Fifty years ago, the political activist and anarchist Abbie Hoffman, a co-founder of the Yippies, was arrested at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Along with other members of the so-called Chicago Eight — which, following the separation of one prosecution, later became the Chicago Seven — Hoffman was charged with conspiracy and intent to riot.
But what is most fascinating in the history of Chicago comedy is what happened in 1969, the year that the events of August 1968 were put on trial, and Hoffman and his alleged co-conspirators all stood in the courtroom of Judge Julius J. Hoffman — Hoffman liked to call him “Julie” — as part of a trial that dragged on more than four months.
By day, Hoffman was in the courtroom. By night, Hoffman regularly appeared at The Second City. His favorite character: Judge Julie. His favorite verdict on himself? Guilty.