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For Barbara Walters‘ penultimate episode of The View, current co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy welcomed a handful of familiar faces on Thursday to reunite all eleven of the series’ personalities for the first time, in celebration of Walters’ retirement.
“This is a huge deal,” said Goldberg to Walters, whose eyes were welling up, “because I think that you don’t remember what you’ve done. You’ve done so many things and I don’t think you really get how large this is, so we want to make sure you know it.”
The episode kicked off with McCarthy sharing a clip from White House press secretary Jay Carney: “She has interviewed every president and first lady since Richard Nixon, been on television more than five decades and claims she’s retiring on Friday — I don’t believe it. I expect we’ll be getting an interview request within weeks,” he said before offering his congratulations on behalf of President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.
The seven former co-hosts then took a seat at an expanded Hot Topics table and shared updates and photos of their families, but not until after Meredith Vieira stood up to give Walters a kiss on the lips. Lisa Ling shared the best advice Walters ever gave her (“Don’t neglect your personal life,” she said), Elisabeth Hasselbeck joked that she is Walters’ favorite (and that “This show got me pregnant three times!”) and Rosie O’Donnell laughed of the bittersweet episode, “This is like the last supper with Barbara!” (And when O’Donnell was asked what she misses most about The View, she joked of Hasselbeck, who was seated next to her, “Fighting with the skinny one!”)
When sharing their fondest memories of Walters, Vieira said she loved the Halloween shows most, especially when Walters dressed up — and stayed in character — as Marilyn Monroe. “The best thing about The View was that the public got to see the other side of Barbara, because you all know the journalist but she’s such a funny lady and full of spunk,” she said.
O’Donnell recalled the hilariously head-butting moment she tried to teach decoupage to Walters, and Joy Behar loved getting into arguments with her about facts. Star Jones joked about how Walters always plugs her other ABC show, 20/20, and added a lesson she sincerely learned: “If you care about the work that you’ve done, then you need to tell people about it, or they won’t care about it. That was something so encouraging to women out there, to stand on your own two feet.”
Ling laughed about when Walters attempted to learn how to drive (“I had never seen Barbara show fear!”); Hasselbeck remembered when Walters helped share the news of her pregnancy on the show, and thanked her for being a mentor (“You always help me to be prepared to be unprepared,”); and Debbie Matenopoulos shared about how she nearly walked out of her View audition, but a kind greeting from Walters at the door “gave me the confidence and the courage to continue, and that’s the same confidence and courage you gave me every day on this set.”
The episode closed with a handful of students singing the dorm song from Sarah Lawrence College, often touted by alum Walters, plus a visit from her college roommate, Joan Marks.
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