The outspoken, conservative co-host whose opinions frequently made headlines, bade farewell to the ABC talk show on Friday. The special send-off included highlights of memorable fiery Hot Topics as well as emotional footage of her late father, Sen. John McCain, visiting the show. The 36-year-old's mother, Cindy McCain, also appeared as a guest and former House Speaker Paul Ryan delivered a surprise message for Meghan.
The fanfare led Meghan to quip, "I didn't die. I'm just leaving the show. I feel like I died and this is my memorial. Thank you, guys. I'm still here."
However, later in the show, during the "last word," she got serious in sharing her parting thoughts.
“I don’t know what else to say, other than thank you all so much for the privilege and honor that it has been to work on this show," she said as she signed off. "It really has been incredible. It will be referenced in everything I do for the rest of my life. You women have been so incredible to work with. The crew, the producers everyone works so hard. And honestly the audience for giving me four years to give my opinion and show my perspective."
.@MeghanMcCain shares her final words as co-host as she leaves @TheView: “Thank you all so much again for the privilege and honor it has been for the last four years to work on this show. It really has been incredible.”
“This has been a really wild ride.” https://t.co/kS1p3Jmn3v pic.twitter.com/N4QhKngBfZ
— The View (@TheView) August 6, 2021
She went on to say, "This has been a really wild ride — the past four years of my life. It’s been honestly the best of times and the worst of times in all ways, on and off the show. It’s been a really incredible, liberating experience, and I will always cherish the time I spent with all of you. So thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, and I hope that our executive producer Brian [Teta] can forgive me for making his blood pressure rise for the past for years, as much as I probably have."
Leaving the show will give Meghan more time to spend with daughter Liberty, who turns 1 in September, and she was praised by Ryan in a pre-recorded message for having "made the right decision " to focus on her work-life balance.
Cindy, who President Biden nominated for ambassadorship with the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture was there as her daughter said goodbye. She spoke of how "proud" she was of her daughter in the co-host role — and said the late senator was too.
Cindy said she was excited to "see more of [Meghan]" after The View "and certainly more of my granddaughter Liberty." She said, "I wish her the best in whatever endeavor she chooses to do, but I'm glad she chose a little bit of family over too much work right now. It's important."
.@cindymccain reflects on her daughter @MeghanMcCain’s time on @TheView, telling us that Sen. John McCain would be “so proud” of their daughter.
“I wish her the best in whatever endeavor she chooses to do.” https://t.co/kS1p3Jmn3v pic.twitter.com/lHYi5yJE8s
— The View (@TheView) August 6, 2021
Cindy noted John, who died in 2018, is "very proud of [Meghan] right now."
Meghan, who joined the show in 2017, helped make The View daytime's most-watched talk show during her tenure. This 24th season has been the show's most-watched one in six years. The show won the 2020 Emmy award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show, and was a go-to stop during the 2020 presidential election.
A replacement for Meghan has not yet been announced, though there was chatter that Debbie Matenopoulos may return.
On July 1, Meghan announced she would be departing, after four years as a co-host and before her contract had ended. She said the pandemic "dramatically" changed the way she wants to live her life.
She and her husband, conservative blogger Ben Domenech, welcomed their first child. They decided they want to raise the child in Washington, D.C., where they resided during the pandemic, while The View tapes in New York City.
Meghan said her father was the one who encouraged her to join show in after she left Fox News in 2017. She said sitting beside Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and the co-hosts was "one of the greatest" privileges of her life.
Meghan has, however, taken issue with how the media covers the women on the show, saying it's rooted in misogyny and sexism. She said in July, "If five men were doing what we do every day, I really do believe that we'd probably have a Pulitzer Prize at this point."
One of Meghan next projects will be executive producing Lifetime's upcoming made-for-television film based the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff book series by Kristine Carlson and Dr. Richard Carlson. The movie, titled Don't Sweat the Small Stuff: The Kristine Carlson Story, stars Heather Locklear.
In addition to Meghan's exit, Friday's episode of The View — which also features Sara Haines, Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro as co-hosts — marked the end of the show's Season 24. The show will pick back up in September.