Ode to Joy: Joy Behar on uninformed voters, Fred Armisen and Limoncello

Written by NY Press on . Posted in Arts & Film, News Our Town, News West Side Spirit, Our Town, TV, West Side Spirit.


By Angela Barbuti

Joy Behar says she will never retire. Why should she? Not only is she a co-host of The View, one of the most popular talk shows in the nation, but she also has her own show, Joy Behar: Say Anything, where she is, as the name implies, allowed to speak her mind. To add to her fame, she is even parodied on Saturday Night Live, which, she proudly declares, is a sign she is “relevant in the zeitgeist.”

Our Town: You are one of the original hosts of The View. Why do you think you’ve stayed on for all 16 seasons?
Joy Behar: I guess I just don’t like to leave the party. [Laughs] I like the job; if I didn’t, I’d be out of there.

What do you consider to be your most memorable moment on the show?
There’s so many, it’s hard to pick one—it really is. One of them was when Danny DeVito staggered on [laughs] and then brought us Limoncello as a gift.

How do you keep current on news stories for the “Hot Topic” segment?
I read the New York Times and all the tabloids. I also read online columns and watch political television.

You are very vocal with your political views. As we get closer to the election, what advice do you have for voters?
To be informed. There are what they call “low-information voters” out there. That’s a disgrace. If you vote and you take that privilege seriously, you should know what you’re doing. Low-information voters, start reading and paying attention. That’s my advice.

Is your inbox flooded with emails from viewers?
Ummm … possibly. [Laughs] I don’t really have time to read all my mail. I’m on Twitter and Facebook, and my other show has a lot of things going on, so it’s not that easy. I think I do though because I have about 650,000 Twitter followers.

How did your new show, Say Anything, come about?
Well my other show, which was on HMN, was canceled after two and a half years and solid ratings. I really still don’t know why. The people at Current TV asked me if I wanted to do a similar show over there, but with more politics and less exploitative stories. We’re having more substantive conversations— and a lot of fun. They said I could say anything, and I said, “I think I’ll name the show Say Anything!”

Before you started on television, you were a teacher on Long Island. Do miss teaching?
No. [Laughs] I don’t. It was fine while it lasted, but I like this job much better. I like reaching a bigger classroom, and that’s television.

Do you enjoy Fred Armisen’s portrayal of you on Saturday Night Live?
I do. [Laughs] I think it’s very funny. He’s very good at playing me. It’s great to be parodied like that. It means you’re out there and relevant in the zeitgeist.

There is also a line about you in The Hangover.
I’ve never seen it. I know they mention me, though.

And you were in Hall Pass.
I was relevant in that because my particular character defines the title of the movie.

When do you plan on retiring?
I don’t believe in retiring. People who retire don’t really love their jobs. I do, so I don’t plan on retiring. They’ll have to just cart me off.

I interviewed Ed Asner last week and he said, “Death must come before retirement.”
Yeah, people like us don’t retire, we just keep moving along. We’re creative; we’re artists. We just keep doing it, that’s all.
To learn more about Joy’s new show, please visit www.current.com/shows/joy-behar

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