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JOY BEHAR SHOW

Interview With David Alan Grier; Interview With Regis Philbin

Aired October 9, 2009 - 21:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOY BEHAR, HOST: Tonight, get ready for the weekend with some Friday night fights. Jon minus Kate plus Nancy Grace; do the math on that one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON GOSSELIN, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": That`s why they`re coming off...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s why the show is coming to a stop.

NANCY GRACE, HLN HOST, "NANCY GRACE SHOW": Why don`t you just quit arguing and work on your marriage.

JON GOSSELIN: Exactly.

GRACE: Wouldn`t that be a better idea?

JON GOSSELIN: Exactly.

GRACE: And go back to a happy family?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: I love her.

Then world record holder and television legend Regis Philbin talks about everything.

And you may know him as the creator of an obscure little show "Seinfeld". The very funny Larry David joins me.

All this and more, tonight.

I had so much fun with him on Wednesday I had to have him back for more. Joining me now is actor, comedian and author, David Alan Grier. His new book is "Barack Like Me." David is Barack like you, how is he like you?

DAVID ALAN GRIER, AUTHOR, "BARACK LIKE ME": I hope not. Because I don`t think he would have been elected president.

It`s a play on words. I mean, one of the things is I`m not Barack Obama.

BEHAR: No.

GRIER: I couldn`t make it through the press line of "Dancing with the Stars."

BEHAR: Yes.

GRIER: Without cursing people out. So let alone our president...

BEHAR: He is extraordinary.

GRIER: Yes. Yes, he is absolutely...

BEHAR: And have you ever seen the movie "Guess Who`s Coming to Dinner?"

GRIER: Yes.

BEHAR: I mean, Sidney Poitier, he had to have a Ph.D., he had to work -- I think for the U.N., he had to be so perfect in that film. And I thought that when Obama was elected that is how perfect the black guy had to be in order to get elected.

GRIER: You`re absolutely right. I remember one point during the election and I -- how much time and energy was spent by Barack Obama and his organization just proving to America, "I`m just like you. There`s nothing to fear. I have a wife. I have two kids."

BEHAR: And they still don`t believe it. They still -- the birthers still believe that he wasn`t born in the United States.

GRIER: Well, he wasn`t. But other than that, I still love...

BEHAR: David ,he was born in Hawaii. But they still -- people still think that he`s a Muslim instead of a -- I mean, they just make up stuff...

GRIER: Right.

BEHAR: ...as they go along, you know?

GRIER: Right.

BEHAR: But you made your case for America to vote for Obama last year. Let`s look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRIER: All I got to say is white America, wake up. I`m talking about all the white folks who refuse to vote for a black man. I got news for you. He`s not black. He`s half black. He barely passes the brown paper bag test.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: What kind of studying do you have to do to pass that test?

GRIER: It`s very simple. Brown paper bag next to the skin. Yes, yes.

BEHAR: You know, comedians have trouble -- white comedians are having trouble making jokes about Obama. Do you think that they`re scared that they`re going to be construed as racist?

GRIER: I think for a while they were. Definitely when I was doing chocolate news, because that was during the primary leading up to the election and I know "The Daily News," "SNL," a lot of people were afraid to really say any jokes about him for fear of being branded racist.

But it seems to have loosened up now.

BEHAR: Well, he wasn`t doing anything wrong. When George Bush was in office, I mean it was a bonanza. He was so -- he didn`t read. He talked crazy. Sarah Palin is a bonanza for comedians. Obama is not that funny, frankly.

GRIER: He`s not. And I think for America, we like presidents that stumble down stairs.

BEHAR: We do.

GRIER: Or smack their heads into doors.

BEHAR: Gerald Ford, yes.

GRIER: Doors -- vomit in the laps of foreign dignitaries, I mean, you know what I`m saying?

BEHAR: Yes.

GRIER: I don`t think Barack Obama is going to go out like that yet, because he is so tight. His thing is so smooth. You have to find...

BEHAR: Have you found anything yet? Do you see a hook?

GRIER: I am looking...

BEHAR: Because we`re really relying in the world -- of the comedy world on black comics to come up with the material. You and Chris Rock...

GRIER: I find a lot of comedy about him...

BEHAR: Yes.

GRIER: ...but it`s more along the lines of what you saw in the chocolate news. It`s not -- I mean, I don`t see a lot of comic flaws or things about his character that I can exploit and say, wow, you know how he blinks his eyes?

BEHAR: Yes.

GRIER: No, he`s not that guy.

BEHAR: I guess, the jokes are about how perfect he is.

GRIER: Yes.

BEHAR: I mean, that`s how boring it is to have such a perfect president.

GRIER: ...or how perfect I am?

BEHAR: Or how perfect you are is even better.

Well, you`re not that perfect...

GRIER: Yes.

BEHAR: I read that, well, you did march with Martin Luther King.

GRIER: I did.

BEHAR: That`s a great thing.

GRIER: Yes.

BEHAR: In 1963. How old were you? You must have been a child.

GRIER: I was a little -- I was little, little kid. And I remember -- here`s what it is. When Martin Luther King Jr. came to Detroit, it was his march on poverty. And he gave a preliminary version of the "I have a Dream" speech, and he was invited to Detroit to march by reverend C.L. Franklin, who was Aretha Franklin`s dad.

BEHAR: Oh.

GRIER: Yes and so my parents, our whole family marched whether I wanted to or not.

