The friendship started in the 1960's when Flip was Bobby's opening act in Las Vegas. Darin helped Wilson get his start.
Bobby complemented Flip on the David Frost show in 1971 saying, "I have worked with many comedians ... I think Flip Wilson is brillant ... a marvelous, funny human being ..."
Bobby also said about their friendship, "(When) he worked with me in Las Vegas several years ago, we became fast friends immediately ... he is probably the only performer I ever remember getting upstairs early for to listen to ... because of his sense of timing, his sense of audience ... that marvelous electricity to know WHEN and HOW to do things ... I was constantly learning from him, I was always watching him.
"You do not know when that kind of relationship is going to turn around and the other party is going to do something for you ... a year and a half ago, when I was a little bit of a difficult sale for television (for whatever reasons really that are not important now), when Flip got his own show, he said to the people who were involved with him,'Listen brother, I want Bobby to do the show. I want him to do it NOT just once. I want him to do it as many times as he wants to do it.'
" ... as it wound up we had 6 guest shots on Flip Wilson's show this first year and believe me, I could not help the ratings particularly at all ...
"(That's) a true gesture of a real kind of geniune friendship ... I love him very much."
Bobby also returned the favor to Flip, when Flip guest starred on Bobby's variety show in 1972 and 1973.
In 1997, TVLand acquired the rights to several Flip Wilson Shows, and three of them guest starred Bobby. The friendship of Bobby and Flip was very evident when they were performing together, and the comedy still holds up today.
Sadly, the world lost the beloved Flip Wilson when he passed away from liver cancer on November 25, 1998,
at the age of 64.
Larry W. Jones, General Manager, TV Land, expressed the feelings of many when he said:
"We are all very saddened at the passing of Flip Wilson. The care that Flip put into every episode,
from Geraldine's outfits, to the best musical guests to the show's final edits all made The Flip Wilson Show
one of the best programs in the history of the variety show. Flip Wilson will be sorely missed by fans of his fun
and fast-paced brand of humor."