Regis Philbin, Meredith Vieira, Joan Rivers and Tony Bennett were among the episode's guests
After 16 seasons on the ABC daytime talker, "The View" co-host Joy Behar“>Joy Behar said goodbye on her final episode on Friday – and held on to her comic sensibilities the entire time as she delivered the show's classic last line, "Take a little time to enjoy 'The View.'"
At the end of the pre-taped hour, Walters told Behar, "I love you, Joy. And I loved every moment that we worked together. I thank you and we are really going to miss you."
Behar took the last word and first thanked her hair, makeup and wardrobe people, the publicists, the producers, the crew, the writers and executive producer Bill Geddie.
To her co-stars and guests, Behar said, "I'd like to say thank you. I salute you all and thank you for all the fun and lively conversations about everything and anything. I was born an only child, now I know firsthand what sibling rivalry is all about."
"And Barbara, what can I say, Barbara?" she added. "Thank you for asking me to join you at the table all these years ago. My life hasn't been the same since, really it hasn't. You're such a legend and a friend of mine. You're an icon."
She then took a moment to do something that made Walters break into hysterics saying, "There's something that I've been meaning to say on your behalf for 16 years. F-k, Harry Reasoner. We get it, we get it."
Reasoner was Walters' co-host on the ABC Evening News in 1976, who she said made life very hard for her at the job.
The show paid tribute to their veteran host with an hour-long sendoff dubbed: "This Was Your Life on 'The View' Joy Behar“>Joy Behar" hosted by actor Mario Cantone. Legendary crooner Tony Bennett surprised Behar with a performance of "The Good Life."
Guests included Regis Philbin, who claimed he launched her broadcast career by introducing Barbara Walters to Behar during a standup show — Walters confirmed the story to be true; Joan Rivers, a 35-time guest on the show; longtime friends, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Susie Essman and "Manhattan Murder Mystery" co-star Alan Alda. Jane Lynch and Carol Burnett later joined for cake.
One of the best moments on the episode arrived with former co-host Meredith Vieira's appearance. She recalled her first lesbian kiss with Behar on-air, the many other kisses Behar would share with other co-hosts and guests and then planted one on Behar saying, "You'll never experience anything like this again."
Behar gayed it forward by kissing Walters, whom she had never locked lips with before. That launched a smooch-fest as everyone began kissing each other, including Philbin.
Behar makes her departure about a month after Elisabeth Hasselbeck made her exit after a decade on the daytime show. Jenny McCarthy will replace Behar while Hasselbeck's replacement has yet to be named.
Watch Behar's final words on the show below:
Viewers watched and took to Twitter with their thoughts on Behar's departure:
– Jean-Paul Bevilacqua (@jpbevi) August 9, 2013
– Graeme O'Neil (@GraemeONeil) August 9, 2013
Today's episode of #TheView was emotional. I love joy and I hate goodbyes!
– blah. (@thenAMBERsaid) August 9, 2013
I am going to cry since this is Joy's last day on The View. #theview
– Myrna (@Myla57) August 9, 2013
– LoverlyNOT (@IsntIT_LOVERLY) August 9, 2013
– Victoria Seez' (@VictoriaSeez) August 9, 2013
– K Rosay (@nisharose) August 9, 2013