The Flip Wilson Show

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NBC (ended 1975)

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The Flip Wilson Show

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Comic Flip Wilson was the first black performer to achieve major popularity as host of his own variety hour. The Flip Wilson Show was an enormous hit, during it's first two seasons. Although music and guests were an important part of the format, Flip's comedy was the real focus point of the series. Flip's best-known expression was a wide-eyed "The Devil made me do it". The Series Won Two Emmy Awards in 1970 for Best Variety Series and Writing in a Variety Series. Flip also won a Golden Globe in 1971 for Best TV Actor. 'The Flip Wilson Show' was the only prime-time series where you could find musical guests like Issac Hayes, James Brown and The Temptations. Flip got his unique nickname because he 'flipped' people out with his stories. He was a very well known stand-up comedian and frequently made appearances on 'Tonight Show.' Flip was discovered by the King of late night himself Johnny Carson, and fellow comedian Redd Foxx. NBC was quick to make him the host of what would become one of, if not the most popular variety shows ever. This show garnered the number two spot (ratings wise) coming in behind All in the Family. "The Flip Wilson Show" would keep these ratings for a solid 2 years, and was in the top 20 when it went off air in 1974. "The Flip Wilson Show" had a strong stable of writers. Couple that with Wilson's tremendous talent and likability; you get a show that destroyed everything the other networks threw against it. Wilson himself wrote about a third of the show, and edited much of the rest. The series stuck to five day rehearsal and shooting schedules; which was the most of any other variety show, but Flip was focused on making his series a cut above. "Occasionally it takes some time to hit off because we have to find the right approach," Wilson said in 1972, "But once that happens, we're smokin'." If he was driven, it was because of tough times in the past, and a hard struggle through the black nightclubs of the fifties. "With all the trouble black people have", he once stated, "they try to forget on weekends. You've got to be good to make them laugh." Flip's laws of comedy: "Be sudden, be neat. Be unimpassioned, and if you're serious about something, leave it out." It was Flip's Geraldine character that made the phrase "What you see is what you get" famous. That was Wilson's philosophy as well: "My show is my statement", he told Time magazine in 1972, "What I have to say is on the screen. My life is my own. I don't want to talk about my private self. Why should I?" THE NEILSEN RATINGS FOR THE FLIP WILSON SHOW (Top 25): October 1970 - April 1971: #2 October 1971 - April 1972: #2 October 1972 - April 1973: #12 NBC Broadcast History September 1970-June 1971----7:30-8:30 September 1971-June 1974----8:00-9:00 Flip's Various Characters included: Geraldine - the wise-cracking, smart mouth woman with an unseen boyfriend named, "Killer" Reverend Leroy - the flamboyant pastor of the Church Of What's Happenin' Now Sonny - the White House janitor Freddie Johnson - Quite the ladies manmoreless
  • WE KNOW FANS OF DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER ARE SALIVATING THIS WEEK, AS THE BEST OF SEASON THREE HITS SHELVES. CLASSIC SLEUTHS ENJOY A REVIVAL WITH THE RELEASE OF THE SIXTH SEASON OF MAGNUM, P.I. AND SEASON THREE OF THE ROCKFORD FILES. THOSE IN NEED OF A LITTLE FEMALE-FOCUSED DRAMA WON'T WANT TO MISS GIRLFRIENDS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.

    February 27, 2007 DVD Releases

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