Joy Behar Reflects on Her Journey from Single Mom to Daytime Star and Pursuing Her Comedy Dreams At Age 40

Years before she landed her dream job as a cohost on The View, Joy Behar was an unemployed, single mom

For Joy Behar , it’s never too late to start doing what you love.

Years before she landed her dream job as a co-host on The View, Behar was an unemployed, single mom when she decided to pursue stand-up comedy at age 40.

“I picked the most difficult thing to do, but I knew I had to go for it,” she says in in this week’s issue of PEOPLE.

After graduating college, Behar became a schoolteacher but was fired twice for encouraging students to resist the Vietnam War. She later took a job as a receptionist at Good Morning America hoping to become a producer.

“I was hostile,” she recalls. “I had a master’s degree, and now I’m answering phones? No. It didn’t fit, but I was funny, and people liked me.”

  • For more on Behar’s story pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands now.
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Finally, Behar decided it was time to make a change.

“I was a single mother with no money and no job prospects,” she says. “I didn’t know what else to do, so I tried stand-up comedy. I had nothing to lose.”

For years, she worked odd jobs while perfecting her routine until her big break in 1997 when she landed her job at The View. Behar has been a fixture on the series ever since (she left in 2013, but stayed on as a guest cohost until she returned full time in 2015).

Now, the long time ABC star says she’s enjoying the show more than ever. “I like the people I’m sitting with, and nobody’s a diva.”

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