Comedian flip Wilson, the first black to hold a successful weekly collection for a network, passed away Wednesday the liver cancer in ~ his Malibu home. He to be 64.

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Wilson had actually undergone surgical treatment Oct. 2 at St. John’s Hospital & Health center in Santa Monica for a malignant tumor the was close come his liver.

The guy whose many famous creation was one outspoken, liberated black color woman named Geraldine, rose gradually through the comedy ranks, barely eking the end an presence for many years. However after appearances top top Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” and also “The Ed Sullivan Show,” that was ubiquitous on the tiny screen and nightclubs for much more than a decade, selling countless comedy albums in the process.

His NBC show ran native September 1970 with June 1974 and also in the process he won 2 Emmys and landed top top the covering of Time magazine in 1971. Then, having owned fifty percent of “The upper and lower reversal Wilson Show” and invested his money wisely, Wilson mostly retired, returning intermittently to shot out collection television.

While not overtly political in his humor like penis Gregory, bawdy favor Redd Foxx, or also genteel favor Bill Cosby, Wilson’s feeling had aspects of every these men, that were approximately contemporaries. Unequal Gregory, Wilson often faced the sting the racism by subterfuge — using the American Indians together surrogates (“Do you want to purchase a $50,000 split-level and have part Indian placed up a wigwam beside it?”)

He had an outrageous attitude similar to Foxx (but using lot milder language). He advanced black feeling by infusing his occupational with much an ext street perspective than Cosby — most famously finger snapping, v his ‘tude-heavy backwards-and-forwards stride, and also the indelible expression “The devil made me execute it,” which ended up being a part of the American vernacular.

While the TV series featured other regular characters such together Rev. Leroy that the Church the What’s keep going Now, Wilson came to be most famous for Geraldine. The character was nobody’s fool, known for such phrases together “Don’t you press me, don’t you ever before push me!” and also her hopeless devotion to she beau, Killer.

Clerow Wilson was probably born in Jersey City in 1933, the tenth that a family members of as numerous as 24 youngsters (numbers and also dates end the years have been inconsistent). Due to the extreme poverty that his family, he spent his childhood in foster homes and also reformatories, though it’s difficult to speak how numerous or when.

Wilson cases that that lied about his period to sign up with the United says Air Force, wherein he spent four years, and acquired the surname Flip indigenous his barracks mates (as in “flipped out,” that claimed). He was discharged in 1954 and took a project as a bellhop in the Manor Plaza Hotel in mountain Francisco, pour it until it is full in as an entertainer (as a drunk who happens come wander onstage) throughout act breaks at the hotel nightclub. He ongoing performing this personality and including written material to his ad-libs at various California clubs, and started to produce a timetable for himself as a performer.

The 1950s were no a an especially hospitable time for black performers, and he proper subsisted in low-paying gigs and also low-rent clubs. He got a benefactor, a Miami businessman, in 1959, and soon after to be a consistent at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem.

Thanks come the older, more established Foxx, Wilson concerned the fist of Johnny Carson. In ~ Foxx’s urging, Wilson was booked top top the display in august 1965, and also later became a frequent guest and also occasional instead of host. On “Tonight,” the American public got its an initial taste the Wilson’s humor with a lay out in i beg your pardon Christopher Columbus beseeches Queen Isabella come finance his pilgrimage to the brand-new world therefore he can find Ray Charles.

A booking top top “The Ed Sullivan Show” followed, and also soon Wilson was everywhere during the heyday that comedy/ mirrors on television: Merv Griffin, Joey Bishop, “Laugh-In,” etc. The club dates came to be classier and greater paying (the Hungry I, the bitter End, the village Gate). Successful comedy albums prefer “Cowboys and also Colored People,” “Flippin,” “Flip Wilson” and “You adversary You” to be released and he to be signed by NBC to an exclusive contract.

After catching audiences in TV specials, that debuted the show that ran for 4 seasons. Wilson later asserted he left the show to help raise his four youngsters (he divorce their mom after a 10-year marriage in 1967), yet there to be rumors of worried breakdowns and other troubles favor palimony problems. He and his nephew Rashon were arrested v 2.5 grams that cocaine, part hashish and also marijuana at LAX in 1981, yet the California can be fried Court in 1983 threw the end the case based on Fourth modification rights versus illegal seizure.

He continued to execute in clubs, and tried his hand in ~ TV again in 1984 through “People are Funny” and the following year through “Charlie & Co.,” no of i beg your pardon lasted.

Then in the late ’90s, many thanks to cable and the nostalgia for vintage TV series, “The flip Wilson Show” resurfaced in reruns, and also brought his comedy to a brand-new generation of tv viewers, and also renewed appreciation because that his location in the spectrum of black color performers.

When he was honored in 1993 by the Los Angeles county Museum, he stated he was liven racing hot air balloons, taking ocean cruises and studying the works of Kahlil Gibran. “I’ve grown up, I’ve matured. I’ve do a change to where I really desire to be,” that told the LA Times.

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Wilson is endured by boy Kevin and David, and daughters Stacey, Tamara and also Michelle.