Joy Behar Beats Chris Christie—and Women Love It

A couple days ago, a friend of mine witnessed this scene on West 65th Street in Manhattan: in a crowd lining up to get tickets for The View, two middle-aged women were talking excitedly about Joy Behar, though the comedian hasn’t co-hosted the show for nearly two years. Suddenly, one of the women lunged at her friend, acting out that startling moment when New Jersey governor Chris Christie stole the podium from Behar during a ninetieth-birthday roast of former Governor Brendan Byrne on April Fool’s Day. “She’s my heroine,” the lunging lady said. “She stood up to that fat man.” The second woman replied, “She’s fearless. She got right up in front of him.” Then she mimed the stern posture of what might be a mother reprimanding a son who towered over her. “I’ve known women like her in my neighborhood all my life,” she said. Other women in line were nodding in agreement, one saying to another, “If Chris Christie thinks he’s going to get somewhere by treating her this way, he’s a fool.” It’s easy to overlook the effect Behar’s run-in with Christie has had on public perception, especially on women. When the governor tried to intimidate the 71-year-old comedian, as he has so many women before her, she called him a bully and a coward. And when he physically got up in her face, she came back at him with more searing jokes. Christie attacks anyone who publicly disagrees with him, of course, but he’s best known for bullying the female teachers who’ve protested his cuts to education, or the mother who politely asked, “You send [your children] to private schools, so I was wondering why you think it’s fair to be cutting funding to public schools?” (“Hey Gail,” Christie responded, “…it’s none of your business. I don’t ask you where you send your kids to school. Don’t bother me where I send Continue Reading

Joy Behar’s ‘The Great Gasbag’ book party was full of laughs

It was a Joy to behold. Film producer Henry Schleiff and his wife Peggy hosted a book party for comedian Joy Behar's new Donald Trump inspired tome “The Great Gasbag” on Tuesday. And it was Schleiff who got all the laughs. “According to Trump accounting, this is the largest crowd ever assembled for a book party,” the host joked. He also wisecracked about the guest of honor’s connection to hands-on film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who stands accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women. “I think we all know how direct and honest Joy is,” Schleiff continued. “I know for a fact that she stood up and said ‘NO!’ to Harvey, at a restaurant — and, he was only asking her to pass the salt!” Behar was praised for the clever title of her book, referencing Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” But she said there she’d also kicked around other puns as possible titles. They included “The Son-in-Law Also Rises” and “The Age of Ignorance.” Attending the literary fete were comedian Susie Essman, actor Alan Alda, newsman Don Lemon, talk show host Phil Donahue and Behar's colleague on “The View,” Whoopi Goldberg. With Brian Niemietz Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Who will replace Joy Behar on ‘The View’? ABC eyes Kathy Griffin, Brooke Shields, Gloria Estefan and others as contenders

When it was announced that 70-year-old Joy Behar would depart “The View” this coming August, Barbara Walters had barely uttered her pleasant wish-you-well’s before speculation about Behar’s replacement started flying. Among the rumored contenders:  former reality TV star and outspoken conservative Rachel Campos-Duffy; singer Gloria Estefan, who could bring in Latina viewers; Brooke Shields, a reliably competent guest host and Walters cohort; Kathy Griffin, a reliably outspoken guest host and thorn in Walters’ side. Another possibility is actress Ali Wentworth whose hubby is already in the ABC family: George Stephanopolous co-hosts “Good Morning America.” Though none have emerged as front-runners, ABC has unsurprisingly announced they’re angling for someone “outspoken and passionate” Duh. Since its 1997 debut, when beloved, evenhanded Meredith Vieira moderated (and original castmember Star Jones had yet to get — or lie about — her gastric bypass surgery), “The View” has drawn steady ratings-and sometimes hit the jackpot, as in the turmoil-filled Rosie O’Donnell era of 2006-’07. Walters proved her producer chops when she brought in O’Donnell, as well as when she fired the increasingly unpopular Jones. But she’s also engaged in nasty media catfights (with each of the aforementioned), and seems to let personal feelings and longstanding grudges direct her decisions. With chopping-block rumors now flying about the show’s current target of viewer vitriol — rosy-cheeked, smugly right-wing Elisabeth Hasselbeck — Walters has been challenged to make good on those rumors and engineer another real shakeup. Incidentally, Walters is also rumored to be moving on soon; she could potentially end her tenure by handing ABC a show as compelling as its groundbreaking first season. “Without Continue Reading

‘The View’ co-hosts Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd share details from their weddings during hiatus

There are plenty of reasons why any couple decides to get married."The View" co-host Joy Behar, who tied the knot Aug. 12 with her boyfriend of almost 30 years, was able to narrow it down to just 10.Now that Behar, 69, and now-husband Steven Janowitz have made their love legal, the funny lady shared a sarcastic list of reasons why she decided to finally tie the knot on Tuesday morning's season premiere of the ABC talk show.THEY DO! OUR FAVORITE HOLLYWOOD WEDDINGSiPad scrabble in bed on their wedding night," "[Joy was] sick of Barbara Walters bugging her" and, perhaps the most facetious of all, "Joy expecting twins."Sherri Shepherd, 44, said "I do" to Lamar Sally on Aug. 13 and took the opportunity during the premiere to talk about her own wedding foibles on air.Elisabeth Hasselbeck's surprisingly good dancing. AGE AIN'T NOTHING BUT A NUMBER. HOT STARS OVER 40 Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

