Why the West Side (Pandemic Edition): Joy Behar

By Eileen Katz

Joy Behar has shared her love of the Upper West Side in calmer times. We thought we’d checkback in now to see how, like the rest of us, she’s figuring out life these days. Joy’s first career was as a school teacher but it wasn’t long before she found her voice as a comedian and opinion-maker, forging a path that led her to stage, screen and television. Joy has been honored with Emmy, MAC and GLAAD awards and she currently can be seen on The View on ABC where she is a co-host. A special thanks, Joy, for taking the time to chat again!

West Side Rag: How are you holding up Joy?

Joy Behar: “I’m a little lethargic, frankly. I’m a person who likes to be on the move. Although I don’t mind it, but it makes me tired! “

(barking in background)

WSR: Is that your dog?

JB: “Yes. That’s Bernie. He’s been very smoochy with me.”

WSR: I think dogs can sense when we need them…

JB: “I think that what they sense is that no one is leaving them alone anymore and they like that. The few times I’ve gone out and left him alone he poops. Every single time. Like clockwork. Like a little present! So we take him everywhere we can. Every where just so I don’t come home to those little presents”

WSR: Are you cooking a lot these days? Ordering in?

JB: “Oh my God! Like I said on The View, I can’t seem to maintain a 6 foot distance from my refrigerator. I can not! I like to cook anyway.”

WSR: I’ve heard the stories about your world famous lasagnas! Any chance you’ve got an extra one lying around?

JB: “No! I’ve only got one in the freezer which I’m saving. But I’ve made a lamb stew, a meatloaf, steak, I made eggplant parmagianna, chicken Milanese…”

WSR: What’s the perfect quarantine meal?

JB: “Any comfort food..I love meatloaf and potatoes. Oh, and I made melted potatoes! Have you ever heard of that?”

WSR: No what’s that?

JB: “I found it on the internet somewhere and it is soooo good, you just want to kill yourself it’s so good.”

WSR: And what’s the beverage of choice for you guys these days?

JB: “Dr. Brown’s Diet Cream Soda which I can’t get! They’re out of it! They say Oh, you can have Black Cherry but No! I want Diet Cream! Nobody wants Black Cherry. I want Diet Cream and I can’t get it. I like it better than alcohol…although I do have the George Clooney tequila around which is quite good…and if only George Clooney came with it….”

WSR: I’m sure, like everyone, there are so many frustrating parts of this that you’re dealing with. Can you share one?

JB: “I’ve found it very difficult to write. To be creative. I feel blocked. I wrote a play that’s supposed to be produced, but of course, now can’t. We’re supposed to have a reading of it this summer, if God spares, as my God mother used to say. I just can’t bring myself to seem to do any writing.”

WSR: What have you been watching?

JB: “I can’t seem to stop watching the news. But I try and switch off between CNN and those British and Swedish detective shows on Netflix.”

WSR: Have you taken on any home improvement or cleaning projects?

JB: “Well, I’ve got this pantry and I was thinking of organizing it, but I realized, if I just keep using up whatever’s in it and eating out of it and not replacing anything, it kind of automatically cleans and organizes itself! So that’s my Marie Kondo tip: Just keep eating everything and eventually it gets organized and cleaned out!”

WSR: People have been stockpiling things like paper products, etc. Have you found something you’re looking to get?

JB: “Well, I shop at Costco so I feel like I have enough paper towel and toilet paper for at least a little while, but I find I’d like more mozzarella and ricotta. My husband will go out and shop for me, because he’s 7 years younger than me, then come home, change out of his clothes and shower immediately. That’s a tip, by the way ladies: Always marry a man who’s younger than you because in case of a pandemic, they come in handy!”

WSR: Can you share something thoughtful someone’s done for you during this?

JB: “Rahm Emanuel was on the show yesterday and I was told he wanted to send me something as a thank you and to cheer me up so I asked for an orchid because they don’t die after three days. They last a long time and I think that could cheer me up considerably and quite frankly, will force me to clean up a lot because you want the house to look good so you can sit and look at the orchid. I think that type of aesthetic is important at these times.”

WSR: Do you have a celebrity quarantine crush?

JB: “Oh my goodness, well it would have to be someone who can make me laugh so I’d say Mel Brooks. I remember asking Anne Bancroft once, where would you like to live? NY or LA? And she said: “Wherever Mel is. I know when he comes home at night, that’s when the party is going to start!” So yeah, Mel is my celebrity quarantine crush.”

