12. Answer: Dana Elaine Owens, a Newark, New Jersey native, was born to Rita, a schoolteacher, and Lancelot Owens, Sr., a police officer. 14. Answer: Caryn Johnson said she chose to rename herself Whoopi because of her tendency to pass gas onstage. She said in 2007, “So if you get a little gassy, you’ve got to let it go. So people used to say to me, You are like a whoopee cushion. And that’s where the name came from.”
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