BEHAR: That`s good.

GRIER: I was a kid. I wanted to play ball, I wanted to play with friends. I didn`t want to put on church clothes and march all day with my parents. So I was bribed with ice cream. But it was one of those situations where my mom said, look, this will be historic.

BEHAR: Sure.

GRIER: You will remember this...

BEHAR: Any kid could go to play baseball.

GRIER: Yes, yes.

BEHAR: That was a historic moment.

GRIER: Yes.

BEHAR: But on the other side of things, you also tried to join the Black Panthers when you were a teenager.

GRIER: Yes.

BEHAR: Well, it`s kind of like the -- I mean, they were not exactly the most peaceful group.

BEHAR: No, they weren`t but I mean, again, I was just a teen.

BEHAR: Martin Luther King was nonviolent. And the Panthers were -- they were, I mean Bobby Seal incited to riot in the 1968 Democratic convention.

GRIER: But that was sexy back then.

BEHAR: Yes.

GRIER: And I`m telling from `63 to by the time I was 15, I mean, to be revolutionary, to talk that talk was sexy, was smooth, was cool.

BEHAR: Yes.

GRIER: I couldn`t wait to be, you know, a Black Panther. Of course they wouldn`t let me join. But in my book I talk about the death of the black man. But when I was a kid, that`s what we wanted to be. That`s the death of the angry black man.

BEHAR: Yes.

GRIER: I wanted to be linked from mob squad with a big afro one...

BEHAR: Yes.

GRIER: ...and telling white people, you know, forget you. I want to be that belligerent guy because when we were kids, we were like, oh, that dude is cool. You know, you know?

BEHAR: Do you think you`ll ever join the Gray Panthers? Do you think that will be cool?

GRIER: Probably. Probably.

BEHAR: But your dad, your dad wrote a book called "Black Rage."

GRIER: Yes.

BEHAR: ...in 1968. So your father`s a writer?

GRIER: Yes, he wrote a couple of books and he`s still militant after all these years.

BEHAR: He still is?

GRIER: Oh yes. And when I was kicked off with "Dancing with the Stars," he wrote me an e-mail and he said, is it too early to call racism? Do you think these white folks -- so I said and he said, "Do you think these white folks were jealous of a good looking black man who went to Yale? They couldn`t take it."

BEHAR: Oh.

GRIER: Oh yes and I was like, calm down. Calm down, Eldrid.

BEHAR: Eldrid.

GRIER: Yes calm down Eldrid.

BEHAR: I love that.

GRIER: Oh he was absolutely ready to, you know, marshal up the troops and do another march.

BEHAR: What an interesting father you had.

GRIER: Yes.

BEHAR: My father barely spoke to me.

Now, you also write that you`re cool with gay marriage. I thought that was interesting because you know as a rule of the black community is not that cool with gay marriage.

GRIER: Who told you that?

BEHAR: Well, there`s something called the "down low" that we all sort of know about.

GRIER: We all watched that "Oprah Winfrey Show."

BEHAR: Yes, yes we watched that.

GRIER: Yes, yes.

BEHAR: I mean, I don`t think that the black community is that cool with homosexuality. Because -- tell me I`m wrong.

GRIER: I can`t speak for the majority of the black community...

BEHAR: Yes.

GRIER: But I`ll tell you this. There`s probably -- the contingency of the black community that`s very church-going, that call -- that identify themselves as born-again Christians...

BEHAR: Yes.

GRIER: ...maybe they have a problem. I, myself, identify myself as a heathen. I really don`t care.

BEHAR: You`re a heathen? You don`t care?

GRIER: I`m saying, look listen, I`m getting a divorce now.

BEHAR: Yes.

GRIER: If gay people want to get some of this, come get it.

BEHAR: Come get...

GRIER: They have a 50/50 shot at best for success, ok?

BEHAR: I know, yes, I know.

GRIER: I personally don`t want to wake up next to me in bed, ok? I want something softer, more beautiful, feminine. That`s my personal taste. But if you know, if gay people want to get married ...

BEHAR: They want to get - so you`re position is misery loves company.

GRIER: Yes, yes.

BEHAR: All right, I totally appreciate that.

GRIER: I want to see gay couples stuck with their significant other at Home Depot with that far away look in their eye, get me out of here.

BEHAR: With that (INAUDIBLE) deer in the head lights, please, God, help me, yes I know.

GRIER: It`s another Indigo Girls concert, no. Yes, yes.

BEHAR: David Alan Grier, thank you very much for coming on.

GRIER: You`re welcome.

BEHAR: It`s really been a pleasure to see you.

GRIER: It`s nice too.

BEHAR: Ok. Back in just a minute with Larry David.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEHAR: I love this guy. He`s a captain of the TV industry. He produced and co-created a little mega hit called "Seinfeld" and created a starring vehicle for himself.

Let`s take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY DAVID, "CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM": You know, if there`s anything I can do, you let me know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what? There is something you can do.

DAVID: What?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You can come over today at 1:00 and visit with her.

DAVID: Visit her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

DAVID: What, are you kidding?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What, you didn`t mean it?

DAVID: Of course not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: Joining me now from HBO`s "Curb Your Enthusiasm." My pal, Larry David, welcome to the show Larry.

DAVID: Thank you.

BEHAR: Does it feel like old times being here with me?

DAVID: In the sense that we worked together?

BEHAR: Yes.

DAVID: I don`t think we`ve ever -- I`ve never sat across from a desk from you.

