a nod to Walters, required knowledge of 1970s television news feuds to get the punch line. She turned to Walters and said, "There's something I've been wanting for 16 years to say -- [Expletive] Harry Reasoner!" There was tension between Walters and the late Reasoner when they were both at ABC News.
Behar, 70, a stand-up comic and writer, said after the taping that she wants to do something different without being held to the schedule of a daily talk show. She's exploring different areas, and said she met with CNN chief Jeff Zucker about possibilities there.
"I don't want to do just one thing," she said.
She tweeted Thursday:
Thanks to all at "The View" for a great 16 years. Watch my finale tomorrow. Not sure what to do next. I was thinking porn for the blind.-- Joy Behar (@JoyVBehar) August 8, 2013
ABC hasn't named a replacement for Behar. The network recently said Jenny McCarthy would replace Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who left for a job at Fox News Channel. Producers face another big decision next year.
Tell us: Will you miss Behar on "The View"?