Elisabeth Hasselbeck spent one last day in her co-host chair on “The View” on Wednesday.
As the show opened, Elisabeth – who is heading to Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” – delivered personalized goodbyes to each of her co-hosts on the ABC talker, starting with Whoopi Goldberg.
“Everyone always asks me, ‘What’s Whoopi like?’ It is undeniable that you are one of the most talented artists on this planet, but, when they ask me what you’re like – yes, you are that – but you are even more loving than you are talented,” a visibly emotional Elisabeth said. “You are walking unconditional love and I have counted on that unconditional love numerous times and I will continue to do so. And I am just blessed to have gotten to call myself a friend of yours.”
Next, Elisabeth said goodbye to Joy Behar, who she often butted heads with during political discussions. (Joy is also exiting the show after the current season wraps in August.)
“Joy, we have spent the last 10 years sparring over politics, but you know I have the most amazing, insane amount of respect for you. I completely honor all the conversations we’ve had, I love your knack with lasagna,” she told Joy. “I even like when Joy has the ability to throw a one-liner in and make me laugh even when I don’t want to! So, I love you. I truly do.”
Sherri Shepherd was missing from her co-host’s goodbye, but Elisabeth said she spoke with Sherri on Tuesday night and wanted to publicly thank her.
“Sherri Shepherd! Your protest of absence is not working! I am still going to ‘Fox & Friends,’” Elisabeth said to the camera, with a laugh. “I love you, Sherri. We talked last night but I’ve just got to look out there and tell you that even when you’re not right beside me here, I know you are always with me.
“You’re my sister in Christ, my friend for life,” she continued. “And when I see you, just be warned, I will hug you for probably three-and-a-half days straight!”
As for Barbara Walters, Elisabeth said she owes much of her career to what she’s learned from the veteran journalist.
“Barbara, I did some math last night and I think I’ve had over 3,000 days working by your side. I think it’s fair to say that over the course of a decade, I feel as though I have attended a Barbara Walters school of broadcasting and journalism and I feel like I have my Master’s in that and communications from being next to you,” Elisabeth said. “I don’t even know if there’s a program out there that could offer the amount of knowledge, techniques and the art of interview that you have offered to everyone at this table, and especially me. … Because of all that you have taught me, I was prepared to interview political candidates. I felt more than prepared to interview President Barack Obama for the fourth time.
“I feel more than prepared and confident at this point, because of all that you’ve given me, to move forward,” she added. “I’ve worked with the best in the business and I can’t ask for a better leader and mentor. You are the best that there is.”
The former “Survivor” finalist also thanked fans of “The View” for their support over the last decade.
“I’ll leave you with this: thanks to everyone who’s been out there watching. I wasn’t the first person to sit in this chair, I certainly won’t be the last person to sit in this chair,” she said. “The past 10 years have been nothing short of extraordinary and I wholeheartedly wish the next person or co-hosts who sit here an extraordinary set of years to come of their own.”
Whoopi also issued a tearful goodbye to Elisabeth, saying, “I just think you’re the cat’s meow. You’ve been a really good friend to me and I appreciate you.”
As for how Barbara feels about Elisabeth’s departure, “The View” creator said she has “an enormous affection” for her departing co-host.
“You were still a newlywed when you joined us at the table 10 years ago. Three of your children were born [during your career here],” Barbara said. “We do feel that you always brought a fresh voice to the show [and] you stood by your opinions, even when things were very heated. That’s not an easy thing to do. You’ve been such a big part of this show’s success.”
Adding, “You’re going to leave a big void at this table. We know this. We are not going to be filling it very soon, OK? We have plenty of guest hosts… Come back and visit us whenever you feel like it.”
Elisabeth will join co-anchors Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade on the three-hour morning show “Fox & Friends” in September.