BEHAR: No, but you`ve sat across the table because in 1987 when I was doing some show called "Way of Broadway" for Lifetime, remember that?

DAVID: Of course.

BEHAR: You were writing for me on the show. You used to come over to my apartment with really a stack of notes and concepts. Your mind was always filled with ideas.

Then we worked out the stuff and we would then order in and the show would pay for it and you would get so excited. They`re going to pick up the check. They`re going to pay for this?

DAVID: Yes. Anything for free. You know, you`d take anything. I notice, now, like I have some stuff, you know, that I give away. You know, people in the office. Nobody -- you can mention, like, a record from 1970 -- yes, I`ll take it. Anything that`s for free, people will just take. They don`t discriminate. They don`t care.

BEHAR: And no matter how much money. No matter how much they have.

DAVID: Right.

BEHAR: They still want it.

DAVID: They want it, yes.

BEHAR: But...

DAVID: It`s the best way to get rid of your garbage. Really.

BEHAR: The laughter that you hear is the staff, they hang around here. We have Hank Gallow (ph) and Frank Santo Padre -- I call them the explorers.

DAVID: Hank Gallow`s here?

BEHAR: Yes. He`s here.

DAVID: Hi Hank.

BEHAR: That`s his laughing. Like Gallow and Santo Padre -- we call them the explorers. Don`t they sound like de Gama and (INAUDIBLE).

DAVID: Yes. Yes.

BEHAR: Ok. I want to show a little clip of you doing standup.

DAVID: No, come on. Seriously. Really? You knew where to find me?

BEHAR: Come on, let`s just show it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID: Chuck Scarborough, who`s the -- he`s like the anchorman, exciting guy -- Chuck. He`s the kind of guy like you`d like to play tennis with. He`s such a nice guy, you can cheat the pants off of him.

It`s no good Chuck. Forget it, it`s out.

He`s not going to argue if it`s inside or...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID: I didn`t hear what I said.

BEHAR: It doesn`t matter. Doesn`t matter what you said. I can`t believe they dug that up.

DAVID: What the hell is that?

BEHAR: That`s you, I guess.

DAVID: Yes. Yes.

BEHAR: You look better now. I like this -- you`re so cute now.

DAVID: See, that`s young Larry was unset (ph). Yes.

You know, last night somebody came up to me and said, my God, you know, you look so much better in person than you do on TV.

BEHAR: I hate that.

DAVID: I said, what is that? Is that supposed to be a compliment? What, I look like a dog on TV? I don`t get that.

BEHAR: And they fix you up for television, so you should look better.

DAVID: You should look better, yes.

BEHAR: You are a very -- I remember you from the old days of "Catch a Rising Star." you were what you would call a temperamental comic.

DAVID: Yes. Temperamental.

BEHAR: You would get on -- the comics always loved to come into the room and say, "Larry`s getting up." Everybody would look at their watches to see how long you`d last.

DAVID: I didn`t know if I was going to have a break down on stage. Yes. You didn`t know really what was going to happen.

BEHAR: What would happen to you when you would get up there and didn`t get the first laugh, let`s say?

DAVID: I didn`t? I don`t like it -- I don`t react well to adversity. I`m a baby. You know? Really almost the way that John McEnroe used to be when he played tennis. If a call went against him, "What?"

That`s how I was. Something went against me. If a person -- I could be doing great. If I saw one person talking during the whole thing, I`d go "Hey, hey, you. Oh, look, you don`t like this? This is nothing?"

BEHAR: Then you`d walk off. Then you`d leave.

DAVID: I`d say, "I can`t do this. I`m getting out of here."

BEHAR: That stops you.

DAVID: One time I actually -- I`ve done this story before. I went up on stage, it was "Catch a Rising Star." I went up on stage and looked at the audience and I went, "I don`t think so."

BEHAR: Just the way they looked.

DAVID: Just the way they looked. And I left. Yes.

BEHAR: You didn`t have any money in those days.

DAVID: No.

BEHAR: You didn`t have cab fare. You were living in that dungeon for actors.

DAVID: Yes. The Manhattan Plaza.

BEHAR: The Manhattan Plaza. Now you have money. You`re very successful. You made a lot of money on "Seinfeld." really a lot of money.

Not just like my kind of money. Your money; big money.

DAVID: Let`s not forget I got divorced.

BEHAR: I know. In California, she took half, didn`t she?

DAVID: Yes.

BEHAR: That is outrageous.

DAVID: Isn`t that crazy?

BEHAR: You are the one who`s funny. You`re the one who made all the money. Why should she get half? I don`t get that. You must have got hit with the economy a little bit, too, right?

DAVID: Yes. So, you know, I really don`t have anything near what`s I`m reputed to have.

BEHAR: What you had. It`s so good though. You can`t live...

DAVID: I`m not complaining.

BEHAR: No, don`t complain about it. In the new season of "Curb" you have arranged for a "Seinfeld" reunion. Am I right?

DAVID: Yes.

BEHAR: Ok. Let`s take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JERRY SEINFELD, COMEDIAN: Why would we do something like this? I mean, I remember you talking about whenever a sitcom does a reunion episode, you say, isn`t it pathetic?

DAVID: I said pathetic?

SEINFELD: Desperate? Pathetic. When we would watch other shows and see them do reunion shows you would look and make that face, that very judgmental face of yours.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: Who did you call first? Did you call Jerry first?

