As The View launched its seventeenth season on Monday, sparkling new addition Jenny McCarthy made her debut as co-host. After the show, she and her fellow panelists reflected on her joining the show.
"It's been the whole day; every single moment I have such gratitude," McCarthy replied when asked what was the best part of her first day on The View. "I walk around just grateful all day, going, 'Thank you...for this job!'"
The 40-year-old model and actress began her career two decades ago as a model for Playboy, transitioning from modeling to TV hosting over the years. Now landing herself a position on a morning show, McCarthy expressed relief in addition to gratitude to have secured such a prominent job.
"Twenty years, I've been trying to get to where I am right today. I mean, I worked really hard. I paid my dues," the Chicago native said. "I'm looking up at the sign right now of 'The View' going 'Ah, I can't believe it!' I'm just really grateful to have this job."
McCarthy's fellow co-hosts were very receptive of their newly minted colleague, who replaces former longtime host Elizabeth Hasselbeck. They ceremoniously welcomed her by showering her with balloons in the beginning of the show.
"Jenny doesn't need advice," creator and host Barbara Walters said. "The important thing about being on 'The View' is you have to be yourself. This is an unscripted show; we're not writing every funny line. Jenny brings humor and intelligence and warmth. ... She's open for everything. I think she's a terrific choice for us."
As a new co-host arrived, another is on her way out. Walters, who has been on the show since co-creating it in 1997, has declared Season 17 her last. She was honored on Monday's show with a performance from Michael Bublé, one of many tributes to come for the veteran journalist in the current season.
"I just want to enjoy this year and the people I work with," the 83-year-old TV personality said. "There's so much that I'm grateful for, and I want to leave while I still can stand and walk and run and enjoy it all. So, it's going to be a very special and sort of bittersweet year."
Watch the video for more behind-the-scenes interviews from Jenny McCarthy's The View debut, including Barbara Walters thoughts on returning to television after her imminent departure.
The View airs weekdays at 11 a.m. ET/ 10 a.m. PT on ABC.