Joy Behar

Josephine Victoria "Joy" Behar[1] (/ˈbhɑːr/; née Occhiuto; born October 7, 1942) is an American comedian, writer, and actress. She co-hosts the ABC daytime talk show The View. She hosted The Joy Behar Show on HLN from 2009 to 2011[2][3] and Joy Behar: Say Anything! on Current TV, from 2012[4] until the channel switched formats in August 2013. Behar's latest weekly late-night talk show, Late Night Joy, aired on TLC in 2015. She also wrote The Great Gasbag: An A–Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World.

Joy Behar
Behar in March 2010
Josephine Victoria Occhiuto

(1942-10-07) October 7, 1942
EducationQueens College (BA)
Stony Brook University (MA)
OccupationComedienne, writer, actress, television host
Years active1984–present
Known forThe View co-host (1997–2013, 2015–present)
Political partyDemocratic
Joe Behar
(m. 1965; div. 1982)

Steve Janowitz (m. 2011)

Early life

Behar was born Josephine Victoria Occhiuto in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, the only child to a Roman Catholic family of Italian descent. Her mother, Rose (née Carbone), was a seamstress, and her father, Gino Occhiuto, was a truck driver for Coca-Cola.[5][6] Behar earned a BA in sociology from Queens College in 1964 and an MA in English education from Stony Brook University in 1966. From the late 1960s to the early 1970s, she taught English on Long Island at Lindenhurst Senior High School in Lindenhurst, New York.[7][8] She studied acting at HB Studio[9]


Career beginnings

Behar started her career in show business in the early 1980s as a receptionist and later a producer on Good Morning America.[10]

She was a stand-up comedian and made appearances on ABC's Good Morning America and The New Show, a short-lived Lorne Michaels NBC project. In 1987, she had a talk show on Lifetime Television called Way Off Broadway and was a host on the show Live from Queens. From there, she continued to work the comedy club circuit, was a regular on NBC's Baby Boom, and had minor film roles including Cookie, This Is My Life, and Manhattan Murder Mystery. She was a WABC radio talk-show host, and made appearances on HBO comedy specials One Night Stand and Women of the Night 2.

The View

In 1997, Behar became one of the original panel members of the ABC daytime talk show The View, which was co-created by Barbara Walters.[11] Behar originally appeared only on the days when Walters was off, but she ultimately became a permanent co-host.[12] Behar occasionally hosted a segment called "Joy's Comedy Corner" in which she presented both established and up-and-coming comedians.[13]

In August 2009, Behar and the other co-hosts, Whoopi Goldberg, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd, and Barbara Walters, won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host following over a decade of nominations for the show.[14]

On March 7, 2013, it was announced that Behar would be leaving the show at the end of the current season.[15][16][17][18] She told Deadline, "It seemed like the right time...You reach a point when you say to yourself, 'Do I want to keep doing this?' There are other things on my plate I want to do — I've been writing a play, I've been neglecting my standup".[15] Her last show was on August 9, 2013 in which the program staged a "This is Your Life" style tribute to Behar.[19]

After departing in 2013, Behar continued to guest co-host throughout 2014 and 2015. On August 25, 2015, ABC announced that Behar would return as a regular co-host starting with the premiere of the 19th season on September 8, 2015. Behar was quoted as saying, "Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in. Plus, Steve was getting tired of applauding every time I gave my opinion. But I'm happy to be back home. And I'm looking forward to sticking my two cents into the hot topics, especially now that Hillary and the Donald are in the spotlight."[20]

In September 2015, Behar and fellow co-host Michelle Collins poked fun at Miss America 2016 contestant Kelley Johnson's monologue about her occupation as a registered nurse, during which Johnson had on nursing scrubs and a stethoscope. Collins called Johnson's monologue "hilarious" and that "she was reading her emails out loud," while Behar questioned why Johnson had "a doctor's stethoscope on." The controversy resulted in an immediate social media backlash from the nursing profession, including the hashtag #NursesUnite.[21][22] Two days later, Collins and Behar apologized for their remarks.[23][24]

During a "Hot Topics" discussion about Omarosa's comments in regards to Vice President Mike Pence's religiosity in February 2018, Behar remarked: "It's one thing to talk to Jesus, it's another thing when Jesus talks to you. That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct, hearing voices."[25] While Behar clarified later in the show that she did not think Pence was mentally ill, her earlier remarks sparked criticism as well as a response from Pence himself, who accused the show of expressing "religious intolerance."[26][27] Content analysis organization Media Research Center subsequently launched a campaign demanding an apology from Behar and urging viewers to do so, resulting in 40,000 calls to ABC as well as 6,000 complaints to the show's advertisers.[28] On March 13, Behar issued an on-air apology, stating: "I think Vice President Pence is right; I was raised to respect everyone’s religious faith, and I fell short of that. I sincerely apologize for what I said."[29]

The Joy Behar Show

Beginning in 2007, she occasionally filled in as a guest host on Larry King Live. On June 11, 2009, Behar announced that she would be hosting her own news/talk program on CNN's HLN beginning in the fall of 2009, titled The Joy Behar Show. She did not leave The View but worked on both shows simultaneously.[2] Despite reportedly being the network's second highest-rated show, HLN decided to cancel the talk show after only two years.[30] The final broadcast of The Joy Behar Show aired on December 15, 2011.[31]

Joy Behar: Say Anything!

