Whoopi Goldberg's Granddaughter Amara Skye Reveals Story Behind Her Stage Name That Involves Billy Crystal, Robin Williams
Photo Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
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Whoopi Goldberg's Granddaughter Amara Skye Reveals Story Behind Her Stage Name That Involves Billy Crystal, Robin Williams

If you’ve ever wondered why Whoopi Goldberg is known as “Whoopi Goldberg,” prepare yourself for a very flatulent story.

Buzzfeed reports that Goldberg’s granddaughter, Amara Skye Dean, revealed the reason for Goldberg’s stage name during the ABC reality show Claim to Fame.

While Goldberg's real name is Caryn Elaine Johnson, Dean said that the reason for Whoopi's name came from a fart-off Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams got into in an elevator.

“I guess they were Dutch Oven-ing each other, just basking in the ambiance of farts,” she said, adding that “Robin Williams was just farting his life away.”

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

Goldberg has talked about the reason behind her name in 2006 to the New York Times, saying, “When you’re performing on stage, you never really have time to go into the bathroom and close the door. 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.”

She also talked about it in a 1997 interview with Playbill while telling the origin of her stage surname.

“The true story is that my family is Jewish, Buddhist, Baptist and Catholic–none of which I subscribe to, by the way, as I don’t believe in man-made religions,” she said. “So I took the last name from a Jewish ancestor. And I happen to be gaseous, which explains the first name, short for whoopee cushion.”

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