Joy Behar Pokes Fun at the Late Barbara Walters' Signature Open-Mouth Smile: It's From 'Her Porn Days'

Joy Behar, Barbara Walters
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Joy Behar remembered her former The View cohost Barbara Walters by cracking an awkward — and NSFW — joke.

Behar, 80, poked fun at the late broadcaster’s signature smile on the daytime talk show’s Tuesday, October 3, episode. After Behar brought up Walters during an interview with Geri Halliwell, the Spice Girls singer recalled a lesson she learned from the anchor.

“[Barbara] said I have a camera smile that she uses. And I always still use this piece of advice. She says — you know sometimes how you feel a bit stiff? … You look into the camera, you go, “[Sigh],” and you get the right kind of smile. That’s the Barbara smile,” Halliwell, 51, told her cohosts.

Behar backed up Halliwell’s comments, adding, “Every time [Barbara] took a photograph, it was like, “[Sigh].” Noting that a person’s mouth has to be “slightly open” in order to nail the smile, Behar went on to joke, “Well, those are from her porn days.”

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Paying their respects. The View brought together former and current cohosts to celebrate the life of Barbara Walters. “People have been talking about her on all of the shows, but we knew her better than anyone. We had dinners with her, we hung out with her and we fooled around with her,” Joy Behar shared […]

Sparking a shocked reaction from the show’s audience, Behar clarified, “No, I’m kidding. I’m kidding. They know it’s a joke.”

Cohost Sara Haines proceeded to change the topic by stating, “OK, now let’s move on.”

Despite the NSFW joke, Behar has shared several kind words about Walters following her death at the age of 93 in December 2022. “Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones,” Walters’ rep, Cindi Berger, confirmed to Us Weekly at the time. “She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women.”

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A television icon. Barbara Walters spent six decades as a hard-hitting journalist — interviewing everyone from controversial political leaders to some of the world’s most high-profile stars — prior to her retirement in 2014. Walters kicked off her career in the 1960s on the Today show, where she went from working behind the scenes as […]

The View honored Walters with a special tribute episode the following month, during which Behar called her former colleague “the original role model” for female broadcasters.

“People have been talking about her on all of the shows, but we knew her better than anyone. We had dinners with her, we hung out with her and we fooled around with her,” she said during the show’s January 3 episode. “The thing about her is she very much defied sexism and she defied ageism. She was not just a friend to us; she was one of a kind and very important to the industry.”

Behar and Walters were both part of The View’s original 1997 cast, in addition to Meredith Vieira, Star Jones and Debbie Matenopoulos. Behar briefly left the series in 2013 before returning two years later, a decision she claimed was not made on her own accord.

Joy Behar Pokes Fun at the Late Barbara Walters' Signature Open-Mouth Smile: It's From 'Her Porn Days'
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“I’ve been on this show for 26 years, right?” she said during a May episode of the series. “With a small hiatus as we all know — forced.” At the time of her 2013 exit, it was reported that Behar left of her own volition, after which she revealed she was actually let go by the network.

That same year, Behar claimed that Walters once tried to get her fired from The View after she leaked news that Rosie O’Donnell would be joining the cast. She recalled a phone call she received from Walters on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in 2013, who allegedly told her, “’Hello, Joy? It’s Barbara. And I just want you to know I’m not renewing your contract.’”

Although she apologized, Behar claimed Walters put her foot down, saying, “’It was a big mistake! I’m not renewing your contract!’”