New Thing #214: Listen to Lenny Bruce


A lot of the comics I admire who are more truth tellers than clowns seem to credit Lenny Bruce as an inspiration. I thought it was high time that I finally gave him a listen.

His live, 1962 performance “Dirty Words” seemed like a good place to start. And it I think I was right. It is a pretty definitive representation of his philosophy and style. I wouldn’t call it comedy, it’s more performance art…but not the kind you want to claw your eyes out at after ten minutes.

It’s dark. It’s servere. It’s raw. And the man was ahead of his time to be saying the things he did.


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