updated 09/24/2008 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/24/2008 AT 10:30 AM ET
Make room for one more on the John Mayer bandwagon!
After the singer’s rousing, three-song performance at Tony Bennett’s Exploring The Arts Gala in Manhattan Tuesday night, emcee Whoopi Goldberg took to the stage smiling like a teenaged girl.
“Oh my God! How cute is John Mayer?” The View host, 52, said to the cheering crowd, which included Gayle King, Regis Philbin, Terrence Howard and Quincy Jones. “In the old days, I’da snatched him up,” she continued to roars of laughter. “Now, I’m too tired.”
Mayer’s main concern was not winning female fans, however. The Grammy-winner – whose exes include Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson – said he was simply “excited” by the challenge of performing with Bennett’s band.
“I’m sort of a true musician at heart, in the sense that I like to be thrown [curveballs],” Mayer, 30, told PEOPLE before the show at Cipriani Wall Street. “[I like] being a producer, and then maybe going home and working on hip hop tunes, and then working on a drum machine, working on whatever the next thing is. I want to be a Swiss army knife for music!”
Mayer was also happy to show his support for Bennett’s charity, which raises funds for music programs in public schools.
“There’s 12-year old John Coltranes and Miles Davises walking around,” he said. “They just don’t know it yet.”
The evening also included a speech by Katie Couric and a gut-busting standup routine by Jerry Seinfeld.
Now, the public can get in on the action with an online auction that includes a dress from Christina Aguilera, lunch with Barbara Walters and the a chance to meet Katie Holmes and check out her Broadway show. (Bidding runs through Oct. 1 at CharityBuzz.com.)
Whoopi dishes on The View!
See John Mayer’s sizzling vacation with Jennifer Aniston!