Boing Boing interviews Paul Krassner

When Carla and I started the print zine bOING bOING in 1988, one of our primary inspirations was a countercultural newsletter called The Realist. Founded in 1958, The Realist published nonfiction and satirical pieces side by side, leaving it up to the reader to decide which was which.

The publisher and editor of The Realist, Paul Krassner, specialized in goring sacred cows. The most infamous piece he ran in his newsletter was a two page drawing by Wally Wood called "The Disneyland Memorial Orgy," which commemorated the death of Walt Disney by depicting all the popular Disney Characters having sex outside the gates of the Magic Kingdom. You can see a color reproduction of the poster, which Paul is selling, on his website.

When Life magazine profiled Krassner in the 1960s, describing him as a "social rebel," the FBI sent the magazine a poison pen letter that said. "To classify Krassner as a social rebel is far too cute. He's a nut, a raving, unconfined nut." True to Krassner's pranksterish form, he used that description in the title of one of his books, Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut : Misadventures in Counter-Culture.

I don't know of anyone who has had as many weird experiences as Paul. Besides being the co-founder of the Youth International Party, also known as the Yippies, along with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, Paul is famous for gaving Groucho Marx his first acid trip, writing for Mad, being publisher of Larry Flynt's Hustler in the late 1970s, and editing Lenny Bruce's autobiography.

Today, at age 73, he's as busy as ever, writing columns for several publications and regularly blogging on the Huffington Post. I spoke with Paul on February 20, 2006. Link

As a bonus Paul Krassner gave me his media diet:

Sam Smith's Progressive Review
N.Y. Times
Washington Post
L.A. Weekly
Village Voice
Ironic Times

Harry Shearer's Le Show
NPR News
Air America
Rush Limbaugh
Bill O'Reilly

Network & cable news
various magazine shows
Bill Maher's Real Time
Jon Stewart's Daily Show
The Simpsons
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Office

Print publications:
The Desert Sun (local paper)
The Desert Post Weekly (an alternative paper published by the daily paper)
The Valley Breeze (local right-wing weekly)
The Nation
The New Yorker
Vanity Fair
Mouth (magazine for the disabled, or, rather the differently abled)
Funny Times
Liberal Opinion
Utne Reader
Mother Jones
Rolling Stone