'The View' co-host Joy Behar, 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' star Susie Essman reunite for virtual charity event

A virtual charity event on Sunday reunites two very funny women who have been close pals for almost four decades.

'The View' co-host Joy Behar is from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, while "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Susie Essman was born in the Bronx. Both managed to find fame while keeping their friendship intact.

Their bond began when they started together in Manhattan comedy clubs in the early 1980s, finding friendship in a world dominated by male performers in an industry controlled by men.

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Today, they delight in each other's success.

"I completely trust her in every way, shape or form," Essman said. "And we've never been competitive with one another."

And that was by design.

"We could've been," Behar said. "We could've been because we're the same New York, Jewish Italian type."

You can see them sharing the bill with other female comics in an HBO special from 1988 called "On Location: Women of the Night II." By then, they had already been comrades in arms for years.

"People talk about sexism in the comedy world," Behar said, "It exists, believe me."

Essman believes masculinity plays a role.

"I also think that men are intimidated by women who are really funny," she said. "Because they're afraid that, you know, wit is a powerful thing."

And there's always a comedic element to that.

"(Men) are afraid we'll laugh at them in bed, is what it is," Behar said. "We don't."

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Fame came to both of them in different ways. Essman is the foul-mouthed wife of Larry David's friend on "Curb," while Behar panels "The View." Recently, though, she shifted gears.

"I decided to start writing short plays," Behar said.

Five of those plays are being performed by various celebrities during what's billed as "A Totally Disrespectful Evening of Short Plays by Joy Behar."

Southampton's Guild Hall, almost 90 years old, will benefit -- and so will two other charities: The Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center, and Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen/JBJ Soul Foundation.

The taping came as a welcome relief to the performers.

"We're dying to do something, to work," Essman said. "We're seeing each other on Zoom, and it's camaraderie, and it's community."

Joining in will be other celebrities like Lorraine Bracco, Dylan McDermott and Bob Balaban.

Tickets are available at GuildHall.org.
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