We all owe Whoopi Goldberg a big thank you, because if it weren't for her, Leslie Jones might not have become the superstar she is today.

The Ghostbusters star paid tribute to her longtime idol Thursday on The View, telling Whoopi tearfully how seeing her onscreen as a child had a huge impact on the way she perceived herself and her own ability to pursue a career in comedy.

"When I was young, my dad always let me listen to comedy album . I always knew about comedy, I always loved comedy," she recalled. "The day that I saw Whoopi Goldberg on television, I cried so hard, because I kept looking at my daddy going, 'Oh my god. there's somebody on TV that looks like me! She looks like me! Yay! I can be on TV! I can be on TV! I can do it! Look at her look at her! she looks just like me."

When Leslie's dad recorded one of Whoopi's TV appearances, she "literally watched it every day after school," she said.

"I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart," she said. "Because now I know what I'm doing that when I put on that Ghostbusters suit, and little girls see me on TV now, now they're gonna go, I can do it. You gave that to me, and I love you...and I love you for what you've done for black women, I love you for what you've done for black comedians, and I love you."

See the heartfelt moment from The View in the clip above. Plus, make sure to catch Ghostbusters in theaters Friday.

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