After 16 seasons, Joy Behar has left The View. Today's episode was her very last, and it was a farewell celebration like nothing The View has ever seen.
From the first moments of the show, it was clear that this wouldn't be an average episode. The entire run-time was dedicated to Joy, her accomplishments, and the friends she has made during her 16 years on the show.
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Presented as a This Was Your Life episode, Joy's View co-hosts kept her in the dark about the plans for the show, so that she would be surprised at every turn.
As the show progressed, it was a cavalcade of touching memories, poignant clips and wonderful guest stars, beginning with View-favorite, comedian Mario Cantone.
Cantone served as Master Of Ceremonies, presenting guest after guest from Joy's past on the show, beginning with Regis Philbin.
The next guest who shared memories, laughs and love were former View co-host Meredith Vieira, who shared a passionate kiss with Joy, and showed clips of Joy kissing a whole slew of guests in the past.
Then came Joan Rivers and her incomparable brand of risqué comedy. Joy and Joan reminisced about the early days of their stand-up comedy careers.
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Other guests included Joy's long-time friend and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Susie Essman, the iconic actor Alan Alda, and, in a final surprise, Joy was serenaded by music legend Tony Bennett.
Throughout the show they played recorded video messages from many stars, including Steve Martin, Carol Burnett, Debbie Reynolds, Nathan Lane, Aziz Ansari, Jane Lynch and others.
During the closing moments of the show, the four hosts, Joy, Barbara Walters, Sherri Shepherd, and Whoopie Goldberg sat around their familiar table drinking champagne. Barbara Walters reminisced about hiring Joy when the show began, and said, "For years, she has been proving how right I was."
In a touching moment and the end, Barbara turned to Joy and said, "I love you Joy. I have loved every moment that we’ve worked together."
In her closing statements Joy said, "I have to thank the most important people- my hair and makeup people."
She went on to say that there are just too many people to thank individually but that she would be "sexting them all in the Fall."
Joy Behar was one of the original hosts from when the show began, along with the show's creator Barbara Walters, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones and Debbie Matenopoulos. With Joy's departure, Barbara Walters is the only remaining original cast member on the program.