Manny the Hippie
was one those intriguing "real life" people David Letterman
finds and makes part of his show. Back in May 1996, Letterman took the Late Show to San Francisco
. Letterman was on quest to see if there were any hippies left. Letterman sent a camera crew down to Haight-Ashbury
and found 20-year-old Micah Papp, a hippie who went by the name "Manny the Hippie".
Manny was more slacker
than Hippie, but in 1996 no one in TV land realized all the real hippies had moved south east of Haight Ashbury to Palo Alto
and were working as Unix developer
s. What's important is Manny looked like a hippie to Letterman and Manny was ultimately a rather engaging, low key fellow with a musical voice and a hemp
satchel full of neologism
s that made Letterman giggle. Manny also played harmonica
For a few months Manny started making regular appearances on the Late Show as its in house movie reviewer. Manny would rate movies as either "schwag
" (i.e., bad) or "dank
" (i.e., good). Really bad movies were "shwiggity schwag" and really good movies were "diggity dank". Follow?
Shortly after ID4
was released, Letterman sent Manny to Roswell
to interview locals about the aliens 'n' junk.
Manny's started getting some movie offers and MTV
was considering basing a show around him. AT&T
was thinking about putting him in an ad ("Dude, you're gettin' an AT&T cell phone"). However, all good things…
Unbeknownst to Letterman, there was a small problem with Manny. Manny was wanted for violation of his probation agreement in Ohio. Seems he wasn't supposed to leave the state. He was on probation for selling an eighth of an ounce of pot
to a cop. Eventually Manny's donut-eating parole officer caught Manny on TV. By September 1996 Manny was on a TWA
flight back to Xenia, Ohio
to face charges.
Manny's defense was he was forced to flee Ohio because of mysterious threatening phone calls. Uh huh. The judge wasn't buying.
Manny was given 18 months in jail. Curiously true to his free spirited hippie persona, Manny turned down a lighter jail sentence which came with too many additional, restrictive strings: 30 days in county, 6 months under house arrest
at his mother's, an electronic monitoring leg bracelet, drug testing, and drug counseling.
Shortly after Manny's extradition to Ohio
, Letterman had him on again. Letterman gave Manny a stern lecture about staying out of trouble. Basically Letterman told Manny that when he got out of jail he'd consider having him back on the show again but if he ever got in trouble again "I don't know you."
Manny was released from jail
on June 12, 1997.
Since his release, Letterman has not had him back. He did land in some legal trouble in 1998 for loitering
in an Ohio mall.
In 1998, Manny had a bit part in a movie called Around the Fire
Manny appears to be living again these days in San Francisco, busking
on the streets and attending various pot legalization rallies.