Flip Wilson net worth: Flip Wilson was an American comic and actor who had a net worth of $6 million. Clerow Wilson, Jr., known professionally as Flip Wilson, hosted his own weekly variety series in the early 1970’s called The Flip Wilson Show. The series earned Wilson a Golden Globe and two Emmy Awards. Born on December 8, 1933 in Jersey City, NJ Wilson was one of ten children born during the Great Depression. When Wilson was seven years old, his mother abandoned the family and his father, unable to look after the kids alone, put them in foster homes. After bouncing from foster homes to reform schools, 16-year old Wilson lied about his age so as to join the US Air Force. His outgoing personality and amusing stories made him popular and he was often asked to tour military bases to cheer up another serviceman; it was during his time in the Air Force that he earned his famous nickname, “Flip.” During the 1960’s Wilson became a routine at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and was a favored guest on The Tonight Show, Laugh-In, and The Ed Sullivan Show. In 1970, Wilson won a Grammy Award because of his comedy album, The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress. Through the exact same year, Wilson’s variety series, “The Flip Wilson Show, debuted on NBC where he was host and welcomed many African-American entertainers like The Jackson Five and The Temptations. He had a signature handshake to greet each of his guests which was coined the “Flip Wilson Handshake.” It consisted of four hand smacks, two elbow bumps, and two hip-bumps. George Carlin was clearly one of the show’s writers who also made regular appearances within a news-weather-sports satire where the two would play off of one another. Wilson’s best known characters included Reverend Leroy, a materialistic pastor of the “Church of What’s Happening Now,” and his most popular Geraldine Jones whose line, “the devil made me do it” became a national catchphrase. The Flip Wilson Show aired through 1974, and after the close of the show, Flip Wilson made several guest appearances on other well known TV comedies and variety shows. Wilson was married and divorced twice and was the father of five kids. After winning custody of his kids in 1979, Wilson performed less in order to spend more time together with his family. Before becoming ill, he was an active lighter than air pilot; and on November 25, 1998 Flip Wilson lost his battle with liver cancer in Malibu, California at age 64.
Was sacked from a regular Seven-Up commercial spot in 1981, after being arrested for possession of a small amount of cocaine.
Frequently acted as master of ceremonies at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem.
Stand-up comic and teller of circuitous and outrageous stories, usually in jive slang. While serving in the Air Force, his penchant for crazy dialects led some of his fellow servicemen to think he was 'flipping out', and so the nickname 'Flip' evolved. His commanding officer encouraged him to take up studying and, by the time of his discharge in 1954, he embarked on a career as a professional comedian.
Escaped eight times from the reformatory where he grew up.
As a child, Wilson was put into a foster home, but he was unhappy there. He asked to be sent to the reformatory where his brother was. His request was granted.
Had four children with common-law wife Blonell Pitman.
He is the subject of a song by the World/Inferno Friendship Society, "Nosliw Pilf".
He also claimed (seriously) that one of the homes he lived in was haunted in some way.
He won a Grammy in 1970 for Best Comedy Recording for "The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress".
He got custody of his children in 1979 and quit show biz to devote more time to them.
One of his famous quotes from the Flip Wilson Show is "In the booth, in the back, in the corner, in the dark."