DAVID: Jerry.

BEHAR: Then who?

DAVID: People ask me that question and I`m not telling them.

BEHAR: Why did you decide to do it now? The reunion? Just like that?

DAVID: I had the idea a few years ago, but then Hurricane Katrina came along and the thought of the idea about taking in the blacks, which became the art for that season. That seemed topical at the time to coincide with Katrina. I needed to exploit that tragedy any way I could.

BEHAR: As only you could.

DAVID: So then I did that. So I still have the idea and I thought this season, you know, maybe we could do this. It was a very ambitious thing to undertake, really.

BEHAR: To get them all together.

DAVID: To get them all together and then to get all those schedules down and get all the sets and all that and then write the shows. What were the shows going to be?

It`s one thing to just say you want to do a reunion, but what`s it going to be about?

BEHAR: You`re thinking all the time about those shows, aren`t you? Always thinking about the plots.

DAVID: Yes.

BEHAR: Everybody loves to work on "Curb" because they` don`t really have a script. They improvise and make it up as they go along within your parameters.

You haven`t exactly asked me to be on, I noticed, over the years. I`m just saying.

DAVID: I haven`t exactly or haven`t asked?

BEHAR: You haven`t asked. One of my spies told me that...

DAVID: We had Suzy Epsin (ph) on, I though that...

BEHAR: We`re the same person yes. One of my spies told me Michael Richards is in one of the things -- something about him. I don`t know what it is because the information is not out. Could it be that hysterical craziness that he went through saying the "N" word in that club?

DAVID: What about it?

BEHAR: It`s that going to -- the episode going to be about that?

DAVID: Firstly he`s not on just one episode.

BEHAR: But one of the episodes.

DAVID: We will touch upon it, yes. We will touch upon it.

BEHAR: Let`s talk a little. Is there anything else you want to tell me about "Curb?" Any little secrets, any little things that are going to happen?

You`re single now on the show. The "Curb" Larry is single and the real Larry is single. We`re seeing parallels, right, in the script? Are you going to meet another woman?

DAVID: I have a couple of dates.

BEHAR: In reality or on the show?

DAVID: Hopefully, hopefully I will have a couple of dates in reality. I have my fingers crossed.

I`ve been divorced two years. Maybe one day I will have a date, but, no, on the show I have, you know, there are two episodes, two dating episodes.

BEHAR: Two dating episodes. So, are you dating anyone in real life?

DAVID: Presently, no.

BEHAR: No? You`re loose?

DAVID: Yes.

BEHAR: Oh, wow, I`m putting that out right now for all you women. Ok. Woody Allen...

DAVID: I`m loose? I`m promiscuous, yes.

BEHAR: My kind of guy. You came to the right place.

DAVID: I run the gamut.

BEHAR: New York is filled with women who are loose and promiscuous. So it`s right for you. You should stay here.

DAVID: I`ve heard that for years.

BEHAR: Do you think they`re more slutty in L.A. or in New York?

DAVID: I was part of the hippy generation, free love and all that. I kept going, where is it?

BEHAR: I know.

DAVID: I don`t see anything.

BEHAR: I missed it too, the whole sexual revolution...

DAVID: Just passed me by.

BEHAR: I know.

When I come back I want to talk a little bit about your past.

Larry and I will be back. Stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want to know what else is unacceptable? It is totally and completely unacceptable that you would grill my daughter, Gracie, about whether I took her to a birthday party and then you call me a liar?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: Who was that?

DAVID: That was Julia Louie (ph)...

BEHAR: Julia Louie that`s right.

We`re back with Larry David for our final segment, which I`m dreading already that you have to leave. I am. I love this quote. "The more people I offend the better."

That`s you.

DAVID: I said that?

BEHAR: Yes, you said that.

You had one show where you had to tell a girl who has cancer that you`re breaking up with her, Vivica Fox.

DAVID: Well, no, I didn`t tell her because the doctor beat me to it.

BEHAR: I know. But you wanted to before.

DAVID: I tried to beat the doctor before she got the diagnosis, yes.

BEHAR: You and Newt Gingrich have this in common. He told his wife he was breaking up with her while she had cancer. Did you get this idea from Gingrich?

DAVID: Yes.

BEHAR: You did? See that? He was helpful to you.

DAVID: Yes, very helpful to me.

BEHAR: You know, they always say that comics and funny people have miserable childhood. Did you?

DAVID: No. I don`t think I had a miserable childhood, no.

BEHAR: No.

DAVID: You know, I used to do a line in my act, I had a wonderful childhood which was tough because it`s hard to adjust to a miserable adulthood, you know?

BEHAR: I can relate to that.

DAVID: No, but I didn`t have a bad childhood at all.

BEHAR: They loved you. You had a bunch of aunts and uncles around you.

DAVID: They loved me, you know, there`s a -- parents -- I don`t know, back in the `50s, whatever, they didn`t love like the way parents do today. Parents today, you tell your kid -- you know, 100 times, I love you. So sick of it. Yes, you love me. Shut the hell up already. I get it. You love me.

There`s more hugging and all that today. You know, you see it, and you see it amongst everyone.

BEHAR: Doesn`t it make kids insecure to keep telling them -- do they really love me or are they just saying this?

DAVID: Who the hell knows? I don`t know. In my day, I never heard any of that. There was no hugging.

BEHAR: No hugging.

DAVID: There was only watching, you know? How`s he doing?

