Whoopi officially joins “The View”

On today’s episode of The View, Barbara Walters announced that Whoopi Goldberg now has a permanent seat in the moderator’s chair.

The news broke in unverified form last week, but ABC declined to comment. On today’s show, Whoopi noted that people — including her own mother — have been hassling her for the final word. She called her new job “a big ol’ thrill” but admitted she hasn’t thought about her wardrobe “one iota”:

“I know you wouldn’t want me to pretend to be anything but me.”

The other cohosts agreed that they want her just as she is. Walters even urged Whoopi to be “a little edgy,” but Whoopi said, “I’ve always been nice,” and promised to be careful not to use the words she uses “every day.”

Whoopi has proven her skills as a frequent guest host, and even Elisabeth Hasselbeck has expressed her faith in the new moderator. I’m a longtime Whoopi fan — I even liked that short-lived talk show she did in the early ’90s, though I think I was the only one. She’s just an all-around fascinating person, and when she talks, I want to listen. And laugh, usually — but never without respect, because she commands that.

The rumors last week included talk of Sherri Shepherd joining the View crew too. That would be quite something: Not one, but two African-American cohosts? I hope it happens. Sherri was one of the best guests ever on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Either way, why aren’t I excited about the cohost change(s)? And why is The View still not going back on my list of things to record?

Yeah. It’s just never going to be that entertaining again.

Whoopi Goldberg starts her new gig Sept. 4, the day after Labor Day.