Mat Szwajkos/Getty
June 12, 2009 07:10 AM

In her desire for a “lively, fun and interesting show,” Joy Behar hopes her just-announced primetime HLN cable program this fall will attract the likes of “George Clooney and John McCain,” the View cohost tells PEOPLE.

“George has something to say other than ‘Go see my new movie,’ ” says Behar, 65. “That’s what I’m aiming for. I’d love to have Bill Maher, Jay Leno, people who have things to say besides trying to get a laugh.”

Behar knows the territory well. “I sat in for Larry King a few weeks ago and had Denis Leary and Steve Harvey on. Both of them had great things to say about politics and relationships. They had something to say and they were funny,” she says.

Nor would she draw any lines – political or otherwise – when it comes to inviting guests on to what, for now, is being called The Joy Behar Show.

“Even if Dick Cheney wanted to come on I’d talk him. Donald Rumsfeld,” says Behar, a noted liberal. “I’d talk to all of them – if they have the testicularity to deal with me!”

As for extending an invitation to morning deskmates Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd, “Absolutely, I would love them on, one at a time, to say things that they may have not had a chance to say on The View,” says Behar, who plans to keep the tone “lighthearted. I’m not an angry person. I want it to be funny. I’m a comic too!”

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