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Lenny Bruce


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From the '60s to the '80s, from Richard Pryor to Sam Kinison, no comedian graduated to the big time without first studying Lenny Bruce. He shocked audiences with jokes about sex and religion for two reasons: it got laughs, and people were telling him not to do it. He was comedy’s bad boy. He wanted to challenge the word “no,” and he did it by using words people didn’t usually say on stage. He was admired—at first—for his irreverent bravado. And he’s still a hero today mostly because his comedy was honest. The problems he touched on—racial bias, immorality, and religious hypocrisy—are still with us.

Lenny Bruce Originals Vol.1 and Vol.2, Fantasy Records, 1991.

Lenny Bruce
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