By 1965, the beatnik coffee house era that was a precursor to the more fresh-scrubbed, collegiate folk scene was already long passé, so this movie was already endearingly dated by the time it debuted, much like the beach party movies of the same period. In this comedy, a wealthy but nerdy New Yorker buys a Miami espresso joint because he has a crush on a woman who performs there. To win her over, he enlists the former owner to teach him how to be a proper beatnik, from growing a goatee and wearing a black turtleneck to mastering hepcat slang.
Also known as Hootenanny a Go-Go, the film turned out to be a showcase for a wide variety of folk acts. Performers include Oscar Brand, the Goldenbriars (whose Curt Boettcher went on to produce the Association’s hit “Along Comes Mary”) and a trio called Jim, Jake, and Joan — and yes, Joan is none other than Joan Rivers, making her film debut and doing her part to send up a scene that was already Squaresville, Daddy-o.
Next I’m Not There