One of the many variety shows available in the 1970s (along with Sonny and Cher, Captain and Tennille, Donny and Marie, etc). Hosted by black comic Flip Wilson, this show featured skits, ... See full summary »

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Himself - Host (95 episodes, 1970-1974)


One of the many variety shows available in the 1970s (along with Sonny and Cher, Captain and Tennille, Donny and Marie, etc). Hosted by black comic Flip Wilson, this show featured skits, music and frequent appearances by "Geraldine Jones" (really Flip Wilson in drag). Written by Afterburner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Music





Release Date:

17 September 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Flip Wilson Show  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The exclamation "The devil made me do it!" by Geraldine Jones, one of Flip Wilson's many characters, was ranked #16 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 20 Top Catchphrases" (21-27 August 2005 issue). See more »


Geraldine: You should have been a lawyer instead of a client.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credit for one episode reads the role of George Wyle was played by Bernard Weissman, which was George Wyle's real name See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: This Little Wiggy (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

A Milestone in TV History
4 February 2003 | by (Chapel Hill,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

The Flip Wilson Show was a milestone for television during the 70's. It featured a African-American entertainer as the host and as the comic with a variety of special guest stars that appear on the show weekly. There was a time when the television air-waves were filled with Musical/Variety shows. In the early years of television,Sid Caesar,Milton Berle and The Cavalcade Of Stars were the hottest tickets on the tube. These were the shows that featured favorite celebrities in musical numbers,brilliantly written sketched comedy,and showed off more playful sides of themselves than audiences would normally have seen before. NBC did the experimental format of giving a black entertainer his own show in the decade of 1950's television,and basically worked very well in some markets,but not necessary so in parts of the Southern states. This was during the 1950's. The format would resurface later on in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

However,NBC tried this during the 1950's with "The Nat King Cole Show",which featured television's first-ever African-American host that gave an array of special guest stars to boot as well as Nat King Cole's singing and dancing abilities as well which ran for one season due to the several stations that did not want to see a black man do a weekly television series,and this was definely so throughout the 1950's.

During the late 1960's and throughout the 1970's,the musical-comedy-variety torch was carried high by the likes of Dan Rowan,Dick Martin, Carol Burnett,Sonny and Cher,Tony Orlando and Dawn,and of course Flip Wilson. It was Flip's infectious smile and slick comedic timing made him a fast favorite with audiences and from there with network executives over at NBC. "The Flip Wilson Show" debut on NBC-TV in September of 1970,and within its first season was the highest rated show on television,second to another successful NBC variety program as well,"Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In". But more than his guest stars,or his own personae,he was a showcase talent within himself and it shows with some of the outrageous characters he portrayed on his show.

Here with the talents of Flip Wilson as the host of the show,this was a successful hit and also drew huge ratings as the most watched variety show on television during it four year run on the Peacock network,and one of the most successful variety shows of the early 1970's. NBC showcased his talents early on,giving him his own special, "The Flip Wilson Special" in 1969. Based on enthusiatic reviews and high ratings,this was the launching pad for his own weekly variety show,which ran for four seasons,from 1970-1974. And it was not to be missed when it came on every evening. Never before has an African-American hosted a successful variety program that won two EMMYS during its run on prime-time,and not to mention other awards during its time on the air. Here you have Flip's most memorable characters which consisted of the fast talking,flashy dressing,saucy alter-ego Geraldine Jones. If not for Wilson's Geraldine,we would have been without some catchy phrases as "The devil made me do it!",and "What you see is what you get",not to mention other characters as well as such as "Rev. Cliophis",and so much more. However,the laughs and the ratings didn't last long when the show was cancelled in 1974. A true master genius of his time.

Recently,the episodes appeared on TV Land.

If you want to know where the comedic talent of where Martin Lawrence, Steve Harvey,Jamie Foxx,Cedric The Entertainer,Bill Bellamy,and Dave Chappelle,Bernie Mac,and Steve Harvey? Because of such greats like Flip Wilson as their idol,the world of professional comedy would not have exist.

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