Lenny Bruce Andrew Kopkind - Essay

Andrew Kopkind

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Lenny Bruce's life was an event in the history of radical culture in America, as well as an episode in the development of comedy. From beginnings as a lousy Jewish "comic" whose jokes were soggier than the knaidlach at the Concord, he created a raucous and raunchy style that turned tastelessness into high humor….

[By] the early Sixties he had gathered a reputation and a following that marked the breakout of beat art into mass culture. If you accept the validity of such milestones, the Underground began with Bruce….

[Bruce's art] was perverse, radical, lower-class and unassimilatedly Jewish….

Lenny Bruce was threatening to "square" America (at least to...

(The entire section is 1180 words.)