Lenny Bruce


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Bruce, Lenny,

1925–66, American comedian, b. Long Island, N.Y., as Leonard Alfred Schneider. Possessed of a cynical, surreal, and intensely comic view of the world, Bruce brutally satirized such sensitive areas of American life as sex, religion, and race relations. His comedy left no group unscathed, and his routines were replete with four-letter words. Consequently, Bruce was at various times arrested and forbidden to perform; in 1964 he was convicted of obscenity charges stemming from a New York City performance. He was also arrested for narcotics violations. In Aug., 1966, he died of an overdose of narcotics at the age of 41. After his death Bruce became a cult figure, considered by many to be a martyr to the cause of free speech. His autobiography, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People (1965), sold well, and his nightclub routines were collected and published as The Essential Lenny Bruce (1966). Lenny, a musical based on his life and including much of his comic material, was a hit on Broadway in 1971. After his cult popularity had diminished, he was still regarded as a seminal figure in American culture, whose influence could be seen in the work of important novelists, playwrights, and filmmakers of the 1970s. In 2003, Bruce was posthumously pardoned of his obscenity conviction by the governor of New York.

Bibliography

See biography by A. Goldman (with L. Schiller), Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce!! (1974).

Bruce, Lenny (b. Leonard Alfred Schneider)

(1925–66) comedian; born in Mineola, N.Y. He joined the navy at age 16 and served during World War II until 1946. He held various jobs while studying acting in New York. An appearance on the Arthur Godfrey television show brought him national attention. A stand-up nightclub entertainer, his scatalogical language and outrageous, sardonic humor was alternatively called obscene and "radically relevant." Denounced for blasphemy in Australia and banned from performing in England, he was arrested for obscenity after a Greenwich Village show in 1964. Increasingly paranoid, he died of a drug overdose. His autobiography, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People, was published in 1965; the play Lenny was devoted to him; and he is regarded as having "liberated" a whole new generation of comedians.
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Lenny Bruce and the Beat Generation proved that it could be cool to be Jewish.
2) Leonard Schneider was born on Long Island in 1926; the comedian Lenny Bruce died at his home in Hollywood Hills in 1966 from an overdose of morphine.
So we read that Wynn was the warm-up act for Lenny Bruce, although Bruce and Meader would have been as unlikely a co-bill as Sonny Bono and Jim Morrison.
The Kennedys, Lenny Bruce, Barry Commoner, Ralph Nader--none of them were Boomers.
From Lenny Bruce to Richard Pryor to Chris Rock, comedy has the ability to change minds in a way that nothing else can.
In fact, she's a fan of the fearless: Chris Rock, Lenny Bruce, Ellen DeGeneres, the late Redd Foxx and Whoopi Goldberg.
No doubt comedian Lenny Bruce would have laughed with at least a tinge of bitterness if--like millions of Americans--he picked up a newspaper the day before Christmas 2003 and read that he'd been "pardoned" by New York Governor George Pataki for an obscenity conviction.
Comedian Lenny Bruce was granted a posthumous pardon by New York state Governor George Pataki yesterday for a near 40-year-old obscenity conviction prompted by a foul-mouthed political commentary.
Lenny Bruce fought to the death just to say what he wanted (and do some drugs, but let's glaze over that).
Izzard, who has just completed a lengthy West End stage run playing controversial US comedian Lenny Bruce, was hilarious when touching on the subject of religion.
Nor, since forewarned is forearmed, will many find the novel as humorous as it was meant to be and doubtless once was, save in the way old Lenny Bruce bits are still "funny" today.
Shapiro, writing as a totally self-confident American Jew, does not even hesitate quoting from a Lenny Bruce routine on Jesus: "We killed him because he didn't want to become a doctor, that why we killed him".