In June 2012, it was formally announced[32] that Behar would be getting another talk show, Joy Behar: Say Anything!,[4] premiering September 4, 2012[4] on the Current TV network. Its content is expected to be in line with her previous HLN series.[33] Before the new show's launch, Behar began acting as fill-in host for Eliot Spitzer's Current TV talk show, Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer, starting on July 18, 2012.[34] The show ended in August 2013 due to Current TV being purchased by Al Jazeera and being replaced by Al Jazeera America.

Late Night Joy

Behar's new weekly late night talk show, Late Night Joy, premiered on TLC on November 4, 2015. Each episode features Behar having intimate chats with friends in her New York City apartment.[35]

Other work

Behar has performed in theatrical plays, including The Food Chain, The Vagina Monologues, and Love, Loss and What I Wore.[36][37] She has also performed in an Off-Broadway one-woman show entitled Me, My Mouth and I.[38][39][40]

She has written multiple books, such as a collection of humorous essays and stories called Joy Shtick — Or What is the Existential Vacuum and Does It Come with Attachments? and a children's book called Sheetzucacapoopoo: My Kind of Dog, published in 2006.[38][41]

She appeared on the eighth season of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown and finished in fourth place, behind Robin Tunney, Christopher Meloni and Macy Gray, but ahead of Andy Dick. She played for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.[42] On October 27, 2017, Behar appeared as a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher.[43]

Behar portrayed the role of Dr. Lucy in the 2011 comedy film Hall Pass.[44] She also recurred in Woody Allen's Amazon series, Crisis in Six Scenes.[45][46]

Personal life

From 1965 to 1981, Behar was married to college professor Joe Behar. They have a daughter, Eve Behar Scotti (born 1970).[47][48][49] Through Eve, Behar has a grandson named Luca (born February 2011).[50]

Since 1982, Behar has been in a relationship with Steve Janowitz, whom she called her "spousal equivalent".[51] In March 2009, Behar announced on The View that she might eventually marry Janowitz,[52] but she called off the engagement three months later because she wanted people to stop talking about it.[53] They eventually married on August 11, 2011.[54]



Behar has authored several books, including several children's books:

  • The Great Gasbag: An A–Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World (2017)
  • Sheetzucacapoopoo 2: Max Goes to the Dogs (2009)
  • When You Need a Lift: But Don't Want to Eat Chocolate, Pay a Shrink, or Drink a Bottle of Gin (2007)
  • Sheetzu Caca Poopoo: My Kind of Dog (2006)
  • Joy Shtick: Or What Is the Existential Vacuum and Does It Come with Attachments (1999)

Awards and nominations

GLAAD Media Award

  • 2010 Excellence in Media Award

Daytime Emmy Award

  • 1998 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 1999 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2000 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2001 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2002 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2003 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2004 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2005 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2006 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2007 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2008 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2009 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) Won
  • 2010 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2011 Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2016 Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2017 Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2018 Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated
  • 2019 Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host (The View) — Nominated


