Whoopi Goldberg gave her View co-hosts a shock on Thursday, when she made a surprise appearance on the ABC morning show.
The EGOT winner, 63, dropped in on Joy Behar, Abby Huntsman, Ana Navarro, Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain at the top of the show for her first live appearance since a serious bout of pneumonia put her in the hospital for three weeks.
“This is my first foray out,” Goldberg told the gleeful audience and her stunned co-hosts, all of whom were kept in the dark about Goldberg’s visit. “I’m not there yet, I know that. The only way I’m going to get better is if I begin. So this is my beginning.”
Admitting that “makeup helps” her look better, Goldberg — who has not hosted the show since Feb. 6 — went on to explain that her recovery is not over yet.
“I still have a cough and that’s the last thing to go, apparently,” she said. “Over the next week and a half I will start to be here more often. But I wanted the first foray out to be to come see y’all because I missed y’all.”
Goldberg first found out she had pneumonia when she went to the hospital with a 102-degree fever. “The guy said to me, ‘What color is that?’ talking about my face because I was some weird color,” she said.
She also revealed that while treating her double lung inflammation, she was diagnosed with sepsis — a frightening condition caused when the body has an extreme, over-active, life-threatening response to an infection. Sepsis is the leading cause of death in hospitals, with at least 250,000 Americans dying ever year from it in the United States alone (that’s more than breast cancer, AIDS and strokes combined).
Both conditions put Goldberg close to death, she said — though she kept her sense of humor, joking, “They had to pump a lot of stuff out.”
Then she got serious. “This stuff, really for everybody, you think you can push through because you got a little cold. And you think because you healed quick that something crazy can’t happen? Well it could,” she said. “This is a cautionary tale for all of us. You must really take care of yourself because there’s little tiny stuff out there that will kill you that you never think of.”
“Whoopi! Whoopi! Whoopi!”
— The View (@TheView) March 14, 2019
The surprise visit left Goldberg’s View co-hosts excited for her return.
“You can never leave me again, ever!” McCain said. “You cannot leave this show. We missed you so much!”
And Goldberg was happy to be there, if only to clear up some misconceptions about her absence.
“Some people said to me, ‘So how did you get pregnant?’ and I couldn’t figure out what they were talking about, but then I remember had said I had gone on maternity leave,” Goldberg said. “I thought it was so funny.”
Earlier this month, Goldberg appeared on The View via a video message to give an update on her health.
“Hey, yes, it’s me,” she began. “I am here. I am up and moving around — not as fast as I’d like to be, but I am okay. I’m not dead. Here’s what happened.”
“I came very close to leaving the earth,” she admitted. “Good news, I didn’t. Thank you for all of your good wishes, all of the wonderful things that people have been saying. Even people who aren’t huge fans of mine have actually been saying nice things about me.”
“Ladies, I cannot wait to see y’all,” she added, addressing her fellow panelists. “This has been interesting and I’ll tell you about it when we’re all at the table. To everybody, see you soon.”
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Goldberg has co-hosted The View since 2007.
Her illness was first addressed during the Feb. 20 episode, as fans began to question where Goldberg was.
“She’s not feeling well,” Behar said during the broadcast. “She’s actually recovering from pneumonia. I saw her last night and she’s very funny still, and we had big laughs. She’s getting there, she’s on the mend.”
“There are all these conspiracy theories on the Internet that she’s not really sick and she’s secretly preparing to host the Oscars,” Behar said. “She’s not even well enough to host this show right now, let alone the Oscars.”
The View airs weekdays (11 a.m. ET) on ABC.