Lenny Bruce

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Ralph J. Gleason

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 150

Lenny Bruce [is] a wildly insane comic whose material is beyond surrealism, farther out than Mort Sahl and devastating in its attacks on the pompous, the pious and the phony in American culture.

Although Bruce is heavily oriented with motion picture gags and inside jokes of the music business, there is enough of his searing commentary that can be grasped by the ordinary club audience….

Bruce is a good bet for any jazz club in the country; his humor is right out of a roadband sideman's perspective and delivered in a heterogeneous mixture of underworld argot, hipster slang and show biz patter. A standup comic who takes off from the daily paper a la Sahl, Bruce occasionally strays into areas that will bug the sensitive but completely gas the rounders in the audience.

Ralph J. Gleason, "Night Club Reviews: Ann's 440, S.F.," in Variety (copyright 1958, by Variety, Inc.), April 9, 1958, p. 111.

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