'The View' co-host Joy Behar, 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' star Susie Essman share experience as women in comedy

NEW YORK CITY -- Two very funny women have been close pals for almost four decades and reunited to discuss their careers.

'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.

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."