Flip: The Inside Story of Tv's First Black Superstar

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Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
9 Reviews
The rags-to-riches story of a groundbreaking, beloved entertainer

When The Flip Wilson Show debuted in 1970, black faces 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 a consummate comedian who changed the face of American popular culture. Kevin Cook chronicles Flip's meteoric rise through the Chitlin' Circuit of segregated nightclubs to his breakthrough on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show to his hit variety show, on which he created such outrageous and hilarious characters as the sassy Geraldine and flock-fleecing Reverend Leroy. As one of the biggest stars 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, and celebrities, Cook delivers the inspiring story of a complex man who broke the prime-time color barrier, blazing a trail for generations of African American performers who followed him.



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Review: Flip: The Inside Story of TV's First Black Superstar

User Review  - Carl Phillips - Goodreads

The sad story of one of America's most talented comedians. Very gifted but also very troubled man. Read full review

Review: Flip: The Inside Story of TV's First Black Superstar

User Review  - Cris Gray - Goodreads

Great story about the first black comedian and entertainer to break the color barrier and have his own successful show on a major TV network. Inspirational and human story. Read full review

About the author (2013)

Kevin Cook is the author of The Last Headbangers, Titanic Thompson, and Tommy's Honor. The former editor in chief of Golf Magazine, he has written for Sports Illustrated, GQ, Playboy, Details,
Men's Journal, and many other magazines, and has appeared on ESPN, CNN, and FOX TV. He lives in New York City.

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