Groovy Gravy

The ice cream flavor that Ben & Jerry’s famously named after hippie icon Wavy Gravy provides a surprisingly apt simile for Saint Misbehavin’: The Wavy Gravy Movie, last year’s documentary about the Woodstock-era activist: Both are sweet, both are full of nuts (wokka-wokka) and neither has a lick of substance to it. But, as is the case with ice cream, just because it’s slight doesn’t mean it’s not worth consuming.

The film offers a rosy view of its subject, doing nothing to contradict the title of “saint” that it has bestowed upon him. But the man nevertheless manages to be plenty interesting. The ubiquitous Gravy (neé Hugh Romney) could almost be a photobomb in the background of every Polaroid snapped during the counterculture years of the 1960s: He roomed with Bob Dylan; he palled around with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters; he started the Hog Farm – pretty much the hippie commune – which he continues to run today. Saint Misbehavin' follows those exploits and more, from his beginnings as a standup comic in Greenwich Village through the times when, as a political protester, he figured out he could avoid police beatings by dressing as a clown, and on to the present day.

The documentary screens tonight at 7 and 9 p.m. in Muenzinger Auditorium on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus, as part of the school's International Film Series. Tickets are $6; for more information, call 303-492-1531 or visit
Wed., April 13, 7 & 9 p.m., 2011

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte