Leslie Jones on watching Whoopi Goldberg as a kid: ‘I cried. I can be on TV!’

Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, 48, was on The View yesterday. I mention her age because I’m 43 and I thought she was closer to my age, not only because she looks so much younger but also because she cited Whoopi Goldberg as a major influence on her as a kid. I remember watching so many Whoopi movies when I was growing up! I also vividly remember the first time I saw Whoopi’s comedy act on HBO. In her View interview, Leslie talked about the controversy over finding a designer to make her Ghostbusters premiere gown, she ended up wearing a Christian Siriano gown which most of you loved and which also got a lot of love on Facebook, and about how Whoopi affected her as a kid. It was such an incredible sentiment, especially since Whoopi was right there and Leslie was able to tell her this in person.

On her tweet about not being able to find a designer
It was out of frustration. We did have two black designers that were going to do something and then they bowed out. This was like months ago… we were reaching out to everybody. We just weren’t getting any response. I wasn’t thinking that it was because of my size, I just thought it was because nobody knew who I was. When they started bring up the size I was like ‘oh alright…’ Then Siriano hit me and I was like ‘yeah!’ We had so much fun designing that dress… Old Hollywood those women had curves. Marilyn had curves.

On how seeing Whoopi on TV influenced her
I’m going to do this without trying to get emotional. When I was young, my dad always let me listen to comedy albums. I always knew about comedy, I always loved comedy. The day that I saw Whoopi Goldberg on television, I cried so hard, because I kept looking at my daddy going, ‘Oh my god. there’s somebody on TV that looks like me! She looks like me! Yay! I can be on TV! I can be on TV! I can do it! Look at her look at her! she looks just like me. My dad recorded it for me. [Whoopi on Broadway] I literally watched it every day after school.

She personally thanked Whoopi
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart because now… when I put on that Ghostbusters suit and little girls see me on TV now, now they’re going to go ‘I can do that.’ You gave that to me and I love you from my heart and my soul. I love you for what you’ve done for black women. I love you for what you’ve done for black comedians.

[From The View via EOnline]

Ok I’m crying now. Maybe I’m PMSing but that really got to me. Leslie also said that she was in a communication class in college and she didn’t prepare anything so she just recited a bit that Whoopi did from 1985 and the teacher loved it. You can watch Leslie’s interview below. If you’re like me, if you’re one of those people who can cry at commercials, get out the tissues.

Leslie was gushing too about how Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aakroyd and Ernie Hudson from the original movie all did cameos and how excellent they were to work with. You could tell she was thrilled. I’m seeing this movie tonight I can’t wait.

Oh and she said she’s single and “ready to mingle!”




photos credit: FameFlynet and PRPhotos

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30 Responses to “Leslie Jones on watching Whoopi Goldberg as a kid: ‘I cried. I can be on TV!’”

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  1. Farrahh says:

    Leslie went to college in my hometown at the same time as my parents. They said she was really popular and won the funniest person on campus or something like that? She seems cool!

    • Aussie girl says:

      That’s nice to hear and she deserves to be where she is today. I’m really looking forward to seeing GB!!

  2. Marty says:

    And Whoopi was inspired by seeing Nichelle Nicholas on Star Trek. This is why representation matters.

  3. QQ says:

    *IM IN THE ENTIRETY OF MY FEELS * this is soooooo important this is why we fuss and fight and need to see ourselves in Media, as Imperfect and messy as Whoopi is just imagine how that affected people a generation back!! also that necklace is OPULENT Baby!

    • detritus says:

      Her story was really touching, Her dad sounds great.

      The necklace though, which one? I’m really loving the one in the View clip, but the one shes wearing with the Siriano gown is pretty great too.

      You’ve got to be super confident to wear that much sparkle, and Leslie does it so well.

    • I Choose Me says:

      I’m digging the necklace as well. And yeah, Whoopi is a deeply flawed human being but you can’t deny the impact she’s had for people like us.

