The Flip Wilson Show was an instant smash when it premiered on NBC in September 1970, becoming the highest-rated variety program on television. In a bold departure from the standard fare of the time, The Flip Wilson Show ... more »did without large production numbers, house band, regular cast, or elaborate sets. From a round stage in front of a studio audience, gifted comedian Flip Wilson entertained the country with nothing but his hilarious monologues, a stellar array of guest stars, and great sketch comedy. This first-ever collection of full-length episodes from The Flip Wilson Show features guest performances by Ray Charles, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Albert Brooks, Redd Foxx, Joe Namath, Johnny Cash, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, and many more. Flip's signature characters are here, too, from Rev. Leroy of the "Church Of What's Happenin' Now" to that sexy, sassy force of nature-the legendary Geraldine Jones. These treasured shows will have you laughing from beginning to end, but it won't be the Devil who made you do it. It'll be Flip Wilson.« less
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 02/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Saw it last night. I remember this stuff well, being a seventies child for whom Flip Wilson was a Thursday night ritual.
Those of us of that era may have fond memories of Variety shows on TV, but watching them on DVD 30 years later forces one to seperate nostalgia from real entertainment value. This actually holds up quite well. Richard Pryor (who occasionally wrote for Flip) does some interesting, and apparently improvised, skits with Flip. Ray Charles' appearance is excellent, and Flip's clowing with Ray gives everything an added dimension. The Committee does some skits that are more interesting than funny, that presage the kind of humor to be found on Saturday Night Live a few years later.
As the Flip profile points out on Disc 3, some African-Americans at the time cirticized Flip for pandering to stereotypes (especially with Geraldine and the crooked Rev. Leroy). The first episode of this disc (from 1972) shows where Flip's heart was and should quiet such critics. He has some contestants for Miss Black America appear and a couple of them do some really positive afrocentric skits for that era. George Carlin does a few Vietnam gags and his famous "Hair" routine, and Flip closes the show by proudly standing alone in the center of the stage with a very serious expression giving the peace sign before it was a cliche. This is a Flip with GUTS for that time. The fact that he could do such things during a polarized era and be loved by such a wide variety of people says a lot for his memory.
The real stunners in this piece are the "Clerow Wilson" (Flip's given name) cartoons that are known mostly to us 70s children who remember them. Based on episodes from Flip's own childhood, these cartoons are the darker twins of Fat Albert, very mauldin situations. "Clerow Wilson's Great Escape" is about Flip running away from an evil foster family "where they put water in the milk and milk in the water." "The Miracle of PS 14" is about a school so bad that the statue of Liberty turns its back on it. An animated Geraldine appears here ("she was nine, going on 26."). Rather grim (in spite of the attempts to wring humor from the situations, as evidenced by the above lines), but realistic cartoons about ghetto life. Way ahead of their time, but worth seeing and the price of admission.
People today tend to recall Flip as a sort of also-ran comic of his era compared to the likes of Cosby and Pryor. This set proves that he deserves a bigger place in history."
Great Package, But Not For Starters
Michael Dennis | Philadelphia, PA USA | 03/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rhino Entertainment has put together a great package. For those who don't remember, Flip Wilson was the first African-American comic to host his own weekly variety show. His female alter-ego, Geraldine, was the precuror to Big Momma, Madea and Rasputia from Norbit. It was the number2 show the first 2 years of its run and won 2 Emmys in its first season. Flip, who was in his early 30s when he got the show was a perfect fit for this type of show. Perfectly unoffensive, his style of monologue was similar to that of Bill Cosby. Today many of the sketches seem not just tame, but downright corny. But so was Sonny and Cher and The Captain and Tenille and Dean Martin, for that matter. Much of this material repeats on the less expensive, but soon to be out-of-print single discs, which feature half-hour versions of the shows. This 3-disc set could've been better if included more musical performances. However it contains 6 full-length episodes, plus two long lost "Fat Albert" style animated TV specials narrated by Flip. Picture and sound quality are very good considering the source. Flip passed away in 1998 and this is a very good testament to his legacy. The price may be a little high for newbies, but if you are a true fan and want to relive the memories, by all means add this to your cart. Hopefully there will be more volumes to come."
leelee | California | 04/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Flip Wilson was such a wonderful & talented man. He was so funny without being nasty. We need more comedians like him, Bill Cosby and Lucy. People who are fun, funny and clean. This DVD is great to enjoy with others."
DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!
N. Brown | 02/09/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I used to love to watch the Flip Wilson Show on Thursday Nights. It was a great show for the whole family! So, I was excited about getting "The Best of" his show in 6 episodes. I don't know who chose these as the "Best of" his shows, but obviously they never watched show! Despite the fact that these are "chopped out" skits from the show, the episodes focused more on the all-star guests (who were not funny in skits) than the man himself. Worsed of all, Flip's two most popular characters (Geraldine and Rev. Leroy) which really made the show a success, are virtually eliminated from this "Best Of"...with only one apperance of each character out of 6 epiosdes! That is a true "rip-off" and defeats the whole purpose of buying the DVDs. If you like the guest stars, you will get your money's worth, but if you are a Flip fan..don't waste your time or money! Too bad..considering the junk on TV today, what a wasted opportunity to have some real entertainment. I really got burnt on this one!"
Flip is great then and now....
S. Norwood | in the hills, illinois | 11/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this piece of old comedy is priceless....flip wilson is the best....i recommend this purchase 4 stars....george carlin was great too...must have buy..."