Within a week of the new season’s debut, “The View” had its most-watched telecast in five months and drew its largest overall audience in ten weeks, a rep for the program told CNN. The show currently ranks number one in total viewers among the daytime network talk shows and news programs, according to ABC.
In the years since Barbara Walters first launched “The View” in 1997, the panel has featured more than 20 different hosts. Spirited discussions, however, have been a constant.
Here are 25 memorable moments from “The View” as the program marks a quarter century of conversation.
1. ‘The View’ premieres
In August 1997 “The View” premiered with four co-hosts, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos and Barbara Walters, who said she wanted to start a conversation with women of different age groups from different demographics.
2. Debbie Matenopoulos departs
Matenopoulos was just out of college when she was asked to join the show and got mixed reviews for her lack of television experience. “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View,” former executive producer Bill Geddie revealed of Matenopoulos, “The older people were okay with her. They thought she was an idiot, but it was funny. Younger people didn’t see themselves in Debbie.”
3. Meredith Viera’s accidental overshare
In 2006, Meredith Vieira, who served as moderator of the panel and was not one to typically shock the audience, admitted on air that she does not like to wear underwear. She later explained her admission, telling USA Today, “One of the first crazy things I said was, ‘I don’t wear underwear.’ I don’t even know what provoked it. Where did that come from?”
4. Star Jones quits
Jones, one of the show’s original co-hosts, announced she was leaving the show in 2006 on air. Her co-hosts later said they didn’t know it was coming.
5. The Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck split screen
O’Donnell and Hasselbeck frequently disagreed. In 2007, the two were discussing the Iraq War when their conversation became particularly heated. The split-screen debate that played out seemed more fitting for a cable news program than a chat over morning coffee.
6. Whoopi Goldberg and Kate Gosselin’s awkward exchange
In 2009, reality TV mom Kate Gosselin appeared on the show and spoke about a custody dispute with her ex-husband. Things got very uncomfortable after that.
7. Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walk off
In 2010, Bill O’Reilly appeared on the show and discussed the aftermath of 9/11. After O’Reilly made a false statement about Muslims, Behar stood up and walked out. Goldberg joined her.
8. Rosie O’Donnell returns
Seven years after she left, O’Donnell returned to the show in 2014, saying on air, “Wait, is Hasslebeck here?”
9. Whoopi Goldberg defends Mel Gibson
When an anti-Semitic rant during an arrest and sexist and racist voicemails to his ex-partner became public, Goldberg came to Mel Gibson’s defense in 2010, saying at the time she didn’t believe he’s a racist. Behar shot back about the language he used, saying, “Well, that language certainly sounds racist to me.”
10. Whoopi and Mel, again
Joan Rivers was a guest on the show the same year and not one to shy away from controversy, she brought up Gibson to Goldberg, who defended him. To which Rivers replied, “the Holocaust happened, now we’re good to go.”
11. Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd’s bold move
In 2014, hosts Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd set out to prove they have no issues with seeing naked bodies on TV. At the end of the show, they appeared on the panel topless, with black censor bars covering their chests.
12. Whoopi Goldberg proves she’s human
Everyone got a laugh after Goldberg’s hot mic picked up the sound of her passing gas. She stood up and laughed and once the others realized what had happened they were all in stitches too.
13. Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd leave
One month after Barbara Walters left the show in 2014, news broke that Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd would not return. In response to the announcement, McCarthy tweeted “If Sherri goes…I go too. #sisters”
14. Donald Trump and birtherism
Before he became president, Donald Trump appeared on the show and was asked about asking then President Barack Obama to provide his birth certificate to prove his American citizenship. Goldberg questioned Trump, “It’s not because he’s Black is it?”
15. ‘Not discrimination at all’
In 2015, host Candace Cameron Bure said “I don’t think this is discrimination at all,” about a bakery fined $135,000 for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Raven Symone wasn’t having it.
16. ‘SNL’ spoofs of ‘The View’
Watch it for Kate McKinnon channeling Joy Behar.
17. Rosie Perez gives a tearful goodbye
After just one season, host Rosie Perez announced she’d be leaving the show. She grew emotional, thanking fellow panelists Goldberg and Nicolle Wallace. “I want to thank you for your friendship, Nicolle, and your intelligence and your wit and your sunshine. Whoopi, thank you for everything — your guidance, your professionalism and most of all your friendship.”
Wallace cried on air as Goldberg tried to hold back tears.
18. Joe Biden consoles Meghan McCain
In 2017, then former Vice President Joe Biden consoled host Meghan McCain when she began crying while discussing her father Sen. John McCain’s battle with brain cancer.
Biden, who served with McCain in the Senate, moved to sit next to her and hold her hand as she spoke.
19. ‘Have some respect’
During a conversation in May of this year, Behar and co-host McCain got into it.
“Don’t tell me what I’m supposed to be saying, Meghan, okay? You do your things, we do ours,” Behar said at one point.
“I’m well aware we do separate things on this show, Joy. And I know you’ve been here for 25 years. I’ve been here four,” McCain shouted.
“That’s right!” said Behar. “You should have some respect for that once in a blue moon.”
20. ‘Girl, please stop talking’
After McCain interrupted another host as the panel was debating, Goldberg told McCain, “Girl, please stop talking! Please stop talking right now!”
McCain replied with, “No problem. I won’t talk the rest of the show.”
To which Goldberg replied, “Well, I’m ok with that. I’m ok with that, if you’re gonna behave like this.”
21. ‘I’m famous’
In 2015, after model and actor Cara Delevingne appeared a bit tired in an interview on “Good Day Sacramento,” Goldberg told her to check herself.
Goldberg said Delevingne she should be grateful for her opportunities.
“She’s not a famous actress. She’s a newbie. I’m famous,” Goldberg said on air, adding, “It isn’t easy, but we are privileged for what we do. We are so lucky. If you are supposed to be doing this, you gotta find a way to suck it up. You don’t get to be crappy to people — they’re doing their job too.”
22. Joy has a pandemic camera fail from home.
At the start of the pandemic, “The View” had figured a way to have the hosts broadcast live from home. Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Sara Haines and Sunny Hostin were all in their separate homes when Behar admitted her husband, Steve Janowitz, was working the camera. As Behar weighed in on a topic, his arm dipped lower and lower in front of the camera, to the delight of viewers at home. Behar could be heard saying, “Steve, you’re in front of the camera, darling!”
Goldberg quickly started laughing, asking her, “What is happening at your house, girl?!”
23. Paper fight
When the Goldberg and Fox News host Jeanine Pirro got into a political shouting match during an episode of “The View,” Goldberg ended the segment by ripping up the cards for her questions. She told Pirro, “Say goodbye! Bye! I’m done.”
24. Meghan McCain announces she is leaving the show
McCain, who represented the single conservative voice for much of her time on “The View,” announced she was leaving the program over the summer.
25. Barbara Walters says goodbye to ‘The View’
“The good news is I will have time now to get Botox,” Walters joked during her departure from the show in 2014, adding that she’s available for “supermarket openings.”
“Who knows what the future brings,” she added.
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