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11 Episodes

American Prankster: Wavy Gravy's Life Story

There aren’t many original Beatniks left on planet earth, and as of this writing, Wavy Gravy is one of the very last ones standing. But Wavy isn’t just an original Beatnik poet; he is also an improv comedy trailblazer and international comedic activist whose antics once involved running a pig for president. This series travels from the beginnings of Wavy’s childhood, onto the Gaslight Café Beatnik years, and then to the counterculture era of San Francisco where the convergence of psychedelic and comedy history collided. This steered Wavy to Hollywood where his comedy career soared and propelled him to the famed Acid Tests and the birth of his Hog Farm commune. It would also bring him to the stage of the Woodstock Peace and Music Festival, enshrining Wavy as a global symbol for peace, love and Rock’n’Roll....

Wavy’s historic and hilarious adventures include his involvement in countless cultural watershed moments in American history, such as the fabrication of snapping for applause, the introduction of granola to hippies and the creation of the hippie ethos itself.

American Prankster is a chronological deep dive with Wavy that unfolds never-before-heard stories about his life that even he had forgotten until they were retrieved during interviews with Rainbow Valentine from Disorganized Crime: Smuggler’s Daughter.

Stories of Wavy’s psychedelic shenanigans with countless icons include: Lenny Bruce, Groucho Marx, BB King, Janis Joplin, Tiny Tim, Del Close, Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, Margo St. James, Thelonius Monk, Bob Dylan, Ram Dass, Albert Einstein, Peter, Paul and Mary, Marlene Dietrich, Severin Darden, Joan Baez, Martha Graham, Alice Cooper, David Crosby, Jackson Brown, Abbie Hoffman, Bob Weir, Mama Cass, John Coltrane, Grace Slick, Jerry Garcia, Paul Krassner, Bill Graham, Tim Harden, Robin Williams, Viola Spolin, Pink Floyd and many more.

Guests on this series include members of the Hog Farm, the Merry Pranksters, Grateful Dead Family, KMPX, The Committee, the Family Dog, the Medicine Ball Caravan, the Yippies and other counterculture institutions.

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Original music by Will Collins, Hope for Agoldensummer, Noodle McDoodle, Gabby La La, the Ukulady and more.

Executive produced by Erich Hoeber, Larry and Girja Brilliant, Thessaly Lerner, Wavy Gravy, Gahd and Company and sponsored by Levy Informatics at LevyInformatics.com.

Associate producers include Brian Slusher, Ryan Reeves, Sage Liem, Trina Calderon, Marc Margolis, Jahanarah Romney, Zappo Dickenson and Jundid Sykes. Logo by Jordan Paysano.

Enormous gratitude to all the budget donors, especially the biggies. Your budget donations made this series possible.