BEHAR: Where is he?

DAVID: How`s he doing, where is he? He`s talking to a girl. What`s going on there? Oh. You know, this watching.

BEHAR: Did they worry you might be gay?

DAVID: Oh, God, no.

BEHAR: There was nothing gay in the `50s. No one was gay in the `50s.

DAVID: No one was gay. Yes. No one was gay and no one was allergic to peanuts.

BEHAR: That`s true. That basically tells the `50s. That`s it about the `50s.

DAVID: By the way, women had no problems getting pregnant.

BEHAR: No, that`s true. Nowadays -- that`s because they were under 30. Now they`re in their 60s getting pregnant.

DAVID: Maybe that, too.

BEHAR: That`s the reason.

Will you come back and sit with me again when you`re in New York?

DAVID: You know what, I will.

BEHAR: This show is going to be on, we don`t know. It`s a hit so far.

DAVID: Yes. Good.

BEHAR: Yes.

DAVID: Yes. Not that I`m worried.

BEHAR: Thanks, Larry.

DAVID: You`re welcome. Thank you.

BEHAR: I so appreciate you coming baby. It was great to see you.

DAVID: Good to see you.

BEHAR: Ok. Don`t forget to watch HBO`s "Curb Your Enthusiasm," one of the funniest shows on television on Sunday nights.

Easiest interview you ever had.

DAVID: Easiest by far and probably the best.

BEHAR: Thank you. You are great.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEHAR: Earlier this week I had the pleasure of talking to a TV legend. He also happens to be the world record holder for most hours on television, and that was before Regis Philbin did this show.

We start with a rare clip from his first show. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

REGIS PHILBIN, CO-HOST, "LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY": They wrap things today, like, it infuriates me to open anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: What do you think when you see that, Reg? How many years ago was that?

PHILBIN: I think that was one of my best shows.

(LAUGHTER)

You know, I started a talk show in 1961. And it ran three years, and then they brought me up to Hollywood to follow Steve Allen on the "Westing House" evening show.

BEHAR: Yes.

PHILBIN: Of course, I just wasn`t ready for that. On my show in San Diego I produced it myself. I flew the people in from Los Angeles.

BEHAR: Power.

PHILBIN: I put them up at the hotel. I did everything I wanted to do. I got to Hollywood, I find out I got a producer, I got associate producers, I got writers. And I wasn`t prepared for that, and I blew that wonderful opportunity.

BEHAR: Look at you now, how many opportunities you`ve had since that.

PHILBIN: It took me a long time to accomplish where I`m at now.

BEHAR: And so many co-hosts.

PHILBIN: Yes, over the years. So many is right.

BEHAR: You`ve had -- what was the first one?

PHILBIN: The first one years and years ago was Mary Hart.

BEHAR: Mary Hart with the legs.

PHILBIN: She had legs then too, yes.

BEHAR: Was she sexually harassed at her job?

PHILBIN: Not by me.

(LAUGHTER)

No, I saw her, I was doing a local show in -- I was going to start a local talk show on television. I was doing the news on KABC in Los Angeles. And I knew the show was coming and they wanted me to have a co- host. And so I asked Mary Hart, and she was one of the first.

Before that it was Sarah Parsell then Cindy Garvey, then Mary Hart, then Cindy Garvey again here in New York, then Ann Abernathy, and then Kathy Lee, show stayed 15 years. And now Kelly has been there eight.

BEHAR: It`s been eight years since Kathy?

PHILBIN: Yes.

BEHAR: Because I used to sit in with you a few times.

PHILBIN: I know. I enjoyed that.

BEHAR: They never offered me the gig.

PHILBIN: Who denied that?

BEHAR: I had a job already.

But you`re a character in a certain way in the business. "Saturday Night Live" has captured it. Let`s look at that.

PHILBIN: My god.

BEHAR: I love these.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m back. I`m back. I never felt better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILBIN: Very funny.

BEHAR: You find that flattering when you see that?

(LAUGHTER)

PHILBIN: I kind of enjoyed it. I don`t know. I thought he was very good.

The guy who started this whole thing was Dana Carvey, though, when he appeared on "Saturday Night Live." "I`m out of control!" He would say, you know? I never said that.

BEHAR: You do laugh like that.

PHILBIN: I can`t believe --

BEHAR: You really scared me.

PHILBIN: What you go through every morning on that panel of women? I scared you?

BEHAR: You scared me. There`s, you know, I`m on this new show now and I`m all by myself here.

PHILBIN: Let me ask you something, how does it feel? It`s strange to be without floor co-hosts.

BEHAR: It does feel a little bit different. I don`t have people interrupting me.

PHILBIN: How do you think they feel about you getting primetime spot?

BEHAR: I think they`re happy for me.

PHILBIN: You think so?

BEHAR: You don`t think so?

(LAUGHTER)

PHILBIN: When are four women happy for another woman getting something they`d love to have?

BEHAR: You`re assuming they`d love to have another show.

PHILBIN: They want to sit right here.

BEHAR: Sherry Shepard has a --

PHILBIN: I`m on this show tomorrow night.

BEHAR: You`re making the rounds.

PHILBIN: I`m not making the rounds. People invite me.

BEHAR: How many hours a week do you work?

PHILBIN: Four. I`m on four days a week except when we go to sweeps, and then...

BEHAR: What about the millionaire show? You`re on that also.

PHILBIN: I`m not on the millionaire show. It went off six years ago. Can somebody help me here?

