Flip Wilson - Rotten Tomatoes

Flip Wilson



Born Clerow Wilson. A comedian who was enormously successful on TV for a few years in the '70s, Wilson was TV's first black superstar. One of 24 children, he spent much of his youth in foster homes and ended up in a reform school. He quit high school at 16 and, lying about his age, joined the Air Force. After leaving the service at 21 he worked as a bellboy in a San Francisco hotel, where he started performing stand-up comedy. Soon he was on the road with his act; at first playing small black clubs, he ended up in major black theaters such as the Apollo, the Howard, and the Regal, gradually building up a following within the black community. He got his big break in 1965: comedian Redd Foxx, appearing on The Tonight Show, was asked whom he considered the funniest comic around; he answered "Flip Wilson," and Wilson was soon booked on the show. Other TV appearances followed and he recorded several comedy albums. In 1970 he was signed by NBC to host his own variety show, The Flip Wilson Show, and it quickly soared in the ratings; the show remained on the air until 1974, and Wilson's characters (Geraldine, Reverend Leroy, etc.) and his catch-phrases ("The devil made me do it," "what you see is what you get," etc.) became nationally famous. After he quit the show his TV work was sporadic. He debuted onscreen in Uptown Saturday Night (1974) but has few other movie credits. He starred briefly in the '80s in the sitcom Charlie & Company.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet American Playhouse
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Skatetown U.S.A.
  • Harvey Ross
1979
No Score Yet The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh
  • Coach Jock Delaney
1979
No Score Yet Pinocchio
  • Fox
1976
71% Uptown Saturday Night
  • The Reverend
1974
No Score Yet Cancel My Reservation
  • Himself
1972

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Sesame Street
1969
  • Voice
  • Actor
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Guest

Quotes from Flip Wilson's Characters

No quotes approved yet.