Joy Behar working up Ford jokes for standup tour

Joy Behar. Alberto Reyes/WENN.com

Joy Behar. Alberto Reyes/WENN.com

Jim Slotek, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:26 PM ET

There comes a point in an interview with Joy Behar where you have to ask yourself, who’s interviewing who here?

“Let me ask you something, are the people up there aware of the (New Jersey Governor) Chris Christie thing?” the former co-host of The View said over the phone from somewhere on the road. “Him leaving the people stranded on the George Washington Bridge? I’ve got a bit on that in my act.

“And your mayor! Rob Ford. That guy’s a nut! I’ve got to work up some material about him.”

A year ago, this might be prep for the next day’s episode of The View. Behar’s right-wing bête noir Elisabeth Hasselbeck would have probably gone to bat for Christie. Not sure how she’d be on the crack-mayor debate (though Ford has been welcomed on Fox News, Hasselbeck’s current employer).

Instead, she’s prepping for her first-ever standup comedy date at Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls. She considers it a Canadian date, even though Seneca’s Events Centre is on the American side. “I hear there’s a difference between the Canadian and American falls. Is there?”

Yeah, we tell her, the water in the Canadian falls is cleaner. It gets a laugh.

Before leaving last August, Behar spent 16 years on the table-talk daytime show that Barbara Walters wrought. But her best years were spent sparring with Hasselbeck. A famous 2007 dust-up about George Bush got so heated, that then-panelist Rosie O’Donnell quit in disgust.

“Oh my God, I remember that one,” Behar says. “I kept saying, ‘Don’t we have a commercial coming up?’ But somebody in the booth liked it and they kept it going.

“It got ugly sometimes I think, between Elisabeth and me. But we never took it personally. We never said anything personal like, ‘You’re stupid!’ or ‘You’re an idiot.’ It was always about the topic, and I think that’s what saved us from total annihilation.”

Has she watched her frenemy in her new incarnation as host of Fox’s morning show Fox & Friends?

“I saw Elisabeth one time. She seemed to be doing very well and I wish her all the best. This is a recorded announcement,” she adds with a cackle.

In fact, Behar left two jobs last August. She also had her talk show on the Al Gore-owned Current TV cancelled after the channel became (I kid you not) Al Jazeera America.

“Can you believe Al Gore had the temerity to sell that station while I had a show there?” Behar says. Was there a chance she could have stayed on through the format change? “Nah, Al Jazeera is not really me. Maybe if they aired The Desperate Housewives Of Fallujah.”

So for the time being, Behar is back at her old job, going laughs onstage. A guest on Jay Leno’s final week as Tonight Show host, she said “Jay told me after the show, ‘You’ve got to get back up on stage.' So I’m going to try to increase the volume of work a little bit. It’s like, a woman can have a baby, so that’s why we do it pretty much. Whatever you can do, you should do.”

She grudgingly admits she’s been in talks for another talk show. “I can’t really say anything about anything that’s going on. I don’t want to jinx anything.

The prime temptation would be the chance to work in New York again. “That’s my home. I can’t be away from New York for too long, I get the heebie jeebies.”

Twitter: @jimslotek

jim.slotek@sunmedia.ca


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