In its second season, both Wilson and the show won Emmy Awards along with a Golden Globe Award for Wilson that year as well.
Although the ratings were starting to slip, the show was still a top 10 favorite of viewers. However, Wilson decided to walk away for reasons still unknown. Some accounts say that Wilson jumped ship before the show sank any lower. Other accounts say it was to be closer to his family. Wilson allegedly struggled with drugs and alcohol as well.
Wilson did make appearances here and there in small bit roles. In 1974, he co-starred alongside Pryor and Sydney Poitier in Uptown Saturday Night and he hosted Saturday Night Live in 1983. Wilson’s last television appearance was in 1993 on Fox’s Living Single show.
Wilson died of liver cancer in November 1998. He was 64.
The Flip Wilson Show was a big influence on variety shows like In Living Color.