  1. "Stand Up; Sit Down; Talk, Talk, Talk". The New York Times. July 11, 2010. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  2. Silverman, Stephen M. (June 11, 2009). "Joy Behar Gets a TV Show All Her Own". People. Time Inc. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  3. Ariens, Chris. Joy Behar's HLN Show Canceled, TVNewser, November 17, 2011.
  4. 'Joy Behar: Say Anything' to premiere Sept. 4 Archived November 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. Smith, Dinitia (November 9, 1992). "Joy Shtick". New York Magazine. New York Media: 50–51. ISSN 0028-7369.
  6. Zukerman, Eugenia (2003). In My Mother's Closet: An Invitation to Remember. Sorin Books. pp. 192–193. ISBN 1-893732-47-9.
  7. Delatiner, Barbara (September 3, 2000). "A Comic Who Now Feels at Home on Island". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  8. "Joy Behar Bio". ABC. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  9. "HB Studio - Notable Alumni | One of the Original Acting Studios in NYC".
  10. Gallagher, Pat (April 15, 2013). "Joy Behar — Standing Up Laughing". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  11. James, Caryn (August 21, 1997). "Feet on the Ground, Heads Without Bubbles". Archived from the original on December 27, 2017. Retrieved August 31, 2017 via
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  13. Desk, BWW News. "Sunda Croonquist Visits 'Joy's Comedy Corner' on THE VIEW".
  14. "Bold wins at Daytime Emmy Awards". Los Angeles Times. August 30, 2009. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  15. Andreeva, Nellie (March 7, 2013). "Update: Joy Behar Leaving ABC's 'The View'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  16. "Joy Behar Leaving The View". People. Time Inc. March 8, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  17. Moraes, Lisa de (March 8, 2013). "Joy Behar to exit 'The View'". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  18. "Joy Behar leaving "The View"". CBS News. March 7, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  19. Bierly, Mani (August 9, 2013). "Highlights of Joy Behar's last show on 'The View'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  20. "Joy Behar Returns to 'The View' for Season 19" Dan's Papers
  21. "'The View' host Joy Behar: I didn't know what I was talking about". Archived from the original on September 18, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
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  23. CNN, Lisa Respers France. "#NursesUnite against 'The View'". CNN. Archived from the original on September 18, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  24. Coolman, Robert (September 16, 2015). "Joy Behar Pisses Off Nurses, Offers Non-Apology". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on February 19, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  25. Gstalter, Morgan (February 14, 2018). "Pence accuses 'The View' of 'religious intolerance'". Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  26. "Faith is no longer a virtue in America". February 17, 2018. Archived from the original on February 18, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  27. "Mike Pence Criticizes 'The View' for Religion "Insult"". Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  28. Eltagouri, Marwa. "'The View's' Joy Behar calls Mike Pence to apologize for calling his Christian faith a 'mental illness'". Archived from the original on March 14, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  29. Eltagouri, Marwa (March 14, 2018). "Joy Behar publicly apologizes for calling Pence's Christianity a 'mental illness'". Archived from the original on March 14, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018 via
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  31. "Joy Behar to Anchor New Primetime Show "The Joy Behar Show"". The Futon Critic (Press release). Futon Media. June 11, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  32. Hawkins, E.B. (June 12, 2012). "Joy Behar To Host Show on Al Gore's Current TV". The Inquisitr. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
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  34. Oldenburg, Ann (June 11, 2012). "Al Gore announces new Joy Behar show". USA Today. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
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  37. "Behar, Taylor & Goodman Exit OB's Vagina Monologues June 11". Playbill. June 10, 2000.
  38. Team, The Deadline; Team, The Deadline (October 1, 2014). "Joy Behar Goes Solo; Next Stop, Greenwich Village".
  39. Hetrick, Adam (December 21, 2014). "Joy Behar Solo Comedy Me, My Mouth and I Closes Off-Broadway". Playbill.
  40. Ephron, Nora; Large, ContributorAuthor; Editor At; Post, Huffington (March 1, 2009). "My New Play: Like the Vagina Monologues but Without the Vaginas". HuffPost.
  41. "READ EXCERPT: 'Sheetzucacapoopoo,' by Joy Behar". ABC News.
  42. Starr, Michael (July 7, 2006). "STARR REPORT".
  43. "Bill Maher gets shut down for saying sexual harassers have 's---ty sex lives'".
  44. "A 'Hall Pass' To Cheat Keeps Marital Despair At Bay".
  45. Wagmeister, Elizabeth (August 30, 2016). "Photos: First Look at Woody Allen's Amazon Series 'Crisis in Six Scenes'".
  46. Nast, Condé. "Woody Allen's Crisis in Six Scenes Finds Miley Cyrus Be-wigged Once More". Vanity Fair.
  47. Righi, Len (November 10, 2008). "Joy Behar relishes her "View"". The Seattle Times (from The Morning Call). Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  48. "Eve Behar, Alphonso Scotti". New York Times. September 16, 2017.
  49. Joy Behar on IMDb
  50. Behar becomes a grandmother Archived March 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine,; accessed July 5, 2016.
  51. "Talk show host Joy Behar weds boyfriend of 29 years". CNN. August 13, 2011. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012.
  52. Lehner, Marla (March 17, 2009). "The Views Joy Behar May Finally Marry Boyfriend". People. Time Inc. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  53. Joy Behar Marriage Can Wait OK!, July 31, 2009
  54. Shira, Dahvi (August 12, 2011). "Joy Behar Marries Steve Janowitz". People. Time Inc. Retrieved August 13, 2011.

Further reading

Media offices
Preceded by
The View co-host
Succeeded by
Jenny McCarthy
Preceded by
Rosie Perez
Nicolle Wallace
The View co-host
Succeeded by
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