2003 December 23

Lenny Bruce Pardoned, Thirty-Nine Years Later


New York Governor George Pataki, on this day, granted comedian Lenny Bruce a posthumous pardon for his obscenity conviction on November 4, 1964, in New York City. Bruce’s iconoclastic style of humor involved searing attacks on American hypocrisy about sex, race relations, and religion. He became the role model for many later stand-up comics whose humor had a political orientation. For another arrest for offending local sensibilities, see October 4, 1961.

Read about Bruce’s career: Ronald K. L. Collins and David M. Skover, The Trials of Lenny Bruce: The Fall and Rise of an American Icon (2002)

Listen to Lenny Bruce’s “What I Was Arrested For” routinehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew2OJNFEisA

Learn more about his trial: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/bruce/bruce.html

Visit the official Lenny Bruce website: http://www.lennybruceofficial.com/

Listen to a radio documentary, The Life and Crimes of Lenny Bruce: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8R4fZU3UG8

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