Although Barbara Walters today shot down speculation that Elizabeth Hasselbeck is leaving The View, the departure of Joy Behar is for real. Her exit will leave the daytime gabfest without one of its strongest (and most progressive) voices. Walters and fellow executive producer Bill Geddie have given no indication of how they plan to replace Behar, but we're guessing (or at least hoping) that they'll look for someone who checks off many of the same boxes she filled: funny, liberal, politically savvy, fearless. (In other words, not Brooke Shields.) We thought of eight other personalities who might be right for the gig:
Margaret Cho: The View needs someone who can tell off dumbasses in a reasonable, intelligent way. Like this. And Cho needs a regular forum. (Not the Dancing With the Stars kind — there’s no reason she should have to stoop like that.)
Whitney Cummings: Cummings is like a less famous, less drunk Chelsea Handler, which makes her, potentially, a better choice for daytime TV. Her stiff NBC sitcom is barely hanging on, and her E! talk show was quickly canceled, but many believe that she is smart, funny, dark, and, yes, loud; she just hasn't channeled all that into the right on-camera vehicle. An all-women roundtable might be the winning format for her. (See: Aisha Tyler on The Talk.)
Carol Leifer: The former Seinfeld scribe is quick on her feet, one of the most important skills for a panelist on The View. And like Behar, she's a stand-up veteran, so she knows how to connect with an audience (and fight off attacks from hecklers, something critical for a panelist on The View).
Eva Longoria: She can hold her own against Bill Maher, she gave a nice speech at the DNC, and she charmed her way out of a near-disastrous wardrobe malfunction on David Letterman like it was no big deal. The more we think about it, the more Longoria is kind of like a grown-up Mila Kunis — and when’s the last time you wanted to be BFFs with anyone on The View?
Roseanne: She's funny, outspoken, and passionate about current events (so much so that she ran for president last year). We're also pretty sure she'd be able to melt Hasselbeck with her eyes. Basically, she's perfect for the role.
Holland Taylor: The veteran actress is instantly recognizable to multiple generations, thanks to roles on Bosom Buddies, The Practice, and her current long-running gig on Two and a Half Men. But as anyone who follows her on Twitter knows, she's also well informed about current events and has a strong liberal voice. The buzz surrounding her one-woman Broadway show about late Texas governor Ann Richards wouldn't hurt, either.
Lizz Winstead: The co-creator of The Daily Show is a frequent cable-news guest who's well versed in both politics and pop culture. She's also got stand-up chops.
Rosie O’Donnell: Babs isn’t a fan. Her weird, free-form OWN show didn’t work out. But here’s the thing: When Rosie was on The View, it was must-see TV. The ladies went off-script! Things got heated! Fights broke out! Isn’t that what we want from a discussion show? (Surely we can’t be the only ones who genuinely miss Rosie versus Elisabeth.) And, since the moderator chair is not up for grabs this time, Rosie would get to talk without being able to entirely railroad the conversation. Win-win. Go work it out, Barbara.