Whoopi Goldberg at The Kennedy Center

Nothing is off limits to the irascible, irreverently funny Whoopi Goldberg.  She warned us from the start, however, that she loves the use of language– very colorful language– as she whooped it up with her four-letter version of life at Comedy at The Kennedy Center on Friday night. With a nearly full Concert Hall, Whoopi Goldberg’s fans were out in full force to adore an American icon and she received a 2-minute standing ovation on entry, just for showing up.

Whoopi’s charm is that she can talk smack like the best of them, no matter that she’s an “EGOT.” With an enduring unpretentious style, she doesn’t seem to give one hoot that she’s the winner of the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony and more nominations and other awards and citations than the law allows.  No doubt, her humanitarian work and political activism also make her beloved as much as her prodigious, prolific career as comedian, actress, screenwriter, producer, author, singer/songwriter and talk show host.

Telling a hilarious story about how her only brother Clyde’s histrionic girlfriend recently called her when she found him dead on the bed, Whoopi can find the nonsensical, even with the death of a loved one, and use humor to just deal with it. And isn’t this the American way? No wonder she’s won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Whoopi had hoped to slip-slide away from her recent controversial comments about Bill Cosby but the audience wasn’t having it.  So she went there, hoping to clear up once and for all her position on rape, statutory law limits and the need for women to speak up so justice can be served.

Going political, Whoopi spared none of her colorful words about The Donald. Bottom line is that Donald Trump is just plain “ignorant” and the “Mexicans must have done something to him” that we just don’t know about.  Hilary Clinton also came up, and we howled as Whoopi said that she has “never seen so many white men be afraid of a white woman”.

On gay marriage: “Now the gays can be as miserable as the singles”; to Caitlynn Jenner: “Bruce was gorgeous as a man but now as Caitlynn, she still looks better than me”, Whoopi’s self-deprecating humor stoked the roar of the crowd with her unique brand of comedic greasepaint.

Bathroom humor, sex at 90, chewable drugs and the good ole days of sharing a bag of weed, to the perils of the Internet, her fear of smartphones and getting old when “things start spreading and hitting the ground”,  Whoopi can tell a crazy tale and hit the punch line with just the right timing to make you howl. And if she couldn’t, this crowd would have loved her anyway! “We love you, Whoopi,” rang out from the rafters throughout her performance.

She concluded 50-minutes of improvised standup with 35 minutes of direct Q&A from the audience. With shout-out questions from the balcony and others from fans lined up at the mike in the aisles, the Q&A was all over the place and verged on the perfunctory. But Whoopi Goldberg sparred with her fandom with a rapport and a connection so tight it came close to idol worship.

Running Time:  Approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission.

Whoopi Goldberg performed on July 17, 2015 for one show only at The Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall – 2700 F Street, in Washington, DC.  For tickets to future Kennedy Center events, call (202) 467-4600, or purchase them online.


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Ramona Harper
Ramona Harper is a retired Foreign Service Officer (career diplomat) of the U.S. Department of State. While in the Foreign Service, her specialization was Public Diplomacy and Cultural Affairs. Her overseas postings were Senegal, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Panama and Germany where she presented American visual and performing artists on behalf of the U.S. Government. Before joining the Foreign Service, Ramona was a counselor and administrator in higher education. Her academic work includes a Master of Science degree in Counselor Education from Florida International University and a Master of Science degree from the National Defense University. Ramona is an avid theatergoer, dance enthusiast and a member of the American Theatre Critics Association.


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