~ post by Steve(n)After reading all about the inimitable Flip Wilson in Kevin Cook’s astonishing new biography Flip, the Stand Up Sit Down book club foolhardily decided to travel through history, collecting comedy giants from the past, present, and future to make their next meeting the stuff of legend. Unfortunately, this team of time-traveling twiddlers got distracted by the decadent debauchery of the disco days, and now, trapped in the hazy 1970s comedy world, the hyper-indulgent hosts of this bizarre book club need to be saved from the Smothers Brothers, the ghost of Charles Nelson Riley, and, most importantly, themselves. We’re assembling an extraction team to meet at BookPeople on Monday May 26th at 7:00PM. to rescue these weirdos from the perils of paradoxes or, failing that, at least talk about a killer biography. So, this Memorial Day, pack up your copy of Flip by Kevin Cook, grab a patriotic beverage, and head down to BookPeople to insure that the future isn’t doomed to repeat the mistakes of the Stand Up Sit Down book club.
Flip Wilson was a visionary counterculture voice, a transgressive social commentator, and a groundbreaking show business machine that bulldozed racial barriers and blazed comedy trails in 1970s America. His eponymous NBC variety show jump-started the careers of both Richard Pryor and George Carlin, and his iconoclastic characters coined the unshakable vernacular insights “The devil made me do it” and “What you see is what you get.” Despite his short-lived media saturation and undeniable genius, Flip Wilson’s legacy has largely been overshadowed by the work of his various proteges and comedic descendants. In Flip, his fascinating examination of the titular force of whimsy, biographer Kevin Cook explores the factors that launched this mysterious star and the social environment, which precipitated his inevitable downfall. From the “Chitlin’ Circuit” to prime-time television and back into obscurity, Flip maps Flip Wilson’s irreverently inexorable constellation onto the brilliant night sky.
The Stand Up Sit Down book club meets at 7:00 p.m. on the last Monday of every month to rap about all the jargon that makes us jitter. Each month, we select a memoir, biography, or collection of essays from the uncanny universe of comedy, and we proceed to crack jokes and share fond remembrances about the subject matter. Pop into BookPeople on Monday May 26th to springboard some conversation off of Kevin Cook’s dynamic new biography of Flip Wilson, Flip. Bring some suggestions, bring some critical analysis, but, most of all, bring your sense of humor. See you on the Flip-side.
The Stand Up Sit Down Book Club meets on the last Monday of every month at 7PM in the BookPeople Cafe and stay tuned for next month’s selection. Bonus: Book Club selections are 10% off for those who attend the discussion!