Raging Rosie O'Donnell, she of the machine-gun opinions, will leave a void very difficult to fill when she departs
Where should ABC and producer Barbara Walters look for a replacement for the tart-tongued Rosie on the late-morning gabathon? It will take a special kind of person to mesh with the other three cohosts - Walters, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar - and with the millions of women who make up the program's audience.
Why be cautious? It might just be time for The View to shake things up with a bold choice. And why limit the search to women? The right guy could be a valuable addition to the women's show.
Here are a few modest suggestions for the next View diva:
Jaime Pressly. Joy, the trailer-park princess of My Name Is Earl, might be just the thing The View needs to overcome its - let's face it - urban Northeastern feel. Whooee, it's Daisy Duke with brains.
Wanda Sykes. A little off-kilter and a little off-color, Sykes would grab the attention of the ladies in the audience. The guys, too. If she can get along with Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm, surely she can make nice with Joy Behar.
Ivanka Trump. She's smart, beautiful, and the daughter of Rosie's implacable foe, The Donald. Think of the healing words Ivanka could utter on a changing-of-the-guard segment with Rosie. Or the scornful words. Either way, it'd be a lot of fun.
Aida Turturro. Her Janice Soprano character - abrasive and assertive - would make her a strong choice if ABC wants to replicate Rosie. Of course, Rosie never put a bullet in anyone.
Britney Spears. She needs a steady job, and her adventures in child-rearing would provide endless fodder for chat. And ridicule.
Ann Coulter. This would be a daring and vastly amusing pick, substituting a right-wing scold for a left-wing scold.
And don't forget the boys. . . .
Mario Cantone. There seems to be a certain congruence in a gay cohost succeeding a lesbian cohost. Cantone, a former regular on Sex and the City, is already a frequent View visitor. And he does fabulous impressions of Liza Minnelli and Katharine Hepburn, so the audience would think it's getting a couple of new cohosts.
Paul Wolfowitz. The head of the World Bank has shown in recent weeks that he really knows how to treat a lady, so the View audience just might take to him in a big way. And any day now, he may be in the market for a job.