A View from the Top
Not Just a Women's Show
LHJ: Do guests expect that you'll go easy on them since the show is aimed at women?
Barbara: Not anymore, they don't. [Everyone laughs.] By the way, I don't think of us as a women's show. I was at the Michael Jackson memorial, and these male cops kept saying, "I watch your show every day!" A large number of our audience is men.
Elisabeth: Men watch The View to figure women out. My husband, Tim [Hasselbeck, former NFL quarterback], has played for two or three teams since I've been on the show, and every team he's been on, they all watch the show while they're icing their legs. They sit and watch and try to get what women are about.
LHJ: Women's opinions drive household opinions -- with respect to what brands to buy, what car to buy. Does that extend to women's opinions about people, and is that why politicians and celebrities show up on The View?
Sherri: It's different from someone going on Wolf Blitzer's show or something like that. Our show is not purely politics -- we get at a human side, we ask about families.
Elisabeth: And not only do viewers get a sense of what our guests are doing professionally and what's new with their families but also how they feel about whatever hot topic it is we're talking about.
LHJ: Who have been some of your more memorable guests?
Whoopi: Joe Cocker. He sang one of my favorite songs, "Darling Be Home Soon," and I've always wanted to meet him. Most people I already know.
Sherri: When I was in my early 20s I slept out on the street so I could get tickets to a Janet Jackson show. I adore her. Everyone on The View started working on getting Janet Jackson on the show. I showed up one morning and everyone was whispering and Elisabeth, who I am really close to, wasn't talking to me. No one was talking to me so I was like, Am I losing my job? On the air Whoopi said, "Sherri, you related this incident about Janet Jackson." Then I looked to the side because I heard people cheering and Janet Jackson walks out. I screamed and water came out of the cup I was holding. I think I splashed Barbara. They had hidden her down in [executive producer] Bill Geddie's office the whole time. That was so exciting to me, that they cared enough about me to get her on the show.
Barbara: Regis Philbin has been wonderful to us. Tom Cruise and Tom Selleck come back again and again.
LHJ: Do you ever get starstruck?
Elisabeth: I was so excited to meet Paul McCartney. I got all nervous and awkward, walked into his dressing room and blurted out, "Paul, I am so happy you are here. Would you mind signing this for my Dad, he is a huge fan!" That is the worst way to greet someone. I might as well have said, "Hi, Paul, my great-great-grandfather really enjoyed your music! Man, you're old!"
Sherri: I love the gorgeous men who come through and that I get to put my hand on their thighs. The guys love it. Robert Downey Jr. put his head on my lap. And they kiss you. What kind of job do I have? Every man I love turns around and gives me a kiss? When Obama showed up, I was like, this is it, I am done. And Jonathan Rhys Meyers? I am like predator cougar on that boy. I will hurt you.