But the title he may favor is one he found buried in his FBI file.
"To classify Krassner as a social rebel is far too cute," a letter in the file said in response to a favorable magazine interview with the co-founder of the Yippie Party, the group that notoriously disrupted the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. "He's a nut, a raving, unconfined nut."
So Krassner titled his autobiography "Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut."
"I figured I might as well make use of it," says the author, smiling broadly as he sits in the living room of his modest tract home in this sandy, sagebrush-dotted corner of the Mojave Desert on a scorchingly hot morning. On a nearby table is a copy of "A People's History of the United States of America" by historian and social activist .
For someone who has lived figuratively on the edge of society for most of his life, Krassner appears to have made the move literally as well, having left Los Angeles' epicenter of counterculture, Venice Beach, several years ago to take up residence in a place where the temperature sometimes hits 120 degrees, accompanied by blast-furnace winds of 70 mph or more.
But the co-founder of the group that once ran a pig for president and tried to disrupt the seat of capitalism by throwing dollar bills onto the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, says he has come to love his quiet little piece of Americana with its backyard views of the snowcapped mountains towering over Palm Springs in the distance.
Krassner, who made his debut at Carnegie Hall as a violinist at age 7 (and then almost immediately gave up music because he couldn't get along with his teacher) is 77 now. That's a number he confirms with both a sheepish grin and a faux apology: "I'm sorry, I don't know how that happened."
But if the years are gaining on him, the exuberant, still-youthful-looking rebel never lets on.
Still an unabashed political radical, as well as a prolific writer, Krassner is the author of more than a dozen books. The most recent, "Who's to Say What's Obscene: Politics, Culture and Comedy in America Today," comes out in July.
It takes a skewering look at American politics and morals, speaking generally in favor of such subjects as pornography and recreational drug use and dismissing the torture of prisoners of war as something that is truly obscene. But it goes about it in such a lighthearted fashion as to rarely seem preachy.
"The word that comes to mind when I think of him is integrity," says Truthdig.com. "The guy anguishes over what is right and wrong more than the editors of the most respectable publications. ... He doesn't get it right all the time, but he always thinks it out.", former syndicated columnist and founding editor of the online magazine
It was Krassner, Scheer says, who gave him his big break as an investigative reporter, providing the money to travel to Vietnam in 1963 to report on covert U.S. involvement in that country's civil war before the United States had become inextricably involved in it. Scheer's story, first published in Krassner's small, groundbreaking satirical magazine, The Realist, was picked up by the mainstream media and gained national attention.
The publisher had raised the money for Scheer's Vietnam trip by selling red, white and blue posters with the word Communism, preceded by another, much more impolite word. The posters quickly became a hit on college dorm room walls.
"It really confused all these conservative types," Scheer recalled with a laugh. "They hated communism" but they also hated seeing it described with a barnyard epithet for sexual intercourse.
That is just one of a seemingly endless chain of stories of practical jokes and other stunts attached to Krassner's name, some of them true, others apocryphal.
One of the latter, says Krassner, is that he came up with the acronym for theby throwing his head back in a moment of psychedelic-inspired bliss and shouting "Yippie!"
"As a journalist, I knew that we had to have a who for the who, what, where, when and why that would symbolize the radicalization of hippies for the media," he says with a mischievous smirk. "So I started going through the alphabet: Bippie, Dippie, Ippie, Sippie. I was about to give up when I came to Yippie."