The Inside Story of TV’s First Black Superstar
The rags-to-richesstory of a groundbreaking, beloved entertainer
When The Flip Wilson Show debuted in 1970, blackfaces were still rare on television, black hosts nonexistent. So how did Clerow“Flip” Wilson go from Jersey City grade-school dropout to national celebrity,heralded on the cover of Time as “TV’s first black superstar”?
Flip is a candid, entertaining biography of aconsummate comedian who changed the face of American popular culture. KevinCook chronicles Flip’s meteoric rise through the Chitlin’ Circuit of segregatednightclubs to his breakthrough on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show to his hitvariety show, on which he created such outrageous and hilarious characters asthe sassy Geraldine and flock-fleecing Reverend Leroy. As one of the biggeststars of his time, he performed and partied with Richard Pryor, George Carlin,Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and other stars of the 1970s.
Drawing on interviews with family, friends, andcelebrities, Cook delivers the inspiring story of a complex man who broke theprime-time color barrier, blazing a trail for generations of African Americanperformers who followed him.
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