After a two-month hiatus following heart-valve replacement surgery in May, Barbara Walters returned to The View Tuesday. Aside from a special return for President Barack Obama’s appearance in July, Walters, 80, had been recovering at home.

In a series of video messages, celebrities including Elton John, Helen Mirren, David Beckham, Martha Stewart, Jada Pinkett Smith, Justin Bieber, Mayor Bloomberg and David Spade offered her their well wishes, with Spade jokingly reprimanding her for missing his visit to the show. “I was here and you missed it,” he said, “I felt horrible.”

She was joined by first-time View visitor David Letterman, 63, who she introduced as “a man who has always had a special place in my heart.” Letterman, who had a quintuple bypass surgery in 2000, bantered with Walters about the process. “It’s plumbing really,” he said of the cardiac system. “You don’t have any pig valve in yours,” she said, to which he quipped, “I have other pig parts on me, though.”

Chatting alongside co-hosts Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, Whoopi Goldberg and Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Walters seemed thrilled to be back on the show. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is scheduled to appear on the program this Thursday. –AMY LEE

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