BEHAR: What do you mean? Aren`t you back hosting again?

PHILBIN: It was for ten nights. Thank you for staying in touch.

(LAUGHTER)

BEHAR: Do you think you actually saved the network like they say?

PHILBIN: I absolutely did. In the years that millionaire show came on, ABC was desperate, more desperate than they are today. and that`s saying a lot.

And so, anyway, yes, I went on there, and, bang, the show was an enormous hit.

BEHAR: Yes. You did. Kathy always said -- or was it Kelly?

PHILBIN: It was Kathy Lee. And then Kathy -- I mean then Kelly.

(LAUGHTER)

BEHAR: So now you like Kelly the best?

PHILBIN: Do I like Kelly the best? I love them all. They`re all my girls.

BEHAR: How do you feel about the fact Barbara Walters is considered a living legend and you`re not?

(LAUGHTER)

PHILBIN: Because she`s lived longer than me? Oh.

Hey, hey. Don`t ever tell Barbara that.

BEHAR: No, no. She`s not watching.

PHILBIN: Wait a minute. Barbara Walters is a true icon, if you want to call anybody an icon. No, honest to god, she blazed a lot of trails in this business for women, for people --

BEHAR: She`s a pioneer. We wanted to get her a stagecoach recently.

(LAUGHTER)

PHILBIN: Thank you. No, but she`s great. I don`t consider myself in her league to tell you the truth.

BEHAR: Why not? You`re on icon on television also.

PHILBIN: No, I`m not.

BEHAR: She could interview Fidel Castro, you could interview who? Newt Gingrich.

PHILBIN: I never interviewed him. I don`t interview politicians?

BEHAR: You don`t do that? You don`t like politics?

PHILBIN: I really -- as a matter of fact I don`t like politics. I really don`t. I think it`s so jaded now and everybody has to follow the party line.

BEHAR: What about when FDR was in office?

PHILBIN: Then I interviewed him.

(LAUGHTER)

BEHAR: Let me ask you something. What do you think about Leno`s show? Let`s talk show biz for a second. Do you think he made a good move or what?

PHILBIN: The first week he did. Ratings went through the roof and all that.

BEHAR: Curiosity.

PHILBIN: It`s a tough thing, isn`t it? To do a variety show with all of the best the networks have got to put up right now.

BEHAR: Yes.

PHILBIN: He may survive. He will survive this few weeks until people either make up their minds about what they`re watching on the other networks and come back to him, or maybe they don`t.

BEHAR: Why did he give up his desk? The desk, all comedians need notes in front of them. Need a desk.

PHILBIN: Yes.

BEHAR: That was a big mistake. I`m going to call him.

PHILBIN: You`re exactly right. I was almost going to call him and say, "Jay, don`t give up the desk. The desk is everything."

BEHAR: Exactly.

PHILBIN: He wanted a different look. He wanted to have more of a variety show than what he had. But why not do what they were doing before which was a big success?

BEHAR: I know. Anderson Cooper has been sitting in for you. Do you think he has your mojo?

PHILBIN: Anderson Cooper every night dreams about getting my job permanently really.

BEHAR: Really.

PHILBIN: He doesn`t want to grow up like the Wolf. He wants his own job.

(LAUGHTER)

BEHAR: I think he has grown up like the Wolf already.

Now, what about this Halloween show you have coming up? I`ve heard you`re doing -- what costumes are you doing?

PHILBIN: I don`t know this year. It`s yet to be decided by my producer Gelman (ph). He makes all the decisions.

BEHAR: Yes. Doesn`t he listen to you?

PHILBIN: We all --

BEHAR: Isn`t he really your bitch instead of you being his bitch?

PHILBIN: I hear Kathy Griffin say that. How dare she say that about Gelman (ph). But it was funny. I think we started the whole thing about the host getting dressed up for Halloween. Do you girls do that too?

BEHAR: Yes. We`re going to get dressed up. I hate it.

PHILBIN: Do you do it every year?

BEHAR: Every year. And it ruins my makeup and hair. I despise it.

PHILBIN: If something changes it drives you crazy.

But we always came up with a pretty good show. You know, I think it`s a lot of fun. I just hate going through it.

BEHAR: Well, I mean, one year you came out as a woman and Kelly came out as a guy, right?

PHILBIN: Exactly. I did that, I think, with Kathy Lee and then with Kelly as well. She does a funny Regis, Kelly.

BEHAR: She does.

PHILBIN: Oh, yes.

BEHAR: Before we go --

PHILBIN: Where are we going?

BEHAR: Now you want to stay? Before you were -- you know what? I know you don`t do politics, but how about pop culture. Are you shocked and upset Jon and Kate Gosselin are getting a divorce?

PHILBIN: You know, she was on the show. I may have made a big mistake. But I want to tell you something. I have a thing against reality shows. I think they are so fake. I think they are over-produced before they begin. I think people know where they`re going, what they`re going to say, what the situation is.

These things just don`t happen. You have eight cameras set up. These guys, the producers, tell them, hey, this is -- I thought it was -- I thought it was a setup, the divorce. Now I think it`s headlined like a divorce, especially with a woman who has eight kids.

BEHAR: Exactly. I don`t care for him at all.

PHILBIN: Well, I didn`t say I loved them either. I`m talking about what reality shows can do.

BEHAR: Look, if these shows --

PHILBIN: You`re a very attractive woman. Honest to god, and with this lighting you can go all the way.

