It Takes ‘Balls’ – Whoopi Goldberg: On Comedy

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Ballsy indeed, Whoopi Goldberg kicked off her acting career by choosing a stage name based on the popular whoopee cushion gag toy! Over the years, her strong choices have helped her win an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and a Tony. And, this year at the 2013 Tribeca International Film Festival Whoopi Goldberg added documentary filmmaker to her long list of credits with the premiere of Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin’ To Tell You – a glimpse into the colorful life of the legendary comedian Jackie (Moms) Mabley.

Often promoted as being “The Funniest Woman in the World,” Mabley broke down barriers with her brazen style. She performed in Harlem’s Cotton Club, was the first female comedian to appear at the Apollo Theater, appeared in films, on television, and recorded two dozen comedy albums.

In the doc, Goldberg explores Moms Mabley’s legacy through recently discovered photography, old performance footage and interviews with Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, Sidney Poitier, Kathy Griffin, Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.

Moms Mabley has been a huge inspiration to me and so many others, but not a lot of folks outside of the comedy world know about her legacy, shared Goldberg. There are a lot of us who wouldn’t be working today without pioneers like her.’

Here is a glimpse into why Whoopi Goldberg admires Moms Mabley, as well as Whoopi’s take on comedy.

And, great news! You will get a chance to personally learn more about Mom’s Mabley – HBO picked up the documentary. About the acquisition, Whoopi Goldberg says that it’s fitting that HBO picked up Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin’ To Tell You because HBO gave Whoopi her first break on TV.

Flashbacks down comedy lane teach us a lot about those who have paved the way. It also makes me wonder – What is it like to be a female comedian today? Check back for an article on that stand-up topic, to appear here on NYCastings!


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