Numerous motion picture appearances, countless television shows, sitcoms and standup specials, a talk show, three radio shows, and two books. Cedric ‘The Entertainer’, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, George Lopez and Charlie Murphy have been breaking ground in the comedy business and bringing the laughs for decades. This is a once in a lifetime chance to see five members of comedy royalty come together for the comedy event of the year ‘The Comedy Get Down’ on Saturday, May 14 at 8pm at Save Mart Center at Fresno State.  Tickets on sale Friday, March 25 at 10am at


Cedric "The Entertainer" is best known for crowd-pleasing performances in hit films such as Barbershop, Be Cool, The Original Kings of Comedy, and the top-ranking Madagascar animated franchise, just to name a few. Cedric will be seen next on the big screen in the much-anticipated comedy feature BARBERSHOP 3 slated for release in early 2016. He is executive producer and stars in the current hit comedy series THE SOUL MAN on TV Land. Cedric also stars in the buzzed about new reality series, CEDRIC'S BARBER BATTLE, which debuted on THE CW on June 29th.


Eddie Griffin has received worldwide recognition through his numerous stand-up comedy specials, movies, television appearances, music and comedy albums for not only acting, but writing and producing as well.  Most notably, Def Comedy Jam, HBO One Night Stand, Malcolm & Eddie for which he won the NAACP Image Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series award, Undercover Brother, My Baby's Daddy, Dysfunktional Family, Norbit, Freedom Of Speech, A Fool And His Money play, You Can Tell Em' I Said It and soon to be released Mucho Dinero and An American Hero. Comedy Central also honored Eddie as one of the Top 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of all time.


D.L. Hughley star of his namesake TV show that ran on ABC The Hughleys, is also well known as one of the standout comedians on the hit comedy tour and docu-film The Original Kings of Comedy.   DL can currently be heard nationwide as host of his own nationally syndicated afternoon radio show “The DL Hughley Show”, heard in over 60 markets across the country. Known for being astute and politically savvy in true comedian style, Hughley is a published author; and was honored with a prestigious Peabody Award for his satirical documentary special DL Hughley: The Endangered List.  He appeared in the TV drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and will next star in the upcoming NBC drama Heartbreakers. DL is currently starring in his ninth stand-up comedy special Clear.   


George Lopez is a multi-talented entertainer whose career encompasses television, film, standup comedy and late-night television.  For two seasons, Lopez hosted Lopez Tonight, a late-night television talk show on TBS, Television’s groundbreaking hit sitcom George Lopez, which ran for six seasons on ABC. Lopez has risen to become one of the premier comedic talents in the entertainment industry and known for his extensive charity work with various foundations. 


Charlie Murphy became a household name as a cast member of "Chappelles Show" when he recanted his True Hollywood Stories of celebrity and excess, however he has spent the past two decades solidifying his position in Hollywood as a true acting and writing talent. He’s appeared in Lottery Ticket with Bow Wow and Ice Cube, Our Family Wedding with Forrest Whitaker and The Perfect Holiday w/ Queen Latifah and Terrence Howard. Charlie wrote cult classics like Vampire In Brooklyn and Norbit, and stars as ‘Vic’ in Adult Swim’s“Black Jesus”, currently in production on Season 2.


Black Comedy History Month - Flip Wilson

The Comedy Get Down World Tour Presents - Black Comedy History Month featuring Flip Wilson.

At the peak of comic Flip Wilson's popularity, some of his contemporaries criticized him for not doing enough to advance the cause of African-Americans. After all, his hit television program, The Flip Wilson Show, gave him access to millions of viewers each week in the heavily segregated America of the early 1970s.

Yet his humor was lighthearted and apolitical. Richard Pryor even told Flip he was "the NBC house Negro."

But Flip had a strategy all his own –– slower and more subtle.

"He felt his contribution was not to get up in people's faces and yell 'Equality now!' His contribution was to get his black face into a house that had never seen one," said Kevin Cook, author of the recently released biography Flip: The Inside Story of TV's First Black Superstar.

"If a kid said, 'I hate Negroes,’ and another said, 'That one's funny. I like him,' that was going to be his contribution."

