‘The View’: Joy Behar Drops Whoopi Goldberg’s Real Name Live on TV, Fans Left in Shock

by Samantha Whidden

Fans of “The View” were left stunned during the live episode on Monday (August 1st) when Joy Behar revealed her co-host Whoopi Goldberg’s non-stage name, Caryn Johnson. 

The Sun reports that while speaking to Kal Penn about his real name, which is Kalpen Modi. “I only [changed] it on my headshot and resume. I never changed it legally,” he explained. The actor then shared that his friends mentioned Whoopi was a stage name. “[They said], ‘You know Whoopi Goldberg’s real name is Caryn.’ I’m like ‘it is?’”

Behar then shared her “The View” co-host’s full name. “Caryn Johnson. Caryn Johnson.”

“The View” fans shared their reaction to the full name drop on Twitter. “#AuntyWhoopi looking at #GrandmaJoy when she used her totally government name ‘[Caryn] Johnson,” one fan wrote, who used a gif of Goldberg in “Harlem Ever After.” 

The Sun further revealed that “The View” co-host was born Caryn Elaine Johnson. She notably changed her name to “something funny” as part of her comedy career. Goldberg also did not seem phased about Behar revealing her actual full name and continued on with the show.

‘The View’ Co-Host Whoopi Goldberg Shared Details About Her Name Change

While speaking to The New York Times in 2006, “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg spoke about why she decided to change her name to something similar to “whoopee cushion.”

“If you get a little gassy, you’ve got to let it go,” Whoopi Goldberg explained. “So people used to say to me, ‘You’re like a whoopee cushion.’ And that’s where the name came from.”

Playbill revealed in 1997 that “The View” star did go into depth about why she selected her first and last name. “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. 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.”

“The View” long-time co-host further explained to the Jewish Chronicle in 2011 that while Whoopi was not her mother’s first choice when it came to her name, Goldberg was part of her family and heritage. “Just like being black.”

National World further reported that the name Goldberg was rumored to come from her mother thinking Whoopi’s name was not “Jewish enough” for her to become famous. In regards to her religious views as a whole, the talk show host has some thoughts. “I just know I am Jewish. I practice nothing. I don’t go to temple, but I do remember the holidays. Religion is a lot of work, it’s exhausting. So I keep it simple, I have a pretty good relationship with god. We talk.”