Joy Behar

Joy Behar

Behar in March 2010
Born Josephine Victoria Occhiuto
(1942-10-07) October 7, 1942
Williamsburg, New York, United States
Occupation Comedian, writer, actress
Years active 1984–present
Spouse(s) Joe Behar (m. 1965; div. 1981)
Steve Janowitz (m. 2011)
Children 1

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 new weekly late-night talk show, Late Night Joy, premiered on TLC in November 2015.

Early life

Behar was born in Williamsburg, New York, to a 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 at Lindenhurst Senior High School in Lindenhurst, New York.[7][8]


Career beginnings

Behar started her career in show business in the early 1980s as a receptionist and later a producer on Good Morning America.[9]

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. Behar originally appeared only on the days when Walters was off, but she ultimately became a permanent co-host. Behar occasionally hosted a segment called "Joy's Comedy Corner" in which she presented both established and up-and-coming comedians.

Behar had well-publicized disputes with Star Jones, a former co-host of the program. On March 27, 2006, Jones phoned in to the show to discuss a recent operation that she had undergone. After talking with the show's co-hosts, Behar abruptly stated to Jones, "OK, Star. That's enough about you. On to us. Bye. Keep your tits perky!"[10] Jones then responded, "Even today, you [Behar] are still a bitch."[10][11]

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.[12]

The View's panel (left–right Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters, Behar, Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck) interview United States President Barack Obama on July 29, 2010.

On March 7, 2013, it was announced that Behar would be leaving the show at the end of the current season.[13][14][15][16] 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".[13] Her last show was on August 9, 2013 in which the program staged a "This is Your Life" style tribute to Behar.[17]

Since departing in 2013, Behar has continued to be a 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.”[18]

On October 10, 2016, Behar received a significant amount of criticism for referring to Bill Clinton's sexual assault accusers as "tramps."[19] Behar apologized for the sexual slur shortly afterwards.[20][21]

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.[22] The final broadcast of the The Joy Behar Show aired on December 15, 2011.[23]

Joy Behar: Say Anything!

In June 2012, it was formally announced[24] 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.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27]

Other work

Behar has also made theater appearances in The Food Chain and The Vagina Monologues. Behar wrote a book of humorous essays and stories called Joy Shtick – Or What is the Existential Vacuum and Does It Come with Attachments?, published in 1999. She has also written a children's book called Sheetzucacapoopoo: My Kind of Dog, published in 2006.

Behar frequently incorporates her Italian-American culture into her comedy.

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.

Behar played the part of "Dr. Lucy" in the 2011 comedy film Hall Pass.[28]

Personal life

From 1965 to 1981, Behar was married to college professor Joe Behar. Their daughter, Eve, was born in 1970.[29][30] Through Eve, Behar has a grandson named Luca (born February 2011).[31]

Since 1982, Behar has been in a relationship with Steve Janowitz, whom she called her "spousal equivalent".[32] In March 2009, Behar announced on The View that she might eventually marry Janowitz,[33] but she called off the engagement three months later because she wanted people to stop talking about it.[34] They eventually married on August 11, 2011.[35]


Awards and nominations

GLAAD Media Award

Daytime Emmy Award


  2. 1 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. 1 2 3 'Joy Behar: Say Anything' to premiere Sept. 4.
  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. Gallagher, Pat (April 15, 2013). "Joy Behar -- Standing Up Laughing". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  10. 1 2 "Star, Joy Bleeped, Cut Off in On-Air Fight on 'View'"
  11. "The View Joy Behar Star Jones" on YouTube
  12. "Bold wins at Daytime Emmy Awards". Los Angeles Times. August 30, 2009. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  13. 1 2 Andreeva, Nellie (March 7, 2013). "Update: Joy Behar Leaving ABC's 'The View'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  14. "Joy Behar Leaving The View". People. Time Inc. March 8, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  15. Moraes, Lisa de (March 8, 2013). "Joy Behar to exit 'The View'". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  16. "Joy Behar leaving "The View"". CBS News. March 7, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  17. Bierly, Mani (August 9, 2013). "Highlights of Joy Behar's last show on 'The View'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  18. "Joy Behar Returns to 'The View' for Season 19" Dan's Papers
  19. "Joy Behar sorry for calling Bill Clinton accusers 'tramps' on 'The View'". October 11, 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  20. "The View host Joy Behar apologises for calling Bill Clinton accusers "tramps" on TV after sparking backlash". Mirror (UK). October 12, 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  21. Douglas Ernst (October 11, 2016). "Joy Behar apologizes for calling Juanita Broaddrick, Clinton accusers 'tramps'". The Washington Times. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  22. "Joy Behar on Her Comeback Talk Show on Current TV". The Daily Beast. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  23. "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.
  24. Hawkins, E.B. (June 12, 2012). "Joy Behar To Host Show on Al Gore's Current TV". The Inquisitr. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  25. Guthrie, Marisa (June 11, 2012). "Joy Behar Joins Current TV". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  26. Oldenburg, Ann (June 11, 2012). "Al Gore announces new Joy Behar show". USA Today. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  27. Couch, Aaron (October 9, 2015). "Joy Behar Launching TLC Talk Show Late Night Joy: 'We're Not Afraid' to Speak Out". People. Time Inc. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  28. "Hall Pass (2011) – Full cast and crew". IMDb. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
  29. Righi, Len (November 10, 2008). "Joy Behar relishes her "View"". The Seattle Times (from The Morning Call). Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  30. Joy Behar at the Internet Movie Database
  31. Behar becomes a grandmother,; accessed July 5, 2016.
  32. "Talk show host Joy Behar weds boyfriend of 29 years". CNN. August 13, 2011.
  33. Lehner, Marla (March 17, 2009). "The Views Joy Behar May Finally Marry Boyfriend". People. Time Inc. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  34. Joy Behar Marriage Can Wait OK!, July 31, 2009
  35. 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 (seat #3)
Succeeded by
Jenny McCarthy
Preceded by
Michelle Collins
The View co-host (Seat #3)
Succeeded by
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