9:09am PT by Hilary Lewis
Sherri Shepherd's Last 'View': Crying, Chanting, Arsenio Hall
Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy made their final appearances on The View on Monday, with both co-hosts leaving the show ahead of its anticipated panel overhaul for season 18.
But while McCarthy, who's leaving after one season on the ABC daytime show, said her goodbyes on Thursday, Monday's show served as a tribute to Shepherd, who's exiting after seven seasons.
The show began with at least 30 seconds of the crowd chanting "Sher-ri" as Shepherd appeared to be crying and holding back more tears as she motioned for the audience to stop.
She still had tears streaming down her face, and used some tissues McCarthy brought to the table to wipe them away, as Whoopi Goldberg said that Shepherd is "moving on to different, bigger, better things and it's never easy."
Shepherd said she was "profoundly grateful" for her time on the show, calling it "the best seven years" of her life, as she reflected on how it was a tough adjustment at first, when she often felt like she didn't belong.
"I tell people, 'Step out on the fear,' because I didn't want to take this job, cause I said, 'I'm not a prosecutor; I don't know anything.' I grew up in a religion where we weren't into politics," she explained. "I had to learn some stuff. It was very painful, my growing experience publicly to grow here and to learn. I have to say my boss Barbara Walters pushed me. I cried in my dressing room for three years going, 'Why am I at this table? I don't know what I'm doing.'"
Arsenio Hall was on hand as Monday's guest co-host and joined Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin and Bell Biv Devoe in paying tribute to Shepherd, with the latter group performing on Monday's show.
The View also aired a highlight reel of some of her best moments, including her first appearance, her Halloween costumes, kissing Scandal star Tony Goldwyn and joking with Prince, Martha Stewart, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Walters.
MSNBC vp primetime programming Bill Wolff is also joining the show as executive producer.