For 23 seasons people have tuned in to “take a little time to enjoy The View.”
This week, the show created by TV trailblazer Barbara Walters will air its 5,000th episode, and Yahoo Entertainment sat down with co-hosts Meghan McCain and Abby Huntsman to talk about the show’s latest milestone, how it fits into the current political conversation, and the upcoming appearance of controversial guest Donald Trump Jr.
“I don’t need to jump out of a plane because I do The View every day,” joked McCain. “It’s a total adrenaline rush.”
Huntsman agreed, saying, “This is a pretty exciting and crazy time to be on this show because on any given day you don’t know what’s going to happen and that’s what makes our job interesting every day.”
“I feel like I’m taking a residency in Vegas — you can be like Céline Dion and I can be there for 20 years at Caesars or I can be there for six months like some performers who don’t make it. I just think of it in that way — this isn’t mine, it’s just a seat I’m filling,” said McCain of her place on the long-running show.
McCain was officially named co-host in 2017 and quickly carved out her role as the conservative voice at the Hot Topics table, often making headlines for her outspoken views on politics and on-air clashes with her fellow co-hosts.
But McCain almost didn’t take the job. She says it was her father, the late Sen. John McCain, who convinced her to sign on to the show.
“My agent called me and was like ‘The View is interested in you’ and I was like ‘tell them to kick rocks, in a way — I’m not joining that crazy team!’ and my dad got really mad at me and he was like ‘why would you even consider passing up this incredible opportunity?’ so I called them back and said, ‘my dad says I have to do it!’”
McCain and Huntsman say they are close friends off-screen, and have no interest in playing into any stereotypes about women competing against each other.
“The media is nasty. They always want women to hate each other and not support each other,” says McCain. Huntsman adds, “Both of us didn’t have enough women above us helping us along and we bonded over that and made a pact and said, ‘we want to help the women coming up under us.’”
In May, the New York Times profiled the show, and dubbed it “the most important political TV show in America.”
“I don’t know if I’d use ‘important.’ I think I might use ‘the most exciting political show,’” countered Huntsman. “You have to come on our show if you really want to be taken seriously, especially right now when you have like 17 people running on the Democratic side,” she added.
Huntsman continued, “You’re going to have to come through our show and you’re going to have to answer every single one of our questions. We’re women, and women vote. I think about every show on the air right now on daytime television that is pushing the limits and putting these candidates in sometimes uncomfortable positions then yeah, I’d say we’re doing something right.”
The two will come face-to-face with Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle, who will be guests on the 5,000th episode, and even they’re not sure how it will go.
“I think I want to keep it focused on policy. Our goal is not to make things a spectacle — we’re not The Jerry Springer Show — that’s not our intent,” says Huntsman. “Our goal is to really have some good debates about where we are in this country right now but who knows. I have no idea how it’s going to go,” she adds.
“The View is meant to have every perspective,” says McCain. “I think the tone will be dictated by him. If he wants to be normal and civilized I think it will be normal and civilized. If he wants to be crazy I think it’ll be crazy.”
Though McCain and Huntsman say they’re looking forward to their conversation with Donald Trump Jr., when asked who they’d have booked for their 5,000th episode both enthusiastically agreed, “Dolly Parton.”