Bette, Elton, And Flip Ease Cher Into Her First TV Special

Thomasville Times Enterprise
Cher Celebrates Her Return To TV
February 7, 1975

Glamorous singer and comedienne, Cher returns to television in a one-hour music and-comedy special titled “Cher,” with guest stars Bette Midler, Flip Wilson and Elton John Sunday, (10 p.m. Ch. 4, 6).

Rock star and composer Elton John performs his current hit release “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” in this rare television appearance and teams with Cher to sing “Bennie and the Jets.”

Born Reginald Dwight 27 years ago in Middlesex. England, the performer joined his first band at age 14. He then teamed with lyricist Bernie Taupin, and one of the most successful songwriting combinations in rock-music
history was born.

TV is a relatively unusual medium for John, but the “Cher” special was a must, he said during taping. “I can’t think of anyone else I would fly from London to do a show with Cher is a universal talent and a great lady. Besides, she is one of my best friends.”

John’s image of superstar composer-performer with a penchant for dazzling clothes is only part of the soft-spoken man who is admittedly enjoying success.

“When I first signed a recording contract. I told them that 1 couldn’t really sing well, but 1 thought I could write songs.” he remembers with a disbelieving shake of his head.

“I don’t know who my audience really is. but I’m writing the songs I want to write. And if 1 weren’t having a ball 1 would have quit a long time ago. ”

Cher, Elton, Flip Wilson and Miss Midler perform an energetic medley of rock hits, and Cher solos with “All is Fair in Love. Cher and Miss Midler pay tribute to fabled “trashy ladies” ln song and dance.

In comedy sketches, Cher, as the ever-tasteful Laverne, forsakes the laundromat to go to her high-school reunion and revive the old school spirit with Geraldine”

In classic show-business fashion, Wilson first hit the stage as a last-minute replacement in the role of Clara Barton in a school play.

Unfortunately, the record doesn’t show whether 9 year-old Clerow Wilson‘s performance as the heroic nurse was a forerunner of his feisty comedy character-“Geraldine,” but his appearance brought the house down and served as his unforgettable introduction to the joy of making people laugh.

Enlisting in the Air Force at age 16 (“I lied about my age because I liked the clothes,” Wilson says with a wink), he entertained fellow servicemen, who agreed that he was “really flipped” ” and Pvt. Clerow Wilson became Flip Wilson.

After years of making people laugh for peanuts – his staple diet during the lean years of one-night club dates – Wilson made his TV debut and became a sought-after comedy guest, then the star of his own popular series.

“I learned very early that the people who make me laugh are above all likable.” he says. “1 can’t laugh with someone I don’t like. So I’ve always tried to be a friend to my audience.”

In a visit to a rest home 50 years from now, Cher, Elton, Wilson, and Miss Midler try to remember the good old days.

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