Jenny McCarthy on Sept. 5 in New York City.
(Photo: Josiah Kamau, BuzzFoto/FilmMagic via USA Today)
Actress-comedian-activist-mom Jenny McCarthy, wearing unexpected glasses, debuted today as a new co-host of The View with a guest appearance by current boyfriend, actor Donnie Wahlberg.
Cue the dating jokes. But before he showed up, the ABC daytime talk show, invented by the departing Barbara Walters, first played a video of McCarthy getting a "tour" of New York conducted by co-host Sherri Shepherd.
Together, they bopped and twerked around the streets of the Big Apple (McCarthy's from Chicago), meeting up with the likes of Matthew Broderick and the always-wacky Donald Trump, before ending up at ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, where both claimed to be fans.
"I'm so proud of you," Trump muttered as he nuzzled ex-Playmate McCarthy, 40. "Call me Mr. Trump."
With a pair of black spectacles perched on her nose and her long blonde locks locked in a Farrah-Fawcett-style feathered hairdo, McCarthy toned down her customary va-va-voom appearance with fairly conservative clothes, including an attractive first-day blue patterned dress. No cleavage.
McCarthy, who's become controversial as an activist against childhood vaccination (she thinks vaccines may have caused her child's autism), was named in July to replace former co-host Elisabeth Hasslebeck, the conservative member of the panel. (Liberal Joy Behar also recently departed.)
When Wahlberg, 44, star of CBS's Blue Bloods and co-owner of a Wahlberg family-owned burger joint in Massachusetts, showed up, the new couple talked about their new relationship. They've been together since "the Fourth of July," Wahlberg said. "She's very smart."
They're both super-busy, he says, but they've gotten to know each other well enough to ace a joke-game about how well they know each other.
When Whoopi Goldberg, who otherwise said very little, and Walters asked him about his Wahlburgers restaurant, Wahlberg said he's producing a new reality show about the Massachusetts eatery, starring his mom and brother.
"I must say his buns are quite delicious," cracked McCarthy.
The audience in the studio was impressed; so was the audience on Twitter, where McCarthy was trending.
"@JennyMcCarthy great job on the view today! Best part was u & donny...too cute, great couple...best to you both and congrats on ur new job!" tweeted Jennifer Pizzo