The View fans were surprised Friday morning to see former co-host Sara Haines sitting at the table alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Meghan McCain. At the top of the episode, Goldberg announced to the audience that Haines was filling in for co-host Sunny Hostin, whose paternal grandmother passed away recently.
"So Sunny is still out as you know, her grandmother passed yesterday. ... But we do have someone at the table who we're used to having. Sara Haines is back," Goldberg said.
Haines joked that she spent so much time talking to everyone backstage that she didn't end up studying her notecards for the upcoming show.
"It's so nice to have you back," McCain told Haines. "You're such a bright [ray of] sunshine on your show and on [The View], it's so nice to have you."
"This place is such a magical place, I've always said that. When you walk in the door, the hugging train ... it's a special staff here," Haines gushed.
"Once a View host always a View host," McCain told Haines.
"I'm here forever, guys," Haines joked back.
Fans of The View were saddened back in 2018 when Haines announced she was leaving the morning talk show to co-host the third hour of Good Morning America with Michael Strahan, called GMA Day — which was later rebranded to Strahan and Sara, and even later added new host Keke Palmer to rebrand yet again as GMA3: Strahan, Sara & Keke.
Haines started on The View in 2014 as a guest co-host and was promoted to a regular in 2016. On her last day in August 2018, Haines said a tearful goodbye to her co-hosts, the show's crew and the audience. "It has been an honor, a privilege and an absolute dream to work here at this show," she said.
"For anyone who has ever played a sport knows that the best team members are the ones who life you up and make you better," she said. "You guys did that for me. I love this view, and I love all of you, so thank you so much."
Photo credit: Lorenzo Bevilaqua / Contributor / Getty