Lenny Bruce Essay, Research Paper
Leonard Alfred Schneider, or more normally known as Lenny Bruce, was a comedian, a
household adult male, drug nut, and philosopher. A conventional Judaic kid from Long Island, who
joked about homosexualism, drugs, faith, and race. Arguably, he paved the manner for the cartoon strips
of today, paying the monetary value for being twenty old ages in front of his clip. Addicted to coarseness and
drugs he became a regular in courtrooms across America. The humiliation he caused a
Philadelphia justice is thought to be another ground he spent so much clip in tribunal. His ill-timed
decease still stirs guess of slaying, instead than merely another drug addict that overdosed.
Bruce was born on October 13, 1925 in Long Island, New York. His male parent worked as an
orthopaedic shoe salesman, who spoiled his lone kid, while his female parent was his best friend. When
Bruce was eight-years-old, his parents divorced. In 1936, his male parent remarried, and along with
Bruce, they lived a conventional life. However, the wind instrumentalists and drug influences around him
impacted him and the manner he talked. At age 17, Bruce joined the Navy. But after two
old ages of contending fascists, he became tired of it. He went to the medical officers proclaiming that
he was obsessed with homosexualism. Shortly after, he was dishonorably discharged ( Hendra 115 ) .
Once he came home his male parent had offered him a occupation selling orthopaedic places. However,
Bruce had other programs ; he wanted to be a comedian. Bruce started as an impressionist, although
he was non really good. In 1948 the? Arthur Godfrey? s Talent Scouts Show? offered Bruce a
telecasting visual aspect and a opportunity execute his act. Few engagements were made after that broadcast.
Bruce? s calling had started easy ; doing visual aspects at strip nines and executing his act.
Harriet Lloyd, or? Honey? , was a stripper at one of the nines where he performed. And, in 1951
she became his married woman ( Kronke ) . Together, they moved to Los Angeles and did Acts of the Apostless that he
directed. Bruce and his new married woman shortly expanded the family-having a miss whom they called Kitty.
Even with his new household, Bruce continued making Acts of the Apostless at strip nines. Once while executing at a
strip nine, Bruce stripped bare and said, ? What? s the large trade? This is what you came for International Relations and Security Network? T
it? ? ( Hendra 116 ) . This flooring type of behaviour was thought to be the turning point of his
From that uncovering show in 1955 to shows in 1957, he was an icon for many nines in Los
Angeles. He worked chiefly at the Crescendo, where he would acquire on phase and inquire people if they
had baby-sitters at place, so he would name the baby-sitter and state them that their employer had
merely died in a auto accident ( Hendra 125 ) . This was one of his most popular Acts of the Apostless. Performing at the
nines allowed him to play with the audience ; even if it included playing an atrocious gag on person.
A unequivocal minute in his calling took topographic point in 1959, when a fan of Bruce? s and a host of a
popular NBC telecasting show, asked him to look on the show. Steve Allen, the host of? The
Steve Allen Show, ? had Bruce on twice that twelvemonth, each clip the NBC manufacturers were purely
baning any stuff he used. Wordss that may hold made Lenny Bruce a strip-club-favorite,
were by and large non allowed
on air. These regular visual aspects at nines and telecasting shows helped pay for a turning drug
dependence ( Goldman 88 ) .
In 1959, Bruce was busted for ownership of narcotics. To remain out of gaol he cut a trade
with the L.A.P.D. and agreed to turn in drug traders that he knew. Later, while in Philadelphia in
1961, he was arrested for holding prescription drugs such as
pep pills. ( Kronke ) . After the
test Bruce went public about a corrupt Philadelphia Judge who would drop the charges for a fee.
Once he humiliated this elected official prosecuting officers and Judgess went after him. Merely five yearss after,
while in San Francisco, he was arrested. From that point on Bruce could non acquire away with
anything ( Goldberg 23 ) .
Bruce? s manner of speaking was non acceptable public speech production at the clip. His blunt and
sometime rough words were classified as? dirty words? . Constantly he made merriment of issues that
were non spoken in public such as homosexualism, drug nuts, and communism. He would state
things like, ? ( My friend ) Carmelo? s female parent was a manicurist and the town prostitute. The symbols of
my childhood are gone & # 8211 ; what a shame! & # 8211 ; the state physician, the town prostitute, small town imbecile, the
drunken household from the incorrect side of the paths have been replaced with the Communist, the
drug addict, the fagot, and the beatnik, ? ( Lenny Bruce ) . Once, while executing in 1964 at the Cafe
au Go-Go in New York, non long after the Kennedy blackwash, Bruce made a gag about
Jackie Kennedy? s actions when the gunfires took topographic point. She was sprawled out on the bole seeking
to acquire out of the backseat of the auto, where the gunfires were aimed, and Bruce said she was
? haling buttocks to salvage ass. ? That dark there were several N.Y.P.D. Theatrical Crit. Squad members
taking notes on everything that they felt was of import. Once Bruce finished his remark about
Jackie Kennedy they arrested him ( Hendra 169-170 ) .
Bruce? s vocabulary frequently did non run into the criterions of the society so, but now
comedy Acts of the Apostless like his are regular. Had Bruce non stood his land, many comics would hold
had to contend for their right of free address. In this manner, Bruce was in front of his clip and paved the
manner for the comics of today ( Allen 65-68 ) .
On August 6, 1966 Lenny Bruce died from an overdose of diacetylmorphine. The leery portion of
his decease was the fact that Bruce? s normal wonts when acquiring high were non present. Normally
when he would utilize diacetylmorphine, there would be tapers, a spoon, cotton, some blood from jacking the
spike, but none of these agents were present. For many, the scene was excessively clean. On the desk in
the room next to where he was found, was an IBM on which he wrote his last words, ? Conspiracy
to interfere with the 4th amendment const & # 8230 ; ? ( Goldman 554 ) .
Bruce had gone to tribunal many times, but for few grounds. Many times over he would
support his stance on freedom of address and his rights. Test after test he fought the same loosing
conflict, but he ne’er gave up. Peoples have referred to him as a philosopher when it came to
talking the head and finding of what is right ( Allen 77 ) .Lenny Bruce was a great mind
and comedian, that did non merely force the envelope to the border, but over. Although his
drug wont may hold killed him, it sustained his saneness. Without it, he would hold either gone
insane or given up on comedy and the battle for what is right. His finding for freedom of
address and character gave society a expression into the existent universe, and non the candied version.
Allen, Steve. Funny People. Briarcliff Manor: Stein and Day,1981.
Goldman, Albert. Ladies and Gentlemen Lenny Bruce! . New York: Random House,1971.
Hendra, Tony. Traveling Too Far The Rise and Fall of Sick, Gross, Black, Sophomoric, Weirdo,
Pinko, Anarchist, Underground, Anti-Establishment Humor. New York: Doubleday,
Kronke, David. ? Amusing Lenny Bruce Lionized For First Amendment Stands. ? Los Angeles Daily
News 9 Aug.1999:06.