Lenny Bruce: How to Talk Dirty and Influence People.
Even though he died of an overdose in 1966 at 39, Lenny Bruce's impact on comedy and free speech was profound; even if you find him crude or worse, you have to admire his testicularity. Tweet
Lenny Bruce was a stand-up pioneer.
He outraged as many as he entertained.
Hi latest incarnation: as a character in Amazon's "Marvelous Mrs Maisel".
The shit we think is funny today we might not even get a chance to see or hear if it weren’t for comedian Lenny Bruce.
Even though he died of an overdose in 1966 at 39, Lenny Bruce’s impact on comedy and free speech was profound. You might find him crude or worse, but you have to admire his testicularity.
Lenny Bruce’s impact on comedy and free speech was profound.
No matter how many times he was arrested at clubs on obscenity charges—or even outright banned from some cities for using words like cocksucker on stage—he just kept going back to give more. Often, he would weave details of his arrests into his routines.
And even now, 55 years after his death, his jokes are timely and often hit a nerve. But tastes change, so now The New York Times—hardly a trustworthy arbiter of humor—on the 50th anniversary of his death, wonders Was He Funny?
Judge for yourself:
- “Take away the right to say ‘fuck’ and you take away the right to say ‘fuck the government.”
- “Liberals can understand everything but people who don’t understand them.”
- “Marijuana will be legal some day, because the many law students who now smoke pot will some day become Congressmen and legalize it in order to protect themselves.”
- “I guess what happens is, if you get arrested in Town A (Philadelphia) and then Town B (San Francisco)—with a lot of publicity—then when you get to Town C they have to arrest you or what kind of shithouse town are they running?
Don’t see what all the fuss is about?
Then take a listen to a routine called “To come,” and imagine listening to a comedian performing this jazzy riff on orgasms on stage in 1964:
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