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Before the invention of the internet, before "memes" and the latest trends going "viral", the equivalent would be people repeating popular comedians' jokes and catchphrases. While the J.P. Patches Show was notorious for being unscripted and relying on their amazing improvisational skills, Chris was not above referencing popular culture on the show.
In a scripted commercial for KIRO’s annual Food Fair held at Southcenter Mall in 1970, J.P. does an impression of the latest, popular stand-up comedian Flip Wilson and his character “Geraldine.” Geraldine was notorious for the blaming everything on the Devil and exclaiming, “The Devil made me do it!”
In the original video, J.P. is doing his best to read the copy and get through taping a commercial for the KIRO Food Fair. To his frustration, he keeps getting interrupted by telephone salesmen, first to sell him aluminum siding and then to sell him magazines - which J.P. tells them no one reads magazines anymore, they all watch television. When he gets interrupted a third time, J.P. loses it and decides to tell off the person on the other end of the line calling him a fink! He quickly changes his tone when he realizes the caller is none other than Lloyd Cooney, KIRO's station manager and J.P.'s (and Chris's real life) boss! (Mr. Cooney was the person eventually responsible for cancelling the show!) To try to save his job, J.P. imitates Wilson's Geraldine and tells Cooney "The Devil made me do it!"
Watch the entire video below:
Watch Flip Wilson performing "The Devil Made Me Do It!" on The Ed Sullivan Show on January 11th, 1970:
It's a shame to cover up your smile, but now you can wear the famous smile of J.P. or Gertrude! Sure to bring a spark of joy and nostalgia to all who recognize it! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Seattle Children's.
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