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Geraldine Jones

Posted by Ward on June 19, 2004

In Reply to: Geraldine Jones posted by ESC on June 19, 2004

: : : This comment was made popular on a TV show in the 70s, I think, and you couldn't go a week without someone saying it within earshot. (Earshot....have to post that someday) But it couldn't have come from the mind of some comedy writer in Hollywood. Have you any idea of its origin?

: : "the devil made me do it" is originally credited to Eve

: I don't know if this was the original source:

: Flip Wilson Show
: By Robert J. McNamara
: For four years in the early 1970s, comedian Flip Wilson presided over one of the most popular variety shows on television. The show featured weekly guest stars as well as Wilson's own characters, the most noteworthy of whom were "Reverend Leroy," the genially bombastic pastor of the "Church of What's Happening Now," and "Geraldine Jones," a thoroughly sassy and proud African American woman played by Wilson in a miniskirt. Featuring highlights from five episodes of the program, this collection includes the show's very first appearance on September 17, 1970. Wilson cavorts shamelessly and hysterically as Geraldine during an interview with David Frost and in a skit that features TV legend Ed Sullivan, acting (well, sort of) as a lounge lizard in garish '70s garb (including purple pants and a leather vest). Bill Cosby appears in several skits, and other guest stars include Lucille Ball, Don Rickles, Bobby Darin, Tim Conway, Red Foxx, Ray Charles, the Osmonds (singing and dancing in signature rhinestone jumpsuits), and Big Bird of Sesame Street. Wilson's career never again reached the peak he attained in the early 1970s, but these programs show how truly hilarious he was at the time his character Geraldine Jones had the whole country saying, "The devil made me do it!"

Thanks, ESC -- that was the show.