Credit: Lou Rocco/ABC

If one word could sum up The View‘s 17th season premiere this morning, it might just be the newly Miley Cyrus-approved ‘Twerk.’ Sure, the VMAs were a few weeks ago — but the ladies of the panel had much to catch up on. The gang also had a brand new addition: Jenny McCarthy, looking daytime-ready in a gorgeous, conservative houndstooth dress.

The goofy spirit that has helped McCarthy continue to get work — whether modeling, writing humorous autobiographical books, or starring in her eponymous, now-defunct talk show — was fully on display during her first hour as an official View co-host. As for her controversial (to say the least) opinions about childhood vaccinations? The show is clearly saving that for another day. Today, the program was all about silly McCarthy.

“I said to Jenny, ‘Have fun!'” Sherri Shepherd told EW after the taping. “That’s what Jenny is all about. She’s fearless. I don’t know if Human Resources really knew what they were doing when they hired Jenny McCarthy. I’ve known her for a decade and a half, so I don’t think they know the full impact yet. She’s just warming up!”

McCarthy’s first day included a twerking demonstration as well as a lovefest with boyfriend/New Kids on the Block dreamboat Donnie Wahlberg — her first official guest. “The fact that she comes on with her boyfriend [is great],” Walters told EW after the show. “A lot of people say, ‘Don’t discuss my personal life.’ She comes on with him, they hug and kiss on the air!”

After briefly plugging Wahlberg’s show Blue Bloods, Shepherd (proudly wearing an “I <3 Donnie" shirt) couldn't help but ask just how serious the new couple is. To demonstrate, McCarthy and Wahlberg played a few rounds of The Newlywed Game…and proved that this may not be your mom’s View anymore. When asked to name her favorite part of Wahlberg’s body, McCarthy grinned to the cameras. “His…butt!” she gleefully declared with a wink. Later, when Wahlberg was discussing his family-owned hamburger restaurant, McCarthy cracked, “I must say, his buns are quite delicious!”

McCarthy told EW after the show that having her boyfriend appear on air was a great way to calm first-day nerves… a good thing, since she’s been dreaming of this moment for a long time.

“I remember the first time I was on The View and I just thought, ‘Holy s—. I’m sitting next to Barbara Walters. I made it,” she explained. “It’s like sitting on a heated toilet that you just bought. ‘I made it.'” McCarthy laughed. “Not that that’s the perfect analogy, but in terms of ‘I made it’ scenarios…”

“I told her one time, ‘Someday I would love to be interviewed by you or work with you,’ and now here I am,” McCarthy continued. “And that was 10 years ago… [It’s a] real dream come true moment. I don’t know who’s more excited: my mom or me. I think my mom has seen me struggle for so long, 20 years, really trying to land. I’ve done so much work not landing, and she said, ‘I’m just so glad you found a home.'”

Check out a segment from McCarthy’s debut this morning below:

While the program was busy welcoming McCarthy, it also began the process of saying goodbye to Walters — who will depart The View after 17 seasons in the spring. “It’s bittersweet,” Walters told EW after receiving a surprise onscreen serenade from Michael Bublé. “I thought in March or April they would start [goodbye] things. I didn’t expect something to happen on the first day!…I know [leaving] is what I want to to. It’s time. But it’s going to be a good year!”

ABC's "The View" - Season 20
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