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Joy Behar: Her Views on her Show, Gay Marriage and Living the Good Life, Exclusive

Joy Behar: Her Views on her Show, Gay Marriage and Living the Good Life, Exclusive

SheWired had the rare opportunity to chat with the incomparable Joy Behar to discuss her thoughts and feelings on gay marriage, television and the entertainment industry in general. In between her obligations to "The View" on ABC and "The Joy Behar Show" on HLN (sister to CNN), Behar took our hand to walk through a day in her life.  Along the way, we discovered that the Emmy Award-winning talk show host and comedienne is just as full of spunk off-screen as she is on-screen, she loves playing Scrabble and would rather not wear suspenders.

SheWired had the rare opportunity to chat with the incomparable Joy Behar to discuss her thoughts and feelings on gay marriage, television and the entertainment industry in general. In between her obligations to The View on ABC and The Joy Behar Show on HLN (sister to CNN), Behar took our hand to walk through a day in her life.  Along the way, we discovered that the Emmy Award-winning talk show host and comedienne is just as full of spunk off-screen as she is on-screen, she loves playing Scrabble and would rather not wear suspenders.

Behar’s love for the LGBT community extends well-beyond the scope of a television lens and into a sphere much more personal. Performing stand-up in front of gay crowds helped the Brooklyn-born comedienne, age 67, hone her craft and discover the self-confidence she never realized existed. Behar draws from her former experience as a school teacher to pepper the relatable comedy everyone can’t get enough of on television and in comedy clubs across America. She is pleasantly outspoken and wonderfully charismatic. We couldn’t be happier for Ms. Behar’s success.

I remember the days when you’d pop up onto the set of The View when Barbara Walters was absent. Speaking as a viewer for a moment, the best move, in my opinion, was adding you into the mix full-time. You’re outstanding!

Thank you very much. That was 13 years ago! It seems like yesterday, though!

You have been the one sitting duck in the water throughout all of the changes at The View. Meaning, while the waves moved around you, you remained calm, still and steady. Have you ever entertained the idea of leaving The View?

Well, I have my own show now on HLN, but I’m not contemplating leaving at the moment, no. I guess eventually, I mean, I can’t stay there forever. I’m not Regis Philbin [laughs]. There will be a day I suppose where I say, “Okay, I’m getting out of my rocking chair and I’m leaving”.

You’ll start wearing suspenders or something!

[Laughs] Exactly! You’re right!    

Not only do you have The View, you also have your own show on HLN! Your schedule must be jam-packed with both shows. Can you walk us through a typical day for you?

Well, I get up at 7:00am and then get the coffee, the New York Times outside my door along with the New York Post and the Daily News and on Wednesdays, the Enquirer.  I must have my Enquirer! I do ten things at one time. I’m on my iPad, watching television while reading the newspapers and drinking coffee! Then I take a shower and have a meeting in the morning with my people from HLN on the phone to decide what the show’s gonna look like that night – a quick meeting – and then I go over to The View. Then while we’re getting hair and make-up, we sit and chat about what we’re going to talk about. Then we do The View from 11:00am – 12:00pm and then at 12:00pm I am basically done with that, usually. Then I come over here [to her office at The Joy Behar Show] and start to work on this show and we tape this show at 4:00pm. I’m done around 6:00pm or 6:15pm and then I have dinner. I do that four days a week not five so it doesn’t kill me and I have a three day weekend, usually. Sometimes I do stand-up gigs, too, so I have that also.

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In addition to your television commitments, you are still involved with stand-up comedy. What is your trick to switching gears between the two mediums?

Well, the thing about that is that I don’t do stand-up as often now that I have these two shows. You can see where it would be difficult to do. On July 3, 2010, I’ll be doing a show in Sag Harbor on the Hamptons and then I have another job on July 30, 2010 in New Jersey at the Count Mason Theatre in Midbanks.  So, I have a couple of gigs coming up, you know? But it’s not like the days when I had gigs every weekend. I can’t do that right now. But I always keep it because it’s the one thing that completely belongs to me and keeps me independent so I don’t want to lose that. Television can drop me any day now whenever they feel like it, but at least this way I can make sure I am able to make a living.

Many of us love you because of the fact that you are extremely outspoken and can make almost anything funny. You put your heart on the line with your statements and news story coverage. Have you ever said anything in the media or on television that you wish you could take back?

No, not really, I mean, I have in the past said something to one person and thought that it was another. I’ve interviewed so many people that I sometimes get them mixed up, you know? Like I said something to Alyssa Milano like, “I loved how you played Audrey Hepburn” and she said, “Well, that wasn’t me. That was Jennifer Love Hewitt.” So, I’ve done that. That has happened to me. I haven’t gotten into that much trouble otherwise considering the mouth on me.

Recently, Cyndi Lauper was on The Joy Behar Show on HLN. You have both always been huge supporters of gay rights and the fight for equality for the LGBT population. First, thank you. Second, what are your thoughts on gay marriage?

You know, they were always good to me [the gay community]. In the early days when I first started doing stand-up, the gay community was always good to me. The audiences were always supportive and understood what I was talking about. It was a definite match. They gave me the confidence which I was lacking in many ways. I always appreciated that.

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Gay marriage – You know, I’m not married. I was married. I did it and don’t need to do it again as far as I can tell. I think that there is a need for people to want to get married. You know, I wanted to get married at least once and most people I know who’ve never been married regret it because they wanted to get married – at least once. Even if it doesn’t work out. You know, I interviewed Melissa Etheridge today and, you know, she was married and she’s not married anymore, but she wanted to get married. I don’t think it should be something that people have to beg for – if you want to do it, you should be able to just do it! It’s a very basic thing that people want to do. Like, you want to eat, you want to dance, you want to drink, you want to have fun and you want to get married! I object to people telling other people what they are allowed to do.  They are basic needs.  I hate that.

What do you like to do for fun, when you have free time...

I just like to have fun all the time. I don’t care if it’s while I’m working or later. I just want to have some fun! I have fun when I’m working. I have aggravation when I’m working sometimes, too, but I also have fun so it’s all part of the day. It’s not like I play tennis to have fun, I just have fun! I just discovered Scrabble on my iPad. You know, I am a crosswords puzzle person with the New York Times and I just love this Scrabble game on my iPad. I’m addicted to it. I’m up all night playing games after games after games. So that’s my new fun thing!

That is so funny because I was just playing Scrabble on Facebook with a friend before our interview!

Isn’t it the greatest? I’ll tell you what’s highly-addictive on the iPad. You’re playing against a robot – a machine – so if your game isn’t going well, you can move onto the next game. You don’t have to wait!

Exactly! If we were to fast forward the clock five years from now, where would we see you?

In five years..I’d like to be alive [laughs]. I’d like to be traveling more, maybe. I like my life and enjoy myself. I can’t really plan that far ahead. I can maybe see myself one year from now. I’d like to maybe be more creative. I think that would be my goal from now – to be more creative.

Joy, it is so wonderful to see you blossoming now on television and in all of your endeavors. As someone who has watched you from the beginning days of The View to now, I’m very happy and proud of you. Thank you for everything you do for the gay community. SheWired wishes you much success and happiness in the future.

Thank you. I mean, the old broad is having a very good time right now in her life. Better than I ever did! I mean, it’s more fun now than when I was younger!  That’s for sure! It was delightful talking to you! Darling, take care.

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