Former “The View” cohost Michelle Collins didn’t think there was room for 2 'funny ones' on panel with Joy Behar

Former “The View” cohost Michelle Collins didn’t think there was room for 2 'funny ones' on panel with Joy Behar

"I don’t know if on that show there was room — on a stage with five women — for two people who wanted to be the funny ones," the comedian tells EW.

As she prepares to hit the road for her new stand-up tour, comedian Michelle Collins is taking a little time to enjoy the rearview about her single-season tenure on The View from 2015-16 — which she says she'll spill "juicy" details on in her new act.

In addition to launching a hybrid comedy show featuring songs and "funny stories" about family, the Michelle Collins Show podcast host exclusively tells Entertainment Weekly her Big Natural tour will also include special guests (RuPaul's Drag Race star Peppermint, comedian Cat Cohen) and comical details about the behind-the-scenes atmosphere at the Barbara Walters-created ABC talk show before she was let go after several months on the job.

Collins' post at the Hot Topics table next to longtime panelists Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg came to an end after a series of reduced appearances at the top of season 19, which the exposé book Ladies Who Punch alleges stemmed from a falling out with Behar amid Collins' controversial comment about former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina's face looking "demented" during a 2015 episode.

"Before I was on The View, [Behar] had her show on HLN. She had me on as a guest and was pleasant to me. You can certainly ask Joy if she has an issue with me. I’d love to know that," Collins says, stressing that she has "better things to do" than worry about alleged interpersonal drama from her old workplace — which, it should be noted, also included Goldberg, another accomplished comedian. "[Behar] was someone I looked up to, and the truth is, I don’t know if on that show there was room — on a stage with five women — for two people who wanted to be the funny ones, and she was the queen of The View. That makes sense to me from a producer’s standpoint." (EW has reached out to a representative for The View for comment.)

<p>Lou Rocco/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> Michelle Collins and Joy Behar on 'The View'

Lou Rocco/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Michelle Collins and Joy Behar on 'The View'

Collins will happily make room for Behar on her upcoming Big Natural stand-up tour, though. When EW asks if she was aware that, in October 2023, Behar shaded the state of the comedian's career (among other past cohosts) on a live episode of The View, Collins says she missed the installment as she doesn't — and never has — watched the program. The segment featured Behar auctioning off a Disney artist's caricature rendering of herself and Goldberg, along with ex-panelists Candace Cameron Bure, Paula Faris, and Raven-Symoné, who all sat at the same table as Collins. "I've signed it, and it's up for grabs," Behar told the audience. "I'm still on the show, and so is Whoopi. The rest? Who knows what they're doing."

“If she wants to come to the Big Natural tour, I’d be happy to give her and her family tickets to come see me, and she can know exactly what I’m up to," Collins says with a laugh. "Joy’s energy is very throwaway, that’s her whole persona: 'So what? Who cares?’ [like] Fred Armisen [played her] on SNL. So, I don’t take anything personal from that line."

Here, Collins' willingness to go deeper on The View gets a bit complicated. When EW asks her to elaborate on her time at the table — as she teased last week on Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers' Las Culturistas podcast — Collins refuses. “I will un-bite my tongue for my book,” she promises, and says she takes issue with "rehashing" things she hasn't thought about in years.

She feels there are things she's "sat on" out of respect for her former employer, but insists she'll speak about them in the future. That moment nearly came on Yang and Rogers' show, when Collins quipped that being on The View gave her "light PTSD," though she tells EW she simply made the comparison "for comedic effect."

<p>Lou Rocco/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p>

Lou Rocco/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

“There are certainly things that happened on that show that I don’t look back on fondly. I’m not going to pretend. But, how can I look down on an experience that launched my career and is hopefully still launching it?" she says.

Collins, who's "grateful for the experience," estimated on the podcast that she, Bure, Faris, and Symoné might've been "collateral" damage the show needed to suffer amid behind-the-scenes changes. The View underwent a notable transition period between seasons 18 and 19, with the show welcoming more political guests ahead of a contentious election year that saw Hot Topics shift away from Collins' brand of pop culture savvy and into more hard-hitting issues.

“I’m just surprised at how they have in the 25th anniversary season, they called everyone back except me," Collins claims, though she mentioned on Las Culturistas that she was asked to film a short video for the 25-year anniversary premiere in 2022 — which she did.

"That was just kind of bitter on their end," she reflects. "Have we not all moved on from this? Whether they like it or not, I was a host of The View, and very proud of it."

EW has since learned that Collins was also asked to participate in a special edition of the show for its 25th anniversary, but it never materialized. In a follow-up response via email, a representative for Collins tells EW, "Michelle agreed to be part of a 25th anniversary live special that ultimately never happened. In the course of that season, she wasn't asked back and was never contacted by the show again. That said, Michelle would love to invite the entire cast and staff of The View to her show at Town Hall in NYC on May 8 for a reunion on stage."

Still, Collins is, as she previously stated, proud enough that she's is sticking to her no-gossip policy — until she's ready to let it come out, big and naturally, on her own terms.

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