Over the years, The View has been hosted by dozens of women with storied backgrounds in entertainment, politics, law, and more. But one of its original co-hosts, Debbie Matenopoulos, joined the ABC talk show at just 22 years old. The media personality returned to co-host today’s episode as part of The View‘s Flashback Fridays segment, opening up about shaping a major TV series and holding her own against Barbara Walters at such a young age.

Matenopoulos appeared on The View from 1997 to 1999, and co-hosted her own segment: “Dare Debbie,” in which she took part in a series of dares ranging from rock climbing to shearing a sheep. Joy Behar kicked things off by asking Matenopoulos why she considers hosting the show to be “the most stressful time” in her life, when a new survey found that most Americans don’t feel that way until their mid-30s.

“What made me so stressed out?! I was 22 sitting next to Barbara Walters!” she replied. “Anybody would be stressed out.”

Matenopoulos added that she had no idea she would actually get the job when she auditioned — in fact, she came because “I wanted to have a cocktail story that I met Barbara Walters!”

The media personality added that until The View took “a political turn” after the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal broke in 1998, she had no idea she’d be asked to give her opinion on major topics of the day.

Behar and Matenopoulos also discussed her time on the show on a recent episode of The View’s official podcast, Behind the Table — particularly the fact that the youngest host was a regular Saturday Night Live target during The View‘s early days.

SNL has been after us from the get-go. They’re a little rough on the young ones,” Behar said. “Did it bother you when they did that?”

Matenopoulos explained that while she was shocked the first few times, she later felt “honored” to be referenced on the show at all. “Two months earlier, no one knew who I was,” she said. “Now Cameron Diaz was playing me, and Reese Witherspoon, and Claire Danes.”

Although being on the show was stressful, Matenopoulos ultimately regards it as “the best experience of my life.”

“If you [can do] live television and hold your own with the most renowned journalist in the world, with a comedian who’s done it forever… you can do anything,” she concluded.

The View airs weekdays at 11/10c. Scroll up to watch a clip from today’s episode.

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