Flip Wilson Show

Flip Wilson brought joy and laughter to millions of people every week back in the day on his Flip Wilson show.

The show was a ‘variety show’ and variety show were something all Americans could watch and enjoy. The concept was a variety of entertainers having fun on TV, keeping millions entertained for decades.

From the 40’s thru the 80s, some of the biggest names in entertainment would have either a special or a weekly variety show with the biggest names in entertainment performing songs, dance routines and sketch comedy.

Millions of Americans would look forward to shows from a cross-section of talent including Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Sonny & Cher, Donny and Marie and more including… Flip Wilson!

Born Clerow Wilson, he was born on Dec. 8, 1933, in Jersey City, N.J. Raised in foster homes, he quit school at 16 then served four years in the Air Force where he would entertain the troops to help keep his and their spirits up. The name “Flip” was given to him at that time for his humor.

Discharged in 1954, Wilson spent more than a decade working at odd jobs and developing a comedy act in small clubs. When Hollywood began to seek out black entertainers in the ’60s, his career took up an upward turn.

Wilson made his TV debut on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1965, and that led to frequent appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “Laugh-In” and on comedy series including “Love, American Style.”

From there, he’d make history as the first successful black host of a television variety show. His show ran on NBC from 1970 – 1974. George Carlin and Richard Pryor (among others) were writers for the show. Already a Grammy winner with him comedy album “The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress’. In 1971, he’d add an Emmy award for his TV Show. Characters he created then still live on with us today including the feisty “Geraldine”, Rev. Leroy and others.

Flip Wilson died on Nov. 26, 1998 of liver cancer in his Malibu home.

Below you’ll find some of funniest scenes from his show as well as other videos that’ll have you laughing for hours.

Click here for more information about Flip Wilson 
Click here for more information about the history of variety shows