Current TV’s newest host, Joy Behar, whose new show starts in September, but is filling in for Eliot Spitzer next week, created quite a stir in the first part of our exclusive interview, and she was just getting warmed up. In part two, Joy talks about her favorite comics, the challenges that her new show might present, and addresses the possibility of any awkwardness with new network-mate Eliot Spitzer after her infamous Eliot Spitzer Song, an ode to the former NY Governor’s sex scandal put to the tune of the Gilligan’s Island theme.
Joy told me she thought President Obama was “funnier than Jimmy Kimmel,” and that he can “wipe the floor with anyone, comedically,” but her idea of a “comic’s comic” is Larry David.
“Well, a comic’s comic is Larry David,” she said. “Larry David is the perfect example. Also, Gilbert Gottfried used to be one of those people, that everybody went into the room to watch, you know, because with Larry, you always expected him to go off on somebody. If they dared to look at their watch during his act he would flip out, but he was so funny and so brilliant that we all would go and watch.”
When I asked about the Eliot Spitzer Song, she was surprised. Watch the interview to see what she said about working with Eliot, the challenges she faces with the new show, and whether she’s fearless enough to roast new boss Al Gore.
The Joy Behar Show (which is just the working title; I already made my suggestion) debuts in September, and will air at 6pm on Current TV, with a repeat “in primetime,” according to the network’s press release. Here’s the second, and final, part of our exclusive interview:
Tommy Christopher: If you were a comedy writer for Barack Obama, what would you write for him so he can get out of the “private sector is doing fine” hole?
Joy Behar: You know what, here’s the thing about Obama, and I’m not a comedy writer, I’m a comedian. Um, ask a comedy writer a question to write a joke, I don’t write jokes. The thing about Obama is that he was funnier than Jimmy Kimmel, and I love Jimmy Kimmel. That guy at the correspondents dinner, President Obama can wipe the floor with anyone comedically. He has the best timing, and he also has an editorial skill where he knows which jokes to use and which not to use. So he’s a brilliant man, a brilliant guy and he’s very funny and he can sing!
TC: Who would you say is your comics’ comic?
JB: Well, a comic’s comic is Larry David. Larry David is the perfect example. Also, Gilbert Gottfried used to be one of those people that everybody went into the room to watch, you know, because with Larry, you always expected him to go off on somebody. If they dared to look and watch during his act he would flip out, but he was so funny and so brilliant that we all would go and watch. So he’s a perfect example of that.
TC: You had the Eliott Spitzer song and he’s visiting this week, will things be awkward?
JB: Where did you hear that? [laughs] Oh boy, I did. You know, Elliott might enjoy the song, but I don’t plan to sing it to him.
TC: Couple of bars?
JB: You’re the first person to ask me about singing it to Elliott. Do you realize that? No one but you is interested in that point. And I may rewrite the song now that I’m singing it to him. Not really, but that song is hilarious, have you ever heard it?
TC: Yeah! I listened to it on train over here.
JB: Where did you hear that? I didn’t record that song.
TC: A little bit of it on Fallon.
JB: Someone must’ve recorded me.
TC: On Jimmy Fallon.
JB: Oh! On Jimmy Fallon!
TC: You told Jimmy it was too blue for you to sing on the air.
JB: It is, it’s too blue. But the whole scandal was blue, let’s face it, so the song is blue.
TC: You’re gonna be sharing space with Eliott now…
JB: Well I’m not sharing, I’m not gonna be on the show with him. He had a show on CNN when I was there, too.
TC: How’d that go?
JB: It was good! It was very good. I was on his show once. I’m not the judge and jury of these guys, you know? They do what they do, it’s not my job to judge people like what they do with their personal lives. But it is my job to make fun of them.
TC: Then do you a very good job!
JB: Thank you!
TC: You’re competing against John King, Al Sharpton, and Brett Baier…
JB: All three of them totally hilarious!
TC: Out of them, whose audience are you gunning for? And what would you say to them to get them to watch?
JB: You know, I have my own audience, and I hope that my audience will come to my station, because they do…I have an audience, that’s probably why I got my job. I have an audience. And um, I think that there’s plenty of room for everybody, I don’t really want to steal anybody’s audience, but if they come of their own volition, I can’t stop them.
TC: Who do you think your audience is? They’re very good about getting a younger demographic.
JB: Yes, I have a very young audience, because I’m going to be like the Betty White of it. When I’m 90, I’m still gonna have an audience. Because comedians and funny people just keep on trucking along. So I’m like the crazy aunt at the Thanksgiving table for some of these young people and it’s fine with me. We’ll have some good laughs and maybe they’ll learn something.
TC: What do you think is going to be your biggest personal challenge doing the show?
JB: I think probably planning my meals is going to be very tricky.
JB: Well because it’s a busy day. I think I’m going to have to have repeated meals. That will be my hardest part of the show, trying to figure out what lunch is, what dinner is, so that because I don’t have a staff taking care of my life like some extremely wealthy people. I don’t have a staff, I have a husband.
TC: I have one more question.
JB: I feel like I’m dating you at this point.
TC: Hope it’s as good for you as it is for me.
JB: It’s very good, I’m enjoying it. Go ahead.
TC: Elizabeth Hasselback…but politically she’s so far away from you. Can you talk about your relationship with her? Is she a sweetheart off-screen?
JB: Well, that’s not true, we’re friendly. We’re very friendly. And the thing with Elizabeth is that you never see us have a personal fight on the air. It’s never a personal thing with us. And we can fight on the air and then when we get off the air she’ll say, “I hate your shoes” or “I’ll love that top.” It’s never personal, it’s just that we’re doing our jobs. She’s doing hers, I’m doing mine, and it’s fine! It’s okay! It’s never come to blows. She’s a nice girl, she’s a nice Italian-Polish girl, we like each other.
TC: Anything else you want to say to Mediaite?
JB: I mean, you’ve covered every aspect of my life so far.
TC: Wow, thank you.
JB: Like wall-to-wall conversation. I have nothing, darling, this is it.
TC: Give me your best roast master joke about Al Gore if you had a roast for him?
JB: Oh, I’m not doing that!
TC: Come on, Joy!
JB: Wait until I get to know him a little bit. I don’t know him personally, I just admire him. But we’ll do something about how wooden he is, maybe. I’m not afraid of doing a joke about Al Gore on his own station. I think he would laugh at it, he’s a great guy.
TC: Okay Joy, thank you.
JB: Okay kiddo! Bye bye!