Then Joy, who is much too smart to play so dumb here, unfortunately asked if U-Hauling is a "gay woman thing" or a "two guys" thing. Cybill responded by reminding Joy of one of the most basic facts of life: Love is sometimes fleeting.
"It happened to my character on the show," Cybill explained. "Your coming-out affair — you can’t help but believe you’re going to be in love with that woman for the rest of your life. And then, guess what? There’s a lot of other women out there, just like in real life."
But Joy pretended to not buy Cybill’s explanation, humorously alleging that only makes sense to her if the women "out there" are hot. "Most of the women on the show are gorgeous, like the two of you," she said. "Aren’t there any ugly lesbians out there? I mean, c’mon, every lesbian is not beautiful like you are."
Oh, Joy. Hardy-har, neener, neener. Put that joke in a bottle and cork it. Forever. Please.
Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Shepherd and Beals
Recognizing the need to save us all from a likely conversation about mullets, Beals then stated the obvious, "Not everybody has two hours of hair and makeup."
But the obvious was far too obscure for Sherri, who couldn’t let the cringe-worthy discussion go. "I watched the show and I didn’t see any lesbians that looked like UPS workers," she said. "That’s how my girlfriends — they all look like the UPS worker lesbians."
Yep, on the tiny corner of the large spatula of dirt Sherri calls home, all lesbians look the same — like ugly laborers burrowing their way through their "lifestyles" in large brown trucks.
So Beals again tried to save her hosts from themselves: "Not all hetero women look like women from Sex and the City, either."
That observation shut everyone up except Elisabeth, who took the discussion even further afield by asking a question so moldy that it sounded like it was channeled to her through June Cleaver.
"Obviously you have, like, lesbian women who watch the show," she said to Beals while nearly gagging on the word lesbian, "but you have straight women who are obsessed with the show. I mean, our producers here, our friends, they love the show. So are you surprised by that at all? What’s that all about?"
I would have answered, "P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S." But Jennifer’s response was brilliant. "Not really," she began, "because there’s a power in female friendships. Period … There’s an appreciation of the power that it can bring, that assembly of women."
Not surprisingly, the irony of her comment was lost on every woman "assembled" onstage, including Cybill Shepherd, who unfortunately took the conversation where I feared it might go. "But a lot of heterosexual men really enjoy the show," she said.
As Jennifer winced, Joy agreed. "It’s a turn-on for men to see two women," Behar said.
"I think the most common fantasy for men is two women together," Cybill chimed in.
You know what else is a common fantasy, ladies? A conversation about lesbians in which we’re all not all pictured as box-carrying, uniformed longshoremen or reduced to objects of male entertainment.
But, as Elisabeth Hasselbeck proved when she then pointed to a guy in the audience who was "smiling from ear to ear" (according to Hasselbeck), that is too much to ask for.
After more drivel about male fantasies and inadequacies, a brief discussion about Cybill’s daughter, Clementine (who is also on The L Word this season), Cybill’s reluctance to be filmed nude ("I wouldn’t want to stunt anybody’s growth"), Cybill’s age (58), and an announcement that every audience member would receive a DVD of the fourth season of show, the interview and the suffering were over …
… or so I thought.
As the camera pulled back from the stage and panned the studio, Sherri Shepherd’s voice was the only one to be heard above the audience applause. "Shane," she screamed, referring to The L Word‘s most sexually charged and sexually active character, "is, like, Oh my God!"
Oh my God. Exactly.
Kim Ficera is the author of Sex, Lies and Stereotypes: An Unconventional Life Uncensored. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more analysis of this debacle on The View, watch Sarah and Lori’s recent episode of Who Thought That Was a Good Idea?