Famed comedian, actress, producer, author and humanitarian Caryn Elaine Johnson, better known as Whoopi Goldberg, made a rare appearance Saturday at the Strathmore Theatre in Maryland, giving fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience her comedic talents live.
Goldberg, one of 12 entertainers and the only black entertainer to garner the industry “Grand Slam” of a Grammy, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony, was welcomed to the May 27 event by a sold-out audience.
“I am the American dream,” she said. “I am the epitome of what the American dream basically said. It said you could come from anywhere and be anything you want in this country. That’s exactly what I’ve done.”
As just the second black woman ever to win an acting Oscar, Goldberg’s thought-provoking stand-up comedy routine did not shy away from risqué topics including sexual orientation, racial disparity and America’s new president.
“The new guy is not the issue,” Goldberg confidently proclaimed, “It’s all the folks around his a–, make sure you vote and check s— out … and let’s look for somebody who’s going to cut student debt.”
In addition to her rapid-fire jokes and quick comedic wit that allowed her to keep her audience captivated with laughter during a brief microphone malfunction, Goldberg also addressed the hurdles for a woman of color in the entertainment business during a Q&A session with the audience after the show.
“Well I’ll tell you, if you take a take all the groups of women in color that are in television on all the networks, opportunities are there,” Goldberg said. “Executives not so much, writers and folks running their own stuff not so much, but it’s happening. … It’s moving slow and it’s going to be slow, because people can’t help what they’ve been raised to believe.”
Goldberg — whose lengthy list of credits include “The Color Purple,” “Ghost,” “The Lion King,” “Sister Act” and its sequel, and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” as well as her stint as moderator of ABC’s Emmy Award-winning show “The View” — outlined her future plans of producing, including “According to Alex,” a docu-series following Alex Martin Dean, the daughter of Goldberg, and her children, scheduled to premiere on Centric in October.