      Initially, I didn’t think this film needed a reboot but I’ve been hearing such good things about it and I love Melissa McCarthy and Leslie so definitely going to see Ghostbusters tomorrow night.

  4. Naya says:

    I love this. I feel like the world forgot what Whoopi accomplished. She was a major box office draw. She wasnt just playing supporting black bff roles either. She was headlining movies. Big movies that did well. And she did it with a face and body that werent considered “acceptable black” either. I think her stint on this talkshow ruined her mystique because she is a living legend and people seem to have forgotten that.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I feel like I grew up with Whoopi. I remember her in Ghost. She was so funny and yet could be so vulnerable too. Kind of like Robin Williams.

      • Lucy2 says:

        I loved her growing up too. I’m frustrated by some of her more recent comments, but this is a nice reminder of all her work and the barriers she broke, inspiring others.

    • lizzie says:

      i so agree! she has an EGOT – only 12 people in showbiz history have that distinction. she was a groundbreaking comedian and is an exceptional dramatic actress as well.

      i can recite sister act from from the opening scene.

      • Tiffany says:

        Or as Tracy Jordan says, ‘ It’s a Daytime Emmy’. To which Whoopi replied, ‘A girls gotta eat’.

        She was great in her 30 Rock appearance.

    • Jade says:

      Did you guys see Sister Act and Sister Act 2? I loved those movies growing up, Lauryn Hill was so cute in that movie.

    • Amanda G says:

      She has some great movies and I agree that she doesn’t get the credit she deserves. I don’t know much about Leslie, but I had tears in my eyes when she thanked Whoopi!

  5. Dragonlady sakura says:

    Aww, that made me a little misty eyed. Can’t wait to go see this movie! Going Saturday with my girlfriends. 😋

  6. eto says:

    How I feel about Whoopie aside, that was really sweet!

  7. Esmom says:

    Very sweet, I love it. I also tend to forget how influential Whoopi was, as someone said her talk show persona seems to have overshadowed that at times.

    My sons have vowed not to see a reboot of one of their most beloved films but I think I’m going have to try to drag them to see this.

  8. Bishg says:

    Awww, those little girls looking up to Kristen Wiig!

  9. Anna says:

    In our household, Leslie jones is a FAVORITE. So different, so original, so real and FUNNY! I love her and this made me cry. Whoopi is a queen. Nuf said.

  10. Jayna says:

    Aw, I teared up.

  11. Marley31 says:

    My son is 24yes old but he use to love Whoppie as is he wanted her as his gf☺

  12. Yolie C says:

    I’m blown away by the fact that she’s 48! That age in and of itself isn’t old at all but I thought she was in her early 30s! Truly age is just a number ;p.

  13. Jade says:

    I love Leslie, she is just so utterly charming and funny. 48…..damn she looks SO good.

  14. serena says:

    Damn, I got too emotional.

  15. LAK says:

    Urgh. Once again she throws out an uninformed comment and blames others for holding such bias.

    Her uninformed comment is vis a vis Marilyn Monroe. Hollywood used in-house costume designers to dress their stars. The same designers who dressed them for the movies. They never used regular designers. As they used inhouse costume designers, the dresses always fit. Emphasis is on Costumes NOT people working to dress the regular public.

    The first star to use a non hollywood affliated designer was Audrey Hepburn and only because Hubert Givenchy had been used to make one of her dresses in ROMAN HOLIDAY. She loved the experience so much that she used him for other films and in her real life, but he never confused the two markets and she was the only star whose real life wardrobe and press tours were dressed by a designer whose principal business is dressing the public rather than a costume designer.

    Similarly, Armani was used as a costume designer for AMERICAN GIGOLO and had such a good experience that he dressed Richard Gere for the press tour.

    Even then, the red Carpet as a business didn’t take off until late 1990s so her claiming MM was a curvy woman in Hollywood without dressing issues is wrong.

    The point she is making is right, but she needs to stop sprouting misinformation to make it.