Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lenny Who?


In the paper this morning in the Celebrity Flashback secion it said on this date Jack Parr made his debut as host of NBC’s “Tonight Show” in 1957; Lenny Bruce died of a drug overdose at age 40 in 1966; and Mama Cass Eliott was found dead in London in 1974.

Lenny Who? You might ask.

And someone might respond by saying, “Oh yeah, he is mentioned in the radio news part on Simon and Garfunkel’s recording ‘Wednesday Morning A.M.’”.

I am not sure I heard of Lenny Bruce until 1963 when I was stationed at NAS Lakehurst, N.J., when my new friend Dick introduced me to The Realist magazine, edited and published by Paul Krassner.

The Realist was the first magazine that I had ran into that used Freedom of the Press to a maximum. I really enjoyed reading The Realist for many more years until it dwindled itself out of existence.

In those early issues of The Realist Paul Krassner really had a lot to say about Lenny Bruce and how he was mistreated by the law, judges, priests, and just about everybody else of authority.

Lenny Bruce was a comedian. I think he was probably the first to be labeled a “a sick comedian”. He took up issues that everybody else were afraid to talk about – such as has unbalanced racial equality was, war, authority, the church, and etc. He poked fun of sacred cows. He didn’t hesitate to use four-letter words if the situation in his comedian bit called for it.

Some believed he opened the way for people expressing themselves so freely in all forms of art today… which, I suppose, some could argue that is bad. But who really knows?

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8 Comments:

Blogger kenju said...

I don't think I ever heard or saw Lenny more than once or twice, but I did see the start of Jack Paar's show and I loved him! I also saw the show where he walked off the stage and quit. I missed him a lot after that.

6:17 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Judy,
Yeah, I remember Jack Paar walking off The Tonight Show with a tear in his eye.
I remember reading a rather witty book by him also, I think the name of it is "My Sabra Is Bent".
Jack was unpredictable, I think that is why he was so well watched - you never knew what to expect next.
Contrary to when Steve Allen first had The Tonight Show - Stevereno was more hipped but you knew what to expect.

7:03 AM  
Blogger cbish68 said...

Jack Parr was one of a kind. I love to watch old Tonight Show footage of him.

Lenny Bruce was a misunderstood comedic genius. The boundaries in society are always going to get challenged. Its the true artists and innovators who go there first and are called extreme or crazy.

7:26 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Chris,
You said what I was trying to say about Lenny Bruce. I have one of his LPs, "Togetherness, with the subtitle "I'm not a nut, elect me!" and one book by him "How To Talk Dirty and Influence People" and two books about him... quiet an innovator!

8:16 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/lenny.html

Thats actually how I heard of him, Ed.

12:21 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Steve,
That is right, I remember he did rhyme with something and was in a Dylan's song. I forgot.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Lenny Who?!?! Everyone knows Lenny Bruce! While I can't say I am familiar with his material, I do know all about him and admire that he said what he wanted to, when he wanted to.

10:09 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Suzanne,
He got arrested many times for being obscene during his comedy act - the obscenity was that he used the F4-letter word freely.
I think obscene has been defined as something that arouses the sexual interest of someone... I doubt if anyone was sexually turned on by his word usage.

2:29 AM  

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