‘The View’ host Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s lesbian theory: Older women just couldn’t get a man

Elisabeth Hasselbeck thinks a lot of older lesbians would have turned out straight ... if they could only land a man.The co-host of "The View" said older women who have led heterosexual lives are choosing same-sex partners because men their age are chasing younger women."All the older men are going for younger women, leaving the women with no one," Hasselbeck said on Tuesday.Joy Behar, a co-host of the show, immediately blasted the 33-year-old, calling her late-blooming lesbian claim "ridiculous.""Being gay is not just holding hands and walking through the tulips," Behar said. "I don't think that you suddenly wake up and say, 'You know, I think I want to do that.' You wanted to do it; you were just trapped in a system that said 'get married.' "Hasselbeck then said that women might turn to homosexuality later in life not for sex, but companionship.The conservative Hasselbeck has been known to spar with her more liberal co-hosts and is no stranger to controversial statements. She once argued that the morning-after pill should be banned even in cases of rape and incest, and she criticized ESPN's Erin Andrews for being the victim of a stalking because she was "wearing next to nothing." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Michael Jackson movie, Adam Lambert and Kris Allen albums and NYC Marathon are musts for fall

As the city comes alive again after a long, not-so-hot summer, the calendar is buzzing with more events and entertainment than ever. If the free museum visits and the new "Twilight" flick don't move you to action, then how about a bike race, gourmet tastings with "Top Chef" stars, or a shopping spree at Manhattan's very first Costco or in H&M, where Jimmy Choo shoes arrive soon? And you thought the leaf-peepers had all the fun. 1. The King of Pop lives on in "This Is It." The much-anticipated movie tribute to Michael Jackson, opening Oct. 28, combines performance pieces with behind-the-scenes footage from the music legend's final rehearsals for what would have been his comeback shows. 2. This tasseled scarf, in bright orange to match the season's leaves, adds the perfect pop of color to your fall wardrobe. $19.99 at 3. Among the fall's flick picks is "Whip It," Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, hitting screens on Oct. 2. "Juno" misfit Ellen Page swaps her pregnancy pillow for some hard-core padding in this coming-of-age tale about a society deb who ticks off her mother by ditching beauty pageants to become a Roller Derby queen. 4. Slouch in style with these alice olivia for Payless boots. $49.99 at 5. Stop by Union Square Thursday for a taste of fine dining from some of the city's hottest restaurants. The annual Harvest in the Square brings together eateries like Blue Smoke, Dos Caminos, Gramercy Tavern, Todd English's Olives and many others for an evening on which food, wine and microbrewed beer take center stage. Proceeds from the event go toward the continuing beautification of Union Square Park. Thursday night, 7-9 o'clock. $115. Union Square Park. 6. Chris Rock's documentary "Good Hair," opening Oct. 9, is a cut above. After Rock's young daughter comes home and asks, "Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?" the funnyman goes on a journey from hair-care conventions in Georgia to weave makers in India to Continue Reading

Mac Does Not Compute: McCain computer illiterate, charges newly aggressive Obama in attack ad

After a week on defense, Barack Obama sought to regain his edge Friday with a risky attack on John McCain as a fuddy-duddy computer illiterate, which could be seen as a slam against the 72-year-old Republican's age."He admits he still doesn't know how to use a computer," an Obama TV ad said of McCain. "He can't send an e-mail." Obama reverted to painting McCain as "out of touch" to stem his slide in the latest polls that show the Arizona senator has drawn even or slightly ahead since he linked up with running mate Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska). McCain also ended up as a target in an appearance with the ladies of "The View," who grilled him on Palin's credentials. The largely female New York audience also booed McCain's opposition to the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. "It was a bad decision," he said. McCain grew testy when Barbara Walters noted that Palin had gobbled up earmarks for her state. "Not as governor she didn't," McCain said. But government watchdog groups charge that in the less than two years Palin has been governor she has asked the Alaska delegation in Congress to land at least 83 earmarks worth more than $450 million for the state. McCain claimed that Palin also vetoed about $500 million in earmarks and had sold the governor's plane on eBay. "She sold it at a loss," Walters said. McCain shot back, "You wanted her to keep it?" Walters replied: "I wanted her to get her money back."McCain took heat from "The View" panelists for the lipstick and sex-education ads he has aimed at Obama.Obama aides said the Illinois' senator's "lipstick on a pig" remark earlier this week was meant to mock McCain's claims to be a change agent. They also say he never recommended sex education for kindergartners.Panelist Joy Behar called the ads "lies," but McCain said "actually, they are not lies." On the lipstick ad, McCain said, "Sen. Obama chooses his words carefully. He shouldn't have said it."Cindy McCain appeared on the show's final segment Continue Reading

