Whoopi Goldberg's Granddaughter Revealed Why Whoopi Chose Her Stage Name, And It's VERY Funny

·2 min read

You know Whoopi Goldberg — but did you know that "Whoopi Goldberg" isn't her real name?!?

A closeup of Whoopi wearing a denim shirt and pants
Rob Kim / Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

It's true — the iconic actor and comedian was born Caryn Elaine Johnson, and when she started performing, she went by Whoopi Goldberg. But why?

  Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images
Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

Well, Whoopi's granddaughter, Amara Skye Dean, appears on tonight's episode of the ABC game show Claim to Fame, and during the episode (via Entertainment Weekly), she reveals the truth behind what makes Whoopi, well, Whoopi.

  Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images
Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

So, during the episode, Amara tells an anecdote involving her grandmother and legendary comedians Robin Williams and Billy Crystal — specifically, about how all three of them got into a fart-off in an elevator. Yes, really.

  Jason Merritt / FilmMagic / Getty Images
Jason Merritt / FilmMagic / Getty Images

"I guess they were Dutch Oven-ing each other, just basking in the ambience of farts," Amara recounted, after saying that "Robin Williams was just farting his life away."

  Sean Zanni / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Sean Zanni / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

"My grandma got her name because she likes to fart a lot," Amara said. "So, whoopee cushions, farts. That's how Caryn Johnson became Whoopi Goldberg."

  Lou Rocco / ABC via Getty Images
Lou Rocco / ABC via Getty Images

What a revelation! Although, to be clear, this isn't the first time we've gotten a whiff — sorry — of how Whoopi's love of flatulence inspired her stage name.

  Gilbert Carrasquillo / GC Images / Getty Images
Gilbert Carrasquillo / GC Images / Getty Images

"When you're performing on stage, you never really have time to go into the bathroom and close the door," she explained to the New York Times in 2006. "So if you get a little gassy, you've got to let it go. So people used to say to me, 'You're like a whoopee cushion.' And that's where the name came from."

  Bryan Bedder / Getty Images for Audible
Bryan Bedder / Getty Images for Audible

Hey, let's face it — farts are funny, and so is Whoopi Goldberg. It's a match made in flatulent heaven.

  Mondadori Portfolio / Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
Mondadori Portfolio / Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

You can watch the Claim to Fame clip here.