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For Joy Behar, politics no longer a laughing matter


Joy Behar says Hillary Clinton will win the presidency, Chris Christie should be a toll collector, Sarah Palin is an idiot, and no one watches CNN, the network that canceled her talk show.

Good morning, Democratic and Republican readers, I am not specifically trying to rile you up.

But Behar is newsy, and she’s in town this week to perform stand-up comedy Friday and Saturday at The Venetian, so I rang her up to see what’s going on with her.

Surprisingly, Behar — the former “View” and CNN HLN host — told me she doesn’t do a lot of political jokes on stage lately because politics aren’t that interesting.

“I’m waiting for the next sex scandal,” Behar said from her getaway in the Hamptons.

“But I’ll talk about the Clintons. They’re always fun. And John McCain, he’s pretty amusing. He’s ridiculous. I used to like him, then he put that idiot Sarah Palin on the ticket, and even Republicans couldn’t vote for him after that.”

Behar doesn’t think Palin should be associated with politics, so I asked her what real-world job she thinks the former Alaska governor should have, outside of politics.

“Model,” Behar said, then joked, “I see her on a runway — at LaGuardia Airport. Ha! Just kidding.”

Recently, Behar got accosted by the New Jersey governor at a roast. She cracked a joke about the Christie administration scandal of causing traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge specifically to spite a Democratic politician.

Then he walked up to Behar and tried to snatch her notes, in public, to shut her up.

Behar and I talked about that, naturally.

“All I said was, ‘He was accused of stopping traffic on the G.W. Bridge. What was he doing, standing in the middle of the bridge, blocking traffic?’ And he got mad at that. He better develop a tough skin,” Behar said.

I asked her what real-world job Christie should have, instead of politics.

“How about taking tolls on the Jersey Turnpike? That’s a good job for him,” she said.

Behar tweeted a photo of herself with Clinton, calling her the next president.

“I think she’s going to run and win,” she said. “They don’t have anybody on the right. Their only hope was Jeb Bush, and he can’t pass the primary because the tea party will interfere with the whole process.

“The Republican Party is at war with itself.”

Behar isn’t heading back to TV yet because no proposals have interested her.

“Do I have to be on TV in order to function?” she said. “I don’t live on TV. People do, you know. They only live on TV, and when they’re not on TV, they’re not alive.

“That’s not me.”

I asked her why CNN hasn’t put her back on TV.

“They’re scared, probably, to put a comedian like me on TV, because they are interested in seriousness. Comedians are scary, I guess,” she said.

“I don’t watch it. No one watches that channel. I watch CNN the way everyone else watches it, during a crisis.”

In February, Behar enjoyed time away from TV by watching it: She binge-a-thoned “Law &Order: Special Victims Unit.” After that, she watched the Swedish and English versions of the detective series “Wallander,” and the Danish detective series “Borgen.”

“I wait for rainy days, so I can binge some of these detective series,” she said.

However, in Las Vegas, she gambles at the craps tables.

“I used to play blackjack, but really, I was losing too much money, too fast, with blackjack. For some reason, those blackjack dealers always get blackjack. I can’t figure it out to this day,” she said.

I asked her a standard parting question: “What do you want me to tell people to bring to the show? Gifts? A certain attitude?”

“You know,” she said, “this happened a few times: People brought me a fresh mozzarella cheese. Please tell them not to bring that. It’s too hot. It’ll go bad.”

Doug Elfman’s column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Email him at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.