Cuban missive crisis: Moore, ex-Sen. at war

Michael Moore is calling out White House hopeful Fred Thompson for refusing to debate him. The director and the former senator have been trading shots since May 2, when Thompson weighed in on the Treasury Department's investigation into whether Moore violated the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba by seeking free treatment on the Communist isle for sick 9/11 responders. Writing in the National Review, Thompson chided Moore for "gushing" over dictator Fidel Castro. Moore, who filmed the trip for "Sicko," his forthcoming cinematic indictment of America's health care, yesterday returned fire in an open letter that pointed to Thompson's fondness for Cuban-made Montecristo cigars. "While I will leave it up to the conservatives to debate your hypocrisy and the Treasury Department to determine whether the 'box upon box of cigars' violates the trade embargo, I hereby challenge you to a health care debate," Moore wrote in a letter posted on the Drudge Report. Moore said he'd welcome the chance to discuss the "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in campaign contributions Thompson has received from the health care industry and his "inexplicable" desire to cut funding for AIDS research. "Our debate would provide you an opportunity to appeal to the right wing of the Republican Party by continuing to attack me; it would give me a chance to discuss health care and tell you exactly what happened in Cuba," Moore told the "Law & Order" star. "Like [on] 'American Idol,' we could even have the country vote to determine which one of us wins the debate." Thompson responded with a video (posted on in which he's seen sucking on an unlit cigar while sitting in a swiveling armchair. "I've been looking at my schedule, Michael, and I don't think I have time for you," the GOP candidate said. "But I may be the least of your problems. You know, the next time you're down in Cuba visiting your buddy Castro, you might ask them about another documentary filmmaker. Continue Reading

NO ‘CURB’ – ING SUSIE. ‘Enthusiasm’ star Essman takes laughter seriously

Considering that he's dating a gal who calls her TV husband all sorts of foul-mouthed names on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," it's no surprise that it wasn't going to be a good day for the man in Susie Ess­man's life. "We're closing on a house in a couple of hours, and I'm a bundle of nerves," Essman said the other day in a low rumble that sounded like Mount St. Helens about to blow. "It's south of Albany. After living in an apartment in Manhattan, it's going to be a change. I'm not used to this. "What do they call those things? Closing costs? It's almost the price of the house. By the time it's all over with, I'll probably go through six bottles of wine. " These fireworks should subside in time for the Fourth of July weekend. The star of the HBO hit takes over the Superstar Theater at Resorts in Atlantic City for a standup gig next Sunday. "I never know what I'm going to do until I'm out there," says Essman. "But it always works out, and people get to laugh a lot. That's what life needs nowadays - a lot more laughter. Every audience is different. They each project their own vibe. People are either really happy when they walk in or they're really sad. My job is to make sure they all leave really happy. " Essman has been doing just that with increasing success since she graduated from SUNY Purchase in 1977. Born in the Bronx (don't even think about asking her age), the third of four children of Zora Essman, who taught Russian at Sarah Lawrence, and Leonard Essman, an internist who died in 2001, Essman moved to Mount Vernon when she was still a kid. After earning her B. A., she resettled in Manhattan and began making the rounds at comedy clubs in a circle that included Mario Cantone, Joy Behar, Chris Rock and others. Eventually, her raunchy impromptu one-on-ones with audiences caught the attention of Larry David, the creator of "Curb Your Enthusiasm. " He signed Essman to play the potty-mouthed Susie Greene - who delights in calling her Continue Reading

CHAT FIGHT!. Will brash Rosie O’Donnell upend the cozy world of ‘The View’?. HERE’S….ROSIE!

Rosie O'Donnell, a pull-no-punches comedian with a well-honed knack for the resounding put-down, will take Meredith Vieira's place on Barbara Walter's late-morning ABC talker, "The View," this fall. But O'Donnell couldn't be more different from Vieira, the sweet, polite, amiable traffic cop. And let's face it, she's obviously less concerned about her hair, makeup (or lack thereof) and waistline than her future co-workers. So how will she fit in with this coffee klatsch? "She totally changes the chemical equation of that show," says Robert Thompson, director of the center for popular television at Syracuse University. "Meredith Vieira was kind of like the vice president of the show when Her Majesty Barbara wasn't there. " Walters, the grande dame of TV news and the show's den mother, may have to put in more hours on the "View" couch to offset the news void. Vieira, of course, has a lengthy news background that includes stints at "60 Minutes" and ABC News prior to her nine-year tenure at "The View. " Her new gig at NBC's "Today" will put those hard-news skills to use. But she also employed them to good effect on "The View," adding a patina of credibility to a show that is very much rooted in cultural trends. "[Vieira] was not in the least bit embarrassed to play 'The View' games and talk about sex," says Thompson. "But her résumé was never far from our minds or the way that she behaved. " O'Donnell has a very different résumé. She came of age in the unforgiving spotlights of the comedy club circuit. And while she obviously is very good at playing nice on daytime, she's a six-time Emmy winner for her own talk show, which ran from 1996-2002, and has never had to share the stage. "Is she going to be able to be from 20% to 25% of an ensemble show when she used to be the boss? " asks Thompson. It could get ugly. O'Donnell's well-documented derision of "The View's" Star Jones and her dramatic and purported all-natural Continue Reading