Joy Behar

Comedian, cohost of The View. Born in 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Queens College and the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook with a master’s degree in English education, Behar began working as a junior high school English teacher in 1968. After nearly dying from an ectopic pregnancy in 1979, Behar decided to pursue her dream of a career in comedy, quitting her teaching job and getting a job as a receptionist at the morning talk show Good Morning America in the hopes of being discovered.


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Author, Celebrity, Comedian


Full Bio


Comedian, cohost of The View. Born in 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Queens College and the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook with a master’s degree in English education, Behar began working as a junior high school English teacher in 1968. After nearly dying from an ectopic pregnancy in 1979, Behar decided to pursue her dream of a career in comedy, quitting her teaching job and getting a job as a receptionist at the morning talk show Good Morning America in the hopes of being discovered.

In 1980, Behar began performing her comedy routine at various New York City nightclubs. A year later, she and her husband, college professor Joe Behar, were divorced; she received custody of the couple’s then-10-year-old daughter, Eve. Behar began earning increasingly positive reviews for her routines at such prominent clubs as Caroline’s and Catch a Rising Star, and in 1987 she landed her own Lifetime variety series, Way Off Broadway, which ran for only one season.

Behar continued to support herself and her daughter with her comedic work throughout the next decade, touring comedy clubs, appearing in films (notably 1989’s Cookie, with Peter Falk, Nora Ephron’s This is My Life in 1992, and Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery in 1993) and on television (the 1988 series Baby Boom), and hosting a popular call-in radio show on New York’s WABC. She has also appeared on the New York stage, in the Off-Broadway hit The Food Chain and as part of the rotating all-star cast of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.

In 1997, Behar won a cohosting gig on the new ABC daily morning talk show The View, launched by television newswoman Barbara Walters. Three days a week, Behar joined cohosts Star Jones, Meredith Vieira, and Debbie Matenopolous (later replaced by Lisa Ling) for the show’s mixture of celebrity interviews and chat sessions; Walters appeared on the other two days. With its unusual hosting format (five women from varied backgrounds and generations, The View quickly gained popularity among TV viewers and critics, earning an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Daytime Talk Show in each of the following years. Behar and her cohosts also earned nods for Outstanding Talk Show Host.

In October 2001, Behar launched a monthly advice column, “Tell Me About It,” in the magazine Good Housekeeping. She has also published a nonfiction book, Joy Shtick: or What Is the Existential Vacuum and Does It Come with Attachments?.

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