In the early 60’s Wavy Gravy, born Hugh Romney, was a struggling artist managed by comedian Lenny Bruce performing stand-up comedy in New York. Gravy shared a room with then unknown artist Bob Dylan whom he alleged wrote the first draft of "A Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall" on Gravy’s typewriter.
Lauded as “a saint in a clown suit," by the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, “the illegitimate son of Harpo Marx and Mother Teresa,” by satirist Paul Krassner and “a master satirist” by Tom Wolfe, Wavy Gravy is the subject of Michelle Esrick’s Saint Misbehavin’: The Wavy Gravy Movie.
The documentary explores the iconic clown, given his stage name in 1969 by blues great B.B. King at the Texas International Pop Festival, rise in social activism through anti-war protests, the LSD-tripping Merry Pranksters, the hog farm (an activist commune), and Woodstock where he uttered the famous line “What we have in mind is breakfast in bed for 400,000."
The soundtrack includes vocals from Jackson Browne, Bob Weir, Steve Earle, Bonnie Raitt, David Crosby, Graham Nash and more.
Wavy Gravy is more than a clown he’s also a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor where royalties help fund Camp Winnarainbow, a performing arts camp helping disadvantaged kids and young-at-heart adults "find their inner clown.”
Saint Misbehavin’ had it’s premiere at the Red Vic December 3. Check local listings for future showtimes.