Wilson, who died 18 years ago from liver cancer, "transformed television," Cook said. Time magazine called him "TV's First Black Superstar" in a cover story. A Los Angeles Times review of Cook's book said Flip was "revolutionary," presenting a program that was "unreservedly black in its tone and rhythms."

"People revere Richard Pryor and George Carlin. They think they were titans. And they were, as big as it gets, and maybe funnier than Flip. But who knows how far they might have gone if he hadn't been there first," Cook said. Both Pryor and Carlin were writers on Wilson's show.

Flip's humor was "more storyteller than one-line stand-up comic," his New York Times obituary noted. "His winding tales and uninhibited use of the timbre and resonance of black dialect were often compared to the Yiddish inflections and stories of the comedian Myron Cohen. Richard Pryor once told him, ''You're the only performer that I've seen who goes on the stage and the audience hopes that you like them.''

His most famous character was Geraldine, an outspoken, sexy good-time girl with a distinctive, high-pitched voice. Tyler Perry of current Madea fame was just an infant when Flip sashayed across the stage, playing off stars like Bill Cosby, Tim Conway and Burt Reynolds. Geraldine’s favorite sayings –– "When you're hot, you're hot; when you're not, you're not," "The devil made me do it," and '"What you see is what you get" –– became national catch phrases. (The final one is now common computer lingo, abbreviated to WYSIWYG.)

Geraldine, Flip once said, "carried me longer than my mother did."

Flip was born Clerow Wilson, Jr. in New Jersey on Dec. 8, 1933. (The nickname "Flip" came from his Air Force days, when his rambling tales featuring different dialects led fellow airmen to conclude he was "flipping out.") His wasn't a happy childhood: His mother abandoned the family, leaving Flip and his 10 siblings with their father. The boy ended up in multiple foster homes, became a frequent runaway, and landed in reform school. Flip was eventually reunited with his father, who struggled to make ends meet. In later comedy routines, Flip would joke that his family was so poor that homeless people felt sorry for them, Cook said.

After the Air Force, Flip found a home in comedy. He traveled the country with his standup act, performing at clubs and hotels. Sometimes, the same hotels that allowed him to perform in their ballrooms refused to allow him to sleep in one of their guest rooms, Cook said. At one point during Flip's rise, singer Bobby Darin demanded that the comedian share the bill with him at a Las Vegas hotel. The two became lifelong friends.

Flip's big break came when his close friend Red Foxx was a guest on the Tonight Show in the mid-1960s. Host Johnny Carson asked Foxx to name the funniest comic currently working. Without a pause, Foxx said, "Flip Wilson."

Flip was immediately invited to perform on Carson's show. At the time, Carson was a star maker: If he liked Flip, there was no telling how far he could go.

On the night Flip was scheduled to appear, he ended up getting bumped for time. They rescheduled, and he was bumped again. And then the third time was the charm.

Flip took the stage and performed his "ugly baby" routine . (It's still on After he finished, the camera panned to Carson, who was flopping around with laughter. "That was one of the funniest lines I ever heard in my life," Carson said.

"Flip was golden from there," Cook said.

Later, Flip would fill in on nights Carson took off; sometimes, the show's ratings would go up when he did. The Flip Wilson Show premiered on NBC in 1970.

In 1974, at age 40, Flip decided to walk away from his show. While it was still Top 20 in ratings, it was beginning to slip. He wanted to go out on top, a very wealthy man thanks to careful investing.

Flip's personal life was more troubled than his easygoing persona suggested. He had two broken marriages, struggled with drugs and wasn't the best father, Cook said. But Flip's contributions to his field and those that came after him should not be forgotten.

"Nobody worked harder at this craft than he did. … At one point, he was the most famous comic in the world," Cook said. "He doesn't get credit for making these strides. He made people who were prejudiced start by liking one black person."

Natalie Pompilio is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. Her lifelong love of obituaries raised eyebrows when she was younger, but she's now able to explain that this interest goes beyond morbid curiosity. Says Pompilio, "Obituaries are mini life stories, allowing a glimpse into someone's world that we're often denied. I just wish we could share them with each other when we're alive."