3-Minute Interview: Ed Holmes

The man also known as Bishop Joey is the founder of the First Church of the Last Laugh, the organization behind today’s Saint Stupid’s Day Parade, an annual downtown event on April Fools’ Day for nearly 30 years. Holmes, a performing artist, member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe and frequent political satirist, will lead the crowd from Justin Herman Plaza through Market Street.

What are the origins of the Saint Stupid’s Day Parade? It started in 1979 with about a dozen people basically talking about the culture in America. I studied some traditions and came across the Feast of Fools, and that’s where the motivation for the parade started. We chose the Financial District because that’s where the real churches of today are located.

What are some of the events that are planned for this year’s parade? We’re going to stop at the Federal Reserve Bank and foreclose on them and evict them, stop at the old Pacific Stock Exchange building and perform a sock exchange, and then stop at the Bank of America plaza and thank the banks for doing all they can by giving them all our pennies.

What’s the makeup of the parade usually like? We usually have a lot of performing artists wearing funny costumes. There are also lots of just normal people and tourists who are along for the walk. Sometimes we pick up some office workers who are free on their lunch break.

Are there ever adverse reactions to the parade from people who work in the Financial District? We’re not making fun of office workers, we’re entertaining them. We know most of them are regular workers who are just trying to make a living. We’re making fun of the huge corporations and the religion of business.

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