Whoopi Goldberg fans got a shorter show than expected when her tour bus caught fire during her performance at Casino New Brunswick in Canada. According to Variety, Whoopi was nearing the end of her standup routine when audience members began to smell smoke. Goldberg’s bus was parked directly next to the auditorium when it ignited, and the audience calmly evacuated the facility. Goldberg and the other patrons were uninjured.
A tweet by CBC News in Canada shows Goldberg’s bus engulfed in flames as a crowd is gathered outside. Fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire, but early reports by CBC suggest Whoopi’s bus may have had an electrical issue.
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) October 25, 2015
Fans also took to Twitter to share photos and their thoughts on Goldberg’s performance.
— Brian Cormier (@BrianCormier) October 25, 2015
— Debbie Mullin (@glenvistafarm) October 25, 2015
Witnesses report that Goldberg surprised firefighters by staying nearby as they battled the blaze and that Whoopi was so appreciative and friendly that she stuck around to take a picture with the crew. Goldberg is said to travel to all of her performances via tour bus due to a fear of flying.
Though Whoopi’s entertainment roots are in theater and stand up comedy, Goldberg has an impressive resume with multiple awards to her name, including a Tony, an Emmy, an Oscar, and a Grammy — a rare achievement in Hollywood. Goldberg, who is known for her dramatic and comedic versatility, has most recently made headlines for her commentary on the talk show The View. Whoopi’s tendency to have liberal viewpoints has provided a catalyst to more conservative co-hosts such as Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Candace Cameron Bure.
Most recently, Goldberg stunned audiences when she reversed her support of fellow actor and comedian Bill Cosby and the rape allegations surrounding him. Whoopi had previously been an advocate of Cosby, requesting that audiences not rush to judgment of Bill until facts were presented in the multiple cases that have come to light. However, following the release of court documents in which Cosby admitted drugging several women to have sex with them, Whoopi used The View as a platform to denounce his actions and apology to the television audience.
According to CNN, Goldberg was interviewing legal analyst Dan Abrams, who was explaining the legal limitations in cases such as that against Cosby. At that time, Goldberg stated, “I always thought that rape cases were open-ended. What we have learned is, there’s no recourse for these women except what they’re doing. It looks bad, Bill. Either speak up or shut up.”
Not one to shy away from controversial topics, in 2012, Whoopi shocked The View audience when she admitted she was a member of the National Rifle Association. Goldberg went on to say she has no problem with registering her guns but wants to find a better way to ensure that those with mental health issues have a difficult time obtaining weapons.
Whether or not Whoopi tackled the topics of Cosby or gun control last night during her abbreviated stand up routine, perhaps the experience of Goldberg’s bus catching fire has given her new fodder for her comedy. Whoopi did take to Facebook Sunday morning and posted a video thanking firefighters and police officer and the people of Moncton for their support.
“The bus is not totaled but I could not drive it back. I’m fine. The drivers are fine. Thank you for your concern,” Goldberg blew the camera kisses of gratitude and continued, “and thank you to the people of Moncton who made the evening on stage possible for me.”
[Whoopi Goldberg cover provided by Grant Lamos IV / Getty Images]