She’s spent the last six years on the panel of ABC’s ‘The View‘ but perky conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck still doesn’t get a lot of respect. In fact, an AOL poll conducted last year named Hasselbeck the worst interviewer on TV.
Okay, fine: Her on-air credentials don’t go much beyond a season of ‘Survivor‘ and a brief hosting gig on the Style Network. But say what you want about her, Hasselbeck definitely brings some buzz to ‘The View’—and you gotta love her for that. In honor of her return from maternity leave this week, we’re looking back at a dozen classic moments with Miss Lizzie that we’ll never forget.
11. Lizzie Hearts NKOTB
Hasselbeck’s known for her strongly-held political beliefs, but on this occasion, she celebrated something we can all agree on: New Kids On The Block are totally awesome!
Lizzie turned into a giddy 12-year-old girl as she announced that the New Kids are reuniting, working herself up into a frenzy (“My hands are sweating!”) and even re-enacting some vintage NKOTB dance moves. The best part: Whoopi Goldberg’s disgusted face as she listens to Lizzie call the New Kids “her Beatles.”
10. Lizzie Has a Blonde Moment
When Chris Rock’s mom Rose appeared on the show to promote her book, they seated her along with the View hosts on a large couch. And when Sherri Shepard introduced Rose, Elisabeth… stood up and looked offstage to greet her.
Sherri politely pointed Lizzie in the right direction, and she and Rose hugged it out. (“You came out of nowhere!”)
9. Lizzie vs. Babs
This is the undercard for the Lizzie-Rosie main event we’ll tackle later: a kinder, gentler smackdown from Barbara Walters, the grand dame of TV talk. Hasselbeck was chattering away in her usual chipmunk-on-espresso manner when Babs held up the stop sign.
Calling her “Elisabeth” like a disappointed mother, she calmly put little Lizzie in her place: “Everybody has strong opinions… but we’ve got to be able to have these discussions and listen to other people’s opinions.” Lizzie sighed and pouted like a sullen teen, but the audience showed their appreciation with thunderous applause.
8. “Go Light a Bowl of Incense!”
Our Lizzie paints herself as a sweetheart, but she can let some not-so-nice words fly in the heat of battle. Reacting to spiritual guru Deepak Chopra’s criticism of American foreign policy (he implied that the war on terror was to blame for last year’s attacks in Mumbai), Hasselbeck scoffed, telling the India-born Chopra to “go light a bowl of incense!” (She did later apologize.)
Of course, this bit of cultural insensitivity reminds us of Rosie O’Donnell’s unfortunate “ching chong!” incident of a few years earlier. As completely opposite as those two ladies are, they can at least agree on one thing.
7. Um… Who Brought Up Abortions?
Always a crusader for the conservative cause, Lizzie never hesitates to insert her political viewpoint into a discussion—even when it doesn’t pertain to said discussion in the least. While the ladies debated the merits of Hillary Clinton’s proposal to give every American baby a $5000 bond at birth, Lizzie decided it’s time to drop the A-bomb.
She chirped that though she’s against the proposal, she thinks one benefit is that it could lead to fewer abortions. Boom! Fireworks naturally ensued, with Whoopi arguing that most women don’t *want* to have abortions, and Lizzie maintaining that some women have abortions for “superficial reasons.” Wherever you fall on this sticky subject, it’s clearly not one to be thrown about willy-nilly… unless you’re looking to goose the ratings, of course.
6. Lizzie Gets Snubbed
This came on the heels of the major Lizzie-Rosie battle royale: Later in that same show, guest Alicia Silverstone walked out onstage to greet the hosts—and strolled right past our Lizzie like a cheerleader passing a band geek in a high school hallway. And a YouTube classic was born.
5. Lizzie vs. The Body
Like her or not, you’ve gotta appreciate the fact that Lizzie will mix it up with anyone The View throws at her… even a hulking ex-pro wrestler. Jesse “The Body” Ventura joined the girls for a chat, and Lizzie brought the fight right to him, challenging the former Minnesota governor on his opposition to waterboarding.
Ventura actually was waterboarded as part of his military training—but our Lizzie didn’t back down an inch, calling it a “specifically approved technique.” The highlight is Ventura’s now-classic statement: “You give me a waterboard, one hour, and Dick Cheney, and I’ll have him confessing to the Sharon Tate murders.” Okay, guys, let’s settle this in the ring. Our money’s on Lizzie—she’s scrappy.
4. Lizzie-Palin 2012!
During the election season, Lizzie and VP candidate Sarah Palin were two peas in a pod; Lizzie even joined Palin on the campaign trail. So the morning after the VP debate, Lizzie had a golden opportunity to defend her BFF.
Whoopi started by saying of Palin’s ability to assume the Presidency: “She doesn’t know anything about it!” The others on the panel seemed to agree, with even Barbara Walters adding diplomatically, “Well, she knows *little* about it.” They finally gave Lizzie the chance to say why Palin is qualified to be President… but she just flipped it around, asking why they think Barack Obama is so qualified.
3. Jeffrey Dahmer and PB&J
Our Lizzie’s always willing to defend her positions—sometimes to ridiculous lengths. During a discussion of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s inflammatory rhetoric, the panel tried to say that it isn’t fair to condemn Wright for a few isolated statements. Lizzie responded: “I’m sure at some point Jeffrey Dahmer ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Doesn’t make the fact that he ate people less wrong.
2. Lizzie Concedes
Lizzie can be gracious in defeat. She spent all of last year on The View towing the McCain-Palin party line. But the day after the election, Lizzie put all that aside, congratulating Barack Obama on his historic win—even calling it a “victory for our country” (!) and engaging in “terrorist fist jabs” with the rest of the panel.
Maybe it was just the post-election glow rubbing off on her, but whatever the reason, we applaud you, Lizzie, for taking your lumps like a champ. Can you imagine any of The View’s bleeding-heart liberals doing the same if McCain won? We can’t, either.
1. Lizzie vs. Rosie
Here it is: the big brouhaha. And even two and a half years later, it’s still shocking to see the raw emotions being thrown around here on live TV. Of course, Lizzie and Rosie had been sparring for months over the Iraq war—but on this fateful day, the tensions boiled over.
Rosie was hurt that Lizzie didn’t defend her when right-wing pundits accused Rosie of calling US troops “terrorists.” Poor Joy and Sherri tried to make peace, but Lizzie and Rosie steamrolled right over them, going at it for nearly six minutes—even forcing the producers to go split-screen to get them both on screen. This daytime donnybrook for the ages gave The View its biggest ratings ever, and cemented our Lizzie’s place in the annals of pop culture.
Any prime Lizzie moments we didn’t mention? Chirp up in the comments.