Monday, July 12, 2010

Flip Wilson

I miss Flip Wilson. Fortunately, his legacy lives on with a number of DVDs and record albums. As a kid, I loved "The Flip Wilson Show" which aired from 1970-1974 on NBC.

There are currently 16 episodes available on three different DVD sets. Of those, only six are presented in their original hour-long length. I would love to see a complete series release, but am happy for what I have.

There were also two Flip Wilson animated TV specials by DePatie-Freleng, the same people who brought you the Pink Panther. This was Wilson's attempt to emulate the success of Bill Cosby with his "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" series.

Wilson's biggest claim to fame in regards to his comedy was his Geraldine character, which made me laugh hysterically as a child, not realizing how daring such a character was at the time.

After the 1974 cancellation of the show, Wilson appeared less and less frequently on TV and by the 1980s was virtually missing from show biz. His biggest comeback attempt was a "Cosby Show" clone called "Charlie and Company" in the mid-1980s. It was not a success.

Wilson died in 1998 at the age of 64.


Joe Torcivia said...

I enjoyed Flip Wilson in his day as well.

Why do you think he had almost no career after his TV series? I never knew of a reason.

He sure looked as if he’d be in the limelight for many years to come.

Mark Arnold said...

Yeah I never really knew. I know that Flip got burnt out after his variety show which is why he only did 18 episodes on the final season (compared to 24 or so on each of the others).

I have heard he dabbled in drugs, but don't know that for a fact.