Whoopi Goldberg's New HBO Documentary Honors Moms Mabley

The actress tells the story of one of her favorite entertainers of all time.
5:19 | 11/12/13

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Transcript for Whoopi Goldberg's New HBO Documentary Honors Moms Mabley
A little air. Our good friend, whoopi is here because moms baisley paved the way. And this year, she pays tribute to the comedienne, the hbo documentary, "whoopi goldberg presents moms mabley." You could name three or four of them. And none of them, being black UNTIL THE '50s. Moms comes along, lake in the LATE '20s, AS A YOUNG WOMAN, Dressed with that hat and the housecoat and the big shoes. Where's my keys? Report And she takes that persona all the way to 1975. That's a long time. You saw that, didn't you, george? It's an incredible film. And you cannot believe the footage that whoopi was able to pull up. THE PERSONA IN THE '20s. All the way to 1975. She and richard pryor for me, are the two folks that really influenced me. But more so because he was political. But there's something about moms. The more I watch it, I actually do see myself, which is kind of sca scary. And finding that she had such a large part in civil rights. To find that she really was the first female standup to discover -- there's a lot about her that I did not know and I'm sure folks didn't know. And how funny. What kills me is the jokes stand up to today. And it's shocking because, you know, you suddenly realize, i better up my game because the game was up here to begin with. They say writing your first book, making your first movie, it's one you have to want to make. Right. What made you want to make this? She wouldn't leave me alone. I used to perform moms on stage years and years and years ago. But you know, then I had to start making movies. Then, I got famous. I kept saying, I was going to bring the show back. And I never got around to it. And last year, I wanted to do the show on stage. And I thought, nobody knows who she is anymore. And I talk to people and they say, I sort of remember her. My grandmother. Maybe I should do a documentary. I'm an idiot. Not that smart. Are you setting it up so you can bring her back to broadway? I am. But with everything, my life is very fluid. It's very peculiar. It didn't used to be as fluid. Now, it's very fluid. I'm doing all kinds of stuff. I am at some point going to get back on stage with her because i think it's fun for me. And nobody will be mad at me if I miss my lines. I remember you. Yes. Getting up on stage and being moms. I used to say to people all the time, I would say, robin, you're my favorite. I can do moms. And it's a huge part of american history. It's a huge part of entertainment history. And a gigantic part of black history. None of which I understood until I made this. The time is right. The time is now. Didn't you tweet a picture recently? The vice president. What was that? On the train. This is great. I know. It's kind of crazy. I went down to the white house. We premiered moms at the apollo for hbo. And I went to the white house the next morning. They did a symposium with young people to teach about acting and makeupmaking. It was great. And I got back on the train. No. You can't sit over here. Okay. And my partner, tom, said why not? We paid for the -- we're in first class. They said, because we have a v.I.P. Coming on. He said, she's a v.I.P. Tom and I go and sit. And we stop and nothing happens. And we stop. Who's getting on the train? We're sitting there talking to someone because I'm going to vegas on friday because I have a show there, at pressure island. And talking to the press. And I see joe biden walking up the way. And I'm thinking, what is he doing on the train? He says to me, what the hell are you doing on the train? I'm going home. He says, me, too. It was great. And it was nice to sit with him. And he spoke to all the folks. It's moving to see him doing what he does. You want me to -- that's okay. I can wait. Right before we say happy birthday tomorrow. Happy birthday. Thank you. Enjoy. Yes. Have a big one. Whoopi goldberg presents moms mabley on hbo. And "the view" here on abc.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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