Comedian Flip Wilson

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on October 30, 2005

Whatever happened to Flip Wilson?
—Marie Thorne, Norwalk, Conn.

The multi-talented comedian died of liver cancer in November 1998. Known for his all-excuse quip, "The devil made me do it," he was born Clerow Wilson and nicknamed Flip for his "flipped-out" sense of humor while serving in the Air Force in the 1950s. He became a fixture in living rooms across America on his own variety series, The Flip Wilson Show, which ran from 1969 to 1974. The Museum of Broadcast Communications notes that Wilson's TV success, truly groundbreaking for an African-American entertainer, "paved the way for the popularity of later sitcoms featuring middle- and working-class black families, situations, and dialect, shows such as Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons and Good Times."