WSR: That is the sweetest story ever! Thank you so much for sharing that! When this is all over what is the first thing you’re going to do?

JB: “I want to throw a big party outside. I really do. I want to invite people over to my house.”

WSR: …and hug them?

JB: “Well not necessarily! But I really mean it. I want to have a big outdoor party with people drinking and laughing. You know, I was invited to a zoom cocktail party the other night and I had a glass of wine and right in the middle of it, I just conked out! I fell asleep and I just want to get my energy back!

NEWS | 24 comments | permalink
    1. Westsidegal says:

      No wonder she’s such a fruitloop, she watches CNN.

    2. Barry H Mann says:

      When I see her at a local diner, everything feels just right. If only we could clone her. Be well, be safe and know that you are admired by people you will never know.

    3. Barbara Paul says:

      I’m a big fan JB. I’m sure you were one hell of a teacher but I’m sure glad that you realize that you were a great comedian. Keep up the good work. And please don’t ever leave the View!
      I’m 75 years young and I certainly hope to live to see a woman as president. But right now we’re stuck with this buffoon. I only hope that American has woken up and turns out in droves to remove him from office.

    4. Alton Jefferson says:

      I love this article. I watch The View every day. I love Joy Behar.

    5. Nicole Bain says:

      Joy your always a pleasure this was so uplifting to read .I would’ve loved being one of your students that’s for sure .Never boring.Loving this article.

    6. Barb Blawat says:

      JOY,
      I have been concerned about you, as on recent View programs you haven’t been the perky Joy that I know and love. But then things in our lives and world are awful with this virus
      stuff happening..and dealing with
      MR T.
      Take care, Joy!! You are a very special lady!!Just gotta Love You!
      A friend and fan from Wisconsin!
      Barb Blawat
      12861 W Sycamore Dr Apt 201
      New Berlin, WI 53151

    7. Rona Bayer says:

      Joy, years ago when my grocery store could not get Diet Dr Brown Cream soda, one of the store managers addicted to that product, suggested I try the Giant brand of diet cream soda. I did and WOW! It is fabulous.

    8. Book-Treks says:

      Love Joy!

      Have to stop watching CNN, that’s the worst thing to do now. Turn off TV and read Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror & The Light, a dense long story with lots of scenes and characters. Transports to another time and place for days on end.

    9. Stephanie aiges says:

      I adore joy behar i love her sensibility and her intellect
      Women with such wit are rare and priceless so happy that i too reside on upper westside joy is exactly the kind of person i want to be near.

    10. Sonia Reines says:

      I love you Joy. Please continue on the View. It’s not fun without you. Think of it as a public service.
      And, if I survive this, (I’m older than you) I would love to come to your party!

    11. Charlotte CROSSLEY FORTIER says:

      You are a mensch JB! Great laugh and smile. Keep safe! Marie Kondo has the right idea!!❤

    12. S says:

      Joy has always been my favorite. That is the main reason I watch the view. We have the same view on the color orange in the white house. =^..^= 🙂

    13. Deborah says:

      I think you’re funny. Please don’t loose your sense of humor . I think you’re amazing and very real !!!

    14. Pat Fournier says:

      Joy, glad you are back on the show. LOVE all the foods you mentioned and Mel. He is the best! My nephew just dropped off 4 orchids at my garage door. My spirit is rising. Stay home and stay well!

    15. Muriel young says:

      Love Joy’s sense of humor and her smarts. The reason I watch the view.

    16. Gustavo Panesso says:

      I always liked and admired Joy for her honesty and for being herself whether, people like it or not. I trust people like her, she is fearless, funny, and, very cool.

    17. Carolyn Jones says:

      Thanks for this interview Joy.
      I am so tired of the news. This was just what I needed.

    18. Donna says:

      Please tell Joy Behar that fairway uptown has Dr. Brown’s diet cream. I bought a six pack today. I would have bought them out but didn’t want to be a hoarder.

    19. gs says:

      And for a contradictory opinion (yes those are allowed)…I find her as hateful and very unfunny. And typical of the liberal elite…they feel entitled to pontificate on which they know nothing. A shrill who panders hate and divisiveness on a daily basis..no thanks.

    20. Tim says:

      She said she watches the news, but then she said she watches CNN also. Which is it? 😁