BEHAR: The lighting is fantastic.

Never a dull moment with Regis. Back in just a minute with something that`s been bugging me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEHAR: Tell me something. Has anybody in this country ever heard of a salad?

The new food fad sweeping the nation is a donut burger, a 1,500 calorie bacon-cheeseburger with a glazed buttered Krispy Kreme donut in place of the bun.

It looks gross like, doesn`t it, like some kind of giant zit waiting to explode? All that`s missing is the whipped cream, maple syrup, and some pepperoni pizza. I hear the combo platter comes with a side of fries and defibrillator.

(LAUGHTER)

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 65 percent of Americans are obese or overrate. It`s 66 percent if you count Rush Limbaugh`s head.

(LAUGHTER)

Can I ask a question? Exactly how big a burger do we need? We have quarter pounders, half pounders, fat burgers, In and Out Burgers. I`m sorry, but nobody needs to eat half a herd for lunch.

(LAUGHTER)

A bar owner in Decada, Georgia, claims to have invented it, and he named it the Luther burger in honor of Luther Vandross, who, by the way, died of a heart after tack at age 54. Is this really the best way to honor him by seeing how quickly they can get his fans to join him?

Heart disease is the number one killer in this country, which makes me wonder, are the people selling these two tons of fun cooks or killers? That`s a little harsh, but think about it -- if tobacco company have to put warning labels on cigarettes, why not do the same thing on donut burgers?

"Hey, tubbo, when you`re finally done chewing, feel free to call 911." That should do it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEHAR: Here to talk about the latest in the Jon and Kate melodrama and a few other things are comedian Kathleen Madigan, editor and chief of "Maxim" Magazine Joe Levy, and comedian and commentator Chuck Nice. He`s nice.

Is there any woman in America this guy can get along with, Jon Gosselin?

KATHLEEN MADIGAN, COMEDIAN: No, had he never seen her program? What did he think she was going to do?

BEHAR: Add stupidity to the list. Who would think he would get along with Nancy Grace?

MADIGAN: Completely dumb. And every time I see him on TV, he`s saying I don`t want to be on TV. You know what, that makes you and 300 other million people, Jon. Quit going. That`s where television shows are taped, at TV stations.

BEHAR: Right.

CHUCK NICE, COMEDIAN/COMMENTATOR: I watch that, I see a woman with blond hair laying into him, really giving it to him. I think he must be having a flashback to his marriage.

(LAUGHTER)

BEHAR: Yes. He`s used to it.

NICE: Panic.

BEHAR: That`s a very good point.

NICE: He was completely dumbfounded. Kate was here.

BEHAR: We have another sound on tape, as they call it around here, from that show. Let`s see this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY GRACE, HOST: Why is this always about you? Why are we talking about you? She asked you about your children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because she`s an important part of --

GRACE: Can he even speak without you piping in? How does it always get back to you?

JON GOSSELIN: I don`t know. I just thought, you know, you need --

GRACE: That`s a good place to start.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BEHAR: You know, love and hate is so close. Maybe Nancy really likes him.

JOE LEVY, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "MAXIM": You know, it`s really good to see him actually hold his own with a tiger like that, you know? To be able to get in there and fire right back, you know?

MADIGAN: He`s on television here. She`s in New York on your show. Who`s in Pennsylvania? Who`s raising these children?

LEVY: They should change the name of the show to "Plus 8." Get both of them out.

MADIGAN: Two of the kids are super annoying. Let`s get rid of them too.

NICE: Come on.

MADIGAN: No, they`re really annoying.

BEHAR: Here`s what he said, Jon Gosselin. "When we told the kids we were going to get divorced, the five-year-olds said" -- they all speak at the same time, I guess, -- "and they said, what`s for lunch?"

NICE: Even they knew it was coming.

BEHAR: His point being they don`t really care that the parents are getting divorced. You buy that?

MADIGAN: I don`t.

NICE: I think they want to make sure they`re going to be fed. They`re worried about their parent`s income. Is there still going to be food? These are basic questions.

MADIGAN: I don`t think they realize these people are their parents anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

BEHAR: I think they`d miss the camera crew. Wouldn`t you?

MADIGAN: Yes. Those people are nice to them. Service lady has Hershey`s kisses. You`re going to like those people if you`re a kid.

BEHAR: Why doesn`t the crew adopt those kids and dump the Gosselins?

MADIGAN: That would be great. "The Crew plus 6," minus the two annoying ones.

BEHAR: Speaking of the night bright groups, let`s move on to Levi Johnston. He`s going to pose for "Playgirl" magazine online. Is Alaska ready for this?

LEVY: Is the internet ready for this?

MADIGAN: Every gay man in America is ready for it.

LEVY: I think not. Did you see those photos of him topless in "GQ?"

MADIGAN: He`s been going to the gym for six months.

LEVY: He might need a little more than six months.

NICE: When you saw him in the pistachio commercial, he had a beer gut. He`s been throwing them back.

BEHAR: He`ll work it out. He`s a kid.

MADIGAN: I say go for it, make the money now. Two months from now no one`s going to know his name.

BEHAR: If that were only true.

(CROSSTALK)

MADIGAN: He`ll be gone.

NICE: I`m not eating any of those pistachios if I ever lay eyes on that spread, that`s all I`m saying.

BEHAR: Do you think he knows --

MADIGAN: It`s not like he has a career plan that he might ruin by being naked.

