The 63-year-old TV personality shocked everyone -- including her co-hosts -- when she appeared on Thursday's episode of the morning show after missing more than a month due to pneumonia.
The episode began much the same way they have in recent weeks, with Joy Behar opening the show and wishing Goldberg well before Goldberg entered from behind the other ladies -- Abby Hunstman, Meghan McCain, Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro -- causing them all to leap out of their seats and offer her excited hugs through happy tears.
"This is my first foray out... I'm not there yet, but the only way it's going to get better is if I begin, so this is my beginning," Goldberg said after the crowd's "Whoopi" chants died down.
"Makeup helps," she quipped of her appearance, before revealing that she still has a cough, had to get special permission to make her View comeback and, despite still having a "challenged" immune system, plans to return to the show gradually over the next week and a half.
"I wanted the first foray to be to come see y'all because I really kinda missed y'all," she told her fellow hosts.
Goldberg's humor remained firmly intact, with the comedian revealing that people actually believed Behar's joke that she was absent due to pregnancy.
"I think some people said to me, 'So, um, how did you get pregnant?' And I couldn't figure out what they were talking about, and then I remembered that [Joy] had said, 'She's on maternity leave,'" Goldberg said.
"It's sad that some people have no sense of humor," Behar responded.
When Behar told her friend that she appeared to have lost weight, Goldberg once again let her humor come through. "I am the only person who can go into the hospital for three weeks and put weight on," she quipped.
The show turned serious when Goldberg began discussing the scary illness in earnest, revealing just how close to death she was.
"You think you can push through because you got a little cold, you say, 'I'm just gonna keep going, keep going.' And you think because you've healed quickly before that something crazy can't happen. Well, it can," she said. "I had double pneumonia and sepsis... and so they had to pump a lot of stuff out of me. This is a cautionary tale for all of us. You must really take care of yourself because there is little tiny stuff out there that will kill you that you never think of."
Goldberg, whose business partner called an ambulance for her when she felt ill, initially discovered how serious her condition was when she went to the hospital -- escorted by her makeup artist, Karen -- and a worker asked, "What color is that?" in reference to her face.
"I was some weird color and he touched me and put the thing in and said, 'Oh, 102, that's not good,'" she recalled.
On top of that, viewing the X-ray of her lungs and talking things over with her doctor made the reality of her situation sink in.
"When you look at an X-ray, you see your lungs, and on the one he looked at, there was a really good-looking lung and really clear, like, 'I'm a lung.' And then there was, like, this other thing, where you should be able to see the diaphragm... it was nothing but white, which meant there was stuff in there," she recalled. "So, this was, like, really bad."
"... The scariest moment was hearing my doctor say to me, 'You do realize how close to death you were?'" Goldberg continued. "That was like, 'Uhhh actually, no, I hadn't thought of it.' He said, 'Well, you need to think of it. You need to be really clear about what this is.'"
Goldberg also revealed that all of her co-hosts came to visit her in the hospital, even recalling one time when they used a hilarious method to try to remain anonymous.
"On this day, this woman comes in and she's doing stuff in the room and she says [to Ana], 'You know, you look like that woman from The View.' [Ana] says, 'I hate that show. I don't watch that show, those women talk too much,'" Goldberg said. "Then, the woman looks over to Sunny and says, 'You look familiar too.' And Sunny said, 'I don't know. I'm just me.'"
"Candi [Carter] is there, our EP, and she starts to shoot this little video of this woman saying, 'I like that show. I like that little Meghan McCain. All the ladies, they are very nice. They are smart, sometimes they get a little loud,'" Goldberg continued. "And [Ana] cuts in, 'Yeah, but they are too loud for me, it's too much for me.' And the woman goes on and on and on."
Goldberg, who also discussed her struggles with using her insurance policy during her illness, also shared her thanks to her friends, fans and family for their support during the trying time.
"I want to thank everyone. I want to thank TMZ for not trying to find me in the hospital. I am thrilled that everyone kept the secret that I was in and it was as bad as it was," she said. "You guys were great, everyone came to see me at different times and you know, it was a little hard. It was kinda scary... for everybody, but I am here and I'm here to tell you, we gotta make some changes in our plans."
Goldberg was initially absent from The View in early February and speculation swirled about why she was not on the show. Some guessed that she was preparing to host the Oscars, while others thought she may be leaving the show, but both theories turned out to be incorrect when it was revealed that Goldberg was suffering from pneumonia.
Behar shared the medical reason for Goldberg's absence late last month, calling her illness "a serious thing," but promised that she was "on the mend."
Last week, Goldberg herself gave a health update via a video message, which was played on the morning show. During the video, she revealed that she "came very, very close to leaving the earth."
"I am here, I am up and moving around, not as fast as I'd like to be, but I am OK," she reassured viewers. "So here is what happened. I had pneumonia, and I was septic. Pneumonia in both lungs which meant there was fluid and all kinds of stuff going on and yes I came very, very close to leaving the earth. Good news? I didn't."
"Thank you for all of your good wishes," she continued. "All of the wonderful things that people have been saying, even people who have not been huge fans of mine have actually said nice things about me. We all know that's gonna change when I get back, but for right now it's brilliant and thank you for everything."
"This has been interesting and I'll tell you about it when we're all at the table," she added. "To everybody, see you soon!"
Watch the video below for more on Goldberg's health: