Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 | 10 a.m.
Whoopi Goldberg has been performing in Las Vegas for years — since 1987, she estimates — most recently for an annual birthday gig at Treasure Island, where she’s back onstage on Friday, Nov. 10. But this year’s visit means even more for the actress and comedian, co-host of “The View” and one of the rare performers to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award.
“I’ve always loved Las Vegas and I’ve been lucky to have a home at Treasure Island and I love doing it. I always like to bring my family and come have fun,” she says. “But this year is going to be different. It’s just me coming, and I really just feel like I need to be in Vegas to celebrate Vegas. The world has been a little crazy and I want to come and have some fun and support all the things that go on in Las Vegas. I just want to come home.”
Here’s the rest of my chat with Whoopi:
You’ve partnered with Zappos, which is also all about Las Vegas, to create a new line of ugly holiday sweaters, and they are pretty fantastic. Yes! I started doing the sweaters last year with Lord & Taylor, and they were really nice and they sold out but they were a little snugger than I would have liked. And Zappos reached out, and I love Zappos because I’ve been shopping with them forever. But I had to ask, are you sure? Because these sweaters are a little irreverent. But they were like, bring it on. If you can get a holiday sweater at a great price point and it’s comfortable and you can lounge in it, it kind of kisses you when you’re in it.
Are you a big Christmas person? I am, a big holiday person. Whatever you’re celebrating, I’m into it. I think kids really need more time to be kids and the holidays are one of the only times children are really allowed to be children, when we can give presents and be kind of over-the-top. And if we’re lucky, we’re with the people we love. And if you don’t have folks to be with and you feel sad during the holidays, the sweaters are something that are meant to make you smile. The holidays can be hard, but if a sweater can make you ha-ha, then we can scoop you up and take you with us.
You are one of the people in the entertainment world that we always look to for commentary on current events and social issues, and you’ve spoken a bit on what’s going on with the exposure of sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood. Do you think what’s happening now will lead to real change in the industry? I think it is leading to change, in all industries. The bottom line is if women stick together in the workplace, they can control the narrative. It’s no longer a hush-hush thing. And it’s not just happening in our industry, but anywhere where people have power over [others]. People aren’t going to take it anymore and they don’t have to, and I’m glad to see it. People are taking themselves and each other to task. No more silence.
On the other side of that discussion, is it difficult for you to decide as a comedian when the time is right to joke about things like that? I think it varies from comic to comic. We see some people making efforts to do that and others saying, “No, you can’t do it yet.” But eventually we’re going to have to joke about it or our heads are going to explode.
Do you plan on working in material about politics and Trump, or do you try to avoid that stuff because it’s such a big part of your job on “The View?” I try to spend as little time onstage talking about him as I can, because I do it every day. For me, it’s anything else. Oh my god, it’s the last thing I want to do. And I know people expect it, but I try to explain that I have fatigue. I’m getting older and I just want to talk about the fact that there are things that keep growing on my body. Yeah, yeah, I know there’s all that other stuff happening, but what the hell just fell out of me? That’s the silly place I’m at when I’m onstage now.
Whoopi Goldberg performs in the Treasure Island Theater on Nov. 10 at 9 p.m. Find more information at treasureisland.com.