Lenny Bruce Richard Luckett - Essay

Richard Luckett

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Bruce's acts depended to a great extent on a multitude of masks, as swiftly dropped as assumed, and each distinguished by a particular tone of voice and manner of delivery. Each act, moreover, would be lavishly decked out with a highly refined version of Victor Borge's "verbal punctuation," and continually interrupted by an exclamatory voice which must be taken to represent the reactions of Bruce the man to the statements of Bruce the comedian. The seriousness of his performances—and they were serious, though it is easy to overestimate just to what extent—depended on the multiple levels of implication that these devices suggested…. Bruce's shows were built around units, dramatic scenes, which he often repeated...

(The entire section is 1133 words.)