Lenny Bruce was born Leonard Alfred Schneider on October 13, 1925, in Mineola, New York. His parents, Sally and Myron Schneider, were Jewish immigrants from Poland. Lenny had two older brothers, Irving and Phillip. His early education took place at the local public school, where he was an average student.
Lenny’s career began when he started working as a stand-up comedian in the early 1940s. He quickly developed a reputation for his edgy and controversial material. In the 1950s, Lenny began appearing on television and in films. He also recorded a number of comedy albums that were popular with audiences.
Lenny’s career reached its peak in the 1960s. He was arrested several times for using obscene language during his performances. In 1964, he was convicted of obscenity charges and sentenced to four months in jail. The conviction was later overturned on appeal.
Lenny Bruce died of a drug overdose on August 3, 1966. He was 40 years old.
Lenny Bruce was a groundbreaking stand-up comedian who pushed the boundaries of free speech with his edgy and controversial material. His career reached its peak in the 1960s, but he was arrested several times for using obscene language during his performances. In 1964, he was convicted of obscenity charges and sentenced to four months in jail. The conviction was later overturned on appeal. Lenny Bruce died of a drug overdose on August 3, 1966. He was 40 years old.
August 3, 1966, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States
Comedian, Screenwriter, Voice Actor
Wellington C. Mepham High School
Sally Marr, Myron Schneider
Academy Award for Best Actor, Academy Award for Best Picture, Academy Award for Best Actress, Academy Award for Best Director, Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture – Drama, Golden Globe Award ...
Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth, Lenny Bruce Without Tears, Thank You Mask Man, The Lenny Bruce Performance Film, The Cape Canaveral Monsters, The Rocket Man, Dance Hall Racket, Hungry I Reunion, Dream Follies
I won't say ours was a tough school, but we had our own coroner. We used to write songs like, "What I'm going to do if I grow up".
A lot of people say to me, "Why did you kill Christ?". I dunno. It was one of those parties, got out of hand, you know.
The only truly anonymous donor is the guy who knocks up your daughter.
Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
[on André Previn's shock at being presented with a stolen set of books] You're not thinking straight, man. If I had 90 bucks and spent it in order to get you a present, what would be a big deal in that? It wouldn't even make a dent in me! But to steal 'em for you--I'm already on parole, man, and if I had got caught, I would have gone back to jail. Now that's what I call giving you a present.
I'll die young, but it's like kissing God.
If God made the body, and the body is dirty, then the fault lies with the manufacturer.
Marijuana will be legal some day, because the many law students who now smoke pot will someday become Congressmen and legalize it in order to protect themselves.
I credit the motion picture industry as the strongest environmental factor in molding the children of my day.
"Life" is a four-letter word.
I hate small towns because once you've seen the cannon in the park there's nothing else to do.
All my humor is based on destruction and despair. If the whole world were tranquil, without disease and violence, I'd be standing in the breadline--right in back of J. Edgar Hoover.
#3 in Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Standups of All Time.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy", by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 69-72. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
On December 23, 2003, New York Gov. George Pataki granted him a posthumous pardon, a first in New York state history, for an obscenity charge filed after a particularly raunchy performance in 1964 at "Cafe Au Go Go" in New York City's Greenwich Village during which he was said to have used more than 100 obscene words.
Is given a respectful thank-you in the credits to George Carlin's "Class Clown" album, under his real name, Leonard Schneider.
Information about his death was mentioned in Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel's song "7 O'Clock News / Silent Night". He is also mentioned in the lyrics of the Genesis song "Broadway Melody of 1974" from their album "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" and R.E.M.'s hit song "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)". Bob Dylan wrote a song about him, entitled "Lenny Bruce", which is the fourth track on his 1981 album "Shot of Love".
He appears on the sleeve artwork of the album "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles (released in 1967). He is also one of several famous and tragic figures from history to be featured on the sleeve artwork of the album "Clutching at Straws" by rock band Marillion (released in 1987).