Clerow "Flip" Wilson Jr. (December 8, 1933 – November 25, 1998) was an American comedian and actor best known for his television appearances during the late 1960s and the 1970s. From 1970 to 1974, Wilson hosted his own weekly variety series, The Flip Wilson Show, and introduced viewers to his recurring character Geraldine. The series earned Wilson a Golden Globe and two Emmy Awards, and at one point was the second highest rated show on network television. Wilson was the first African American to host a successful TV variety show. In January 1972, Time magazine featured Wilson's image on its cover and named him "TV's first black superstar".Wilson released a number of comedy albums in the 1960s and 1970s, and won a Grammy Award for his 1970 album The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress.After The Flip Wilson Show ended, Wilson kept performing and acting until the 1990s, though at a reduced schedule. He hosted a short-lived revival of People are Funny in 1984, and had the lead role in the 1985–1986 sitcom Charlie & Co.
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For no reason I can explain, I began to discover how little it mattered where you are or what anyone does to you. I was sure that what I had done to get there [imprisoned for draft resistance] was right, and somehow the longer I was there, the better I felt. . . . I felt filled with love for everyone: everyone I knew and everyone I didn't know; for plants, fish, animals; even bankers, generals, prison guards, and lying politicians — everything and everyone. Why did I feel so good? Was it God? Or approaching death? Or just the way life is supposed to be if we weren't so busy trying to make it something else?