Monday, April 28, 2014

#A-TO-Z CHALLENGE – LETTER “X” – SWAMI X

SWAMI X

I honestly had not clue one as to what I was going to write about for my letter “X” when I reached this juncture. So, I did what any good researcher does in a pinch (forget about preparing ahead, I do everything in real-time) I hit Wikipedia up for a suggestion and discovered a little-known boardwalk performer in America. . .

Swami X is an American boardwalk performer and stand-up comedian. Active from the 1970s to 1985, he performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, and New York. He was known for bawdy sexual humor and political invective.

His act was a monologue mixing pity sociopolitical observations with poetry, sarcasm and humor, which typically included blasphemy, profanity and attacking the shibboleths of the day – producing “pleased shock and delighted outrage” in observers. His notable lines include”

  • How do we know Jesus Christ was Jewish? Because he went into his Father's business.”
  • Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. 'Yes' is the answer.”
  • If I had known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”
                                                                                                        
Swami X's 88th Birthday, I presume with my faboo upside-down reading superpowers!

He was known for appearing on the Venice Boardwalk, at the UCLA and the U. C. Berkely campuses, in San Francisco (probably on the wharf or near Ghirardelli Square), and at Washington Park in NYC. He retired in 1985. In 2009 the mayor of L. A., Antonio Villaraigosa, presented him with an official proclamation.

The fun part of this came when I was looking for pictures. The disambiguation is wide and wonderful in the images; everything from real Swamis to Swami Comedy Acts. Maybe I should have done my whole A-to-Z them on Swamis. On second thought, no. It's been hard enough coming up with entertaining Humorists, or witty observations about Humor itself. I actually believe I would have been better off just writing 26 stories about my crazy family; God knows there's material enough!

Anyway, I found these delightful pictures of some Swamis, but not OUR Swami:


I'm guessing this is some kind of Bollywood Musical Extravaganza-type Comedy. It looks to be a laff-riot!

 Presenting Swami Beyondananda! At the Unitarian Fellowship, of all places. There is so much going on here. Would the Indian defamation league complain? Is there an Indian defamation league? This is so fitting for Unitarians, whose creed seems to be "whatever, whomever, all ever, forever". Or something. The concept of a 2-man, 1-man show has me a little befuddled as well. Does this guy use a sock puppet for his alter ego? Or just put on his Swami hat?


Swami who is a real Swami; alas I couldn't find his name. He also looks like he's ready for his tryout in the latest revival of "Hair", as it was during the age of love and peace and harmony. I miss those days.


 Okay this is OUR Swami, Swami X. He looks like a cross between "Easy Rider" and a parade float! I remember the street performers in San Francisco back in the early 70s. I missed this, because I surely would have remembered him, had I seen him. I'm sorry I missed him.
 

Swami X in his days of retirement, looking rather back-woodsish and Jeremiah Johnson-like.
 

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