BEHAR: That`s true.

MADIGAN: I was going to run for president, but I took naked pictures of myself.

BEHAR: What about the Apex Technical School? Can he go there?

(LAUGHTER)

Something like that, you know?

Does he realize "Playgirl" is basically a magazine for gay guys? Do you think he knows that?

MADIGAN: No.

(CROSSTALK)

LEVY: Why don`t we -- I`ll tell you, you know what, why don`t we put him in "Maxim" because I don`t think he`s going to look that good in a bikini? I don`t think he`s going to do the waxing that`s necessary. I question his commitment.

NICE: That`s where you`re wrong. I say keep the mystique. Go for the bikini. Don`t do the nude thing.

MADIGAN: I think if you told him we`ll give you $100 if you let us wax you, he`d be like, all right, dude.

NICE: I think he`d give you change.

BEHAR: He`d be on the first bus to Brazil. He thinks you get there by bush.

Anyway, you know who else is getting naked is Serena Williams. She`s doing a magazine cover also. U.S. Open something --

LEVY: ESPN, the body issue. She`s one of a bunch of athletes who have posed in some sort of state of undress.

BEHAR: Uh-huh.

MADIGAN: I`ve seen enough naked men. There`s no reason to see Serena without her clothes on.

(LAUGHTER)

MADIGAN: She`s not really naked, is she?

BEHAR: She looks great --

MADIGAN: Is it really naked, though?

BEHAR: Covering the boobs and covering Mrs. Happy.

(LAUGHTER)

She`s like, you know, in a position. She looks very good, actually.

MADIGAN: Really. Isn`t that a little too much?

BEHAR: This one, I`ll show you another one. Oh, we have to break. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BEHAR: We`re back with my fabulous panel.

This one disturbs me. He spends 18 months in prison for operating a dogfighting ring, and now Michael Vick is getting his own TV show. Is it sad to say this show will not air on "The Animal Planet?"

(LAUGHTER)

MADIGAN: Cesar Milan is not involved.

BEHAR: Yes. The dog whisperer will not be there.

Here`s a deal with BET with for an eight-episode reality show.

NICE: Called "Everybody hates Vick."

BEHAR: Yes, I mean, they keep rewarding these losers on television.

MADIGAN: If every episode was dogs attacking him, I would watch. I would --

(CROSSTALK)

NICE: They can just use him as a fire hydrant.

BEHAR: That would make me happy.

Do you think it will hurt BET at all?

LEVY: I think -- well, no.

I think it will, actually. I take that back. There will be people who will not watch the show because it`s about him, you know? There will be people who will just say, I`m not watching that.

MADIGAN: I don`t think nobody is going to care. Nobody watched T.O.`s reality show.

BEHAR: Whose?

NICE: See, see, made a point.

(LAUGHTER)

BEHAR: Let`s move on to another story we covered this week. Everybody covered this one -- according to a friend, alleged Letterman extortionist Joe Halderman is a hell of a guy. They say he`s very good. He`s very nice. He was living with this chick, what`s her name? Stephanie.

(LAUGHTER)

MADIGAN: He only wanted $2 million. It`s Letterman. He could have asked for $50 million. Maybe he is a nice guy.

BEHAR: People have been talking all week. Is this sexual harassment? I felt it was a bit wrong. I thought a little bit wrong.

NICE: Had Letterman came on to you?

BEHAR: He never had me on his show so I don`t care what he says.

(CROSSTALK)

MADIGAN: I was on six times and I never got hit on. That`s depressing.

BEHAR: Well, he likes girls that works there because those are the girls he meets. He meets these girls. He doesn`t really go out. He has a little bit of a lair at the top of the building.

MADIGAN: And now we understand why he doesn`t go out. There`s no need to go out. The party`s at work.

BEHAR: I know. It`s weird, isn`t it?

MADIGAN: That`s little odd.

BEHAR: I never thought it was a sexual harassment. What I came to this week, when I came to, and I said it a couple times already and I`m bored with myself, but if I was on that staff and I was not the one getting hit on, I would feel like, hey, she`s getting a little bit of an advancement and what about me?

MADIGAN: Right.

LEVY: Let me tell you, I would feel the exact same way.

MADIGAN: She`s in the sketches and you`re running out getting coffee.

BEHAR: Exactly.

I was talking to the comedian about a fact that if you were in "Catch a Rising Star" in the old days, you guys were comics, and somebody else was getting the 10:00 spots where you want to hone your craft, and that person is not as funny as you are and getting the props because you`re sleeping with the owner, you would not like that.

I think that`s how I would feel with Letterman. That`s the problem.

NICE: First of all, don`t believe anything you hear from these comics about me and the clubs I work at. I understand that`s the rumor. But I think I`m funny and I think I deserve those spots.

BEHAR: Yes, you do.

MADIGAN: You`re also running on, what do the other women know?

BEHAR: Oh, they knew. Come on, you always know.

LEVY: Is there anybody who really thinks this is OK? He`s the boss. He`s basically signing the paychecks.

BEHAR: That`s right.

LEVY: Is this really -- it`s Letterman.

(CROSSTALK)

NICE: I hadn`t thought of it that way. And that does makes sense. He should have sex with the women in the work force. He`s very funny.

BEHAR: If you`re that funny you should do whatever you want.

Thanks to my panel for joining me tonight. That was a lot of fun. And thank you for watching. Goodnight, everybody.

END