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It's Not Okay to be Lenny Bruce at Brandeis
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In the 1960s, Lenny Bruce was the martyred saint of the rising upstarts undermining the old social order. In the 2010s the winners of the 1960s struggles don’t see anything at all funny about a play moving Bruce to the present.

From Inside Higher Education:

Is Lenny Bruce Too Much for Brandeis to Handle?

Play about late comedian is called off amid student protests.
By Nick Roll
November 6, 2017

Lenny Bruce made a career of transgressing traditional social mores with his stand-up routines, culminating in his conviction for obscenity in 1964.

Now a production of a play based on Bruce’s comedy at Brandeis University has been canceled, after students and alumni rallied in opposition. They complained about what they called the play’s offensive and objectionable content, though this time objections came from the left.

The play, Buyer Beware, written by Brandeis alumnus Michael Weller, was originally scheduled to be put on by the university’s theater department this month. Following backlash from students and alumni who organized against the play, faculty members postponed the play until the spring semester. Weller has since decided to take the production elsewhere …

Though Bruce died in 1966, the play takes place in the present. According to drafts of the play reported on by two student publications at Brandeis, the play’s main character discovers old recordings of Bruce’s stand-up routine and makes plans to deliver a similar performance at Brandeis, which is met with university pushback and student protests.
Organizers opposing the play rallied around the play’s portrayal of the Black Lives Matter movement and its black characters. They also criticized its merits as a work of art, saying the play wasn’t well written.

Or maybe Lenny Bruce, despite all we’ve heard about his genius over the last half century, just isn’t funny? A running joke in director Bob Fosse’s autobiographical movie All That Jazz was what an ordeal it was to edit the Bruce monologues done by Dustin Hoffman in his biopic Lenny into something finally funny. And then the laughs are attributed by critics to the real life character’s natural hilariousness in contrast to the director’s contrived preciosity.

“Why would we want to elevate something like this? Why do we need to put time and resources into something like this?” Andrew Child, a Brandeis theater student who read a draft of the play and helped organize opposition to the production, told The Boston Globe.

… The irony of a play based on a provocateur being canceled for being too provocative was not lost on some.

“The notion that the staging of a play about comedian Lenny Bruce would be held up over incendiary content seems too ironic to be true,” Globe reporter Mark Arsenault wrote. “Or like the setup for a scorching joke Bruce would have told.” …

“Don’t think political correctness is a problem on campus? Try producing a play about it,” the author wrote.

 
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  1. Peterike says:

    Lenny Bruce wasn’t a comedian. He was a cultural weapon, a bucket of acid thrown in the face of white, Gentile America. He was never funny, but that wasn’t the point. Normalizing obscenity and perversion was the point. Jews are ever in the forefront of decadence movements, because decadence is a divide and conquer strategy. Then they discovered mass immigration, even more effective. And by then, decadence had nowhere left to go.

    Read More
    • Replies: @a guy
    At the time Bruce was alive , I would wager 90%+ of the Jews in America strongly disliked him . My grandparents referred to him as a "drug addict" and "garbage" the one time I heard them mention him. Anyone younger than my grandparents generation has no thoughts about Bruce , because as Steve alluded to , he was a talentless hack and most probably don't even know who he was. But do stay "Jew wise " and "woke" .Its a really good look for you............
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  2. That’s sick.

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  3. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    OT: sorry just read about the Pittsburgh “Kneelers” – NFL never will return to what it was.

    Tao Te Ching “Rulers should not do clever things, because it strikes a resonant chord in the people”

    This chord lopped 2 0s off the Kneelers market value.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jJay

    OT: sorry just read about the Pittsburgh “Kneelers”
     
    I assistant couch a little league baseball (fallball) team. I left the game for moment to take a piss and when I returned all the player were taking a knee. That's because someone got hurt and the rule is all the fielders take a knee until the hurt player gets back up. So I say, "What's up, did someone play the National Anthem?". That went over like a lead balloon. And it was my son, the catcher, who got hurt.

    Tough crowd these days.

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  4. JohnnyD says:

    I’m not surprised. Today’s SJWS/millennials have absolutely no sense of humor.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AndrewR
    Ugh, millennials, amirite??? They're the worst!
    By the way, what's the deal with airline food?
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  5. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    play’s offensive and objectionable content,

    Ours is a culture awash in piercings, tattoos, slut culture, pornography, Tarantino-ism, rap thuggery, antifa pathology, and etc…. but these people complain about ‘objectionable’ content?

    All it means is that Liberal culture back then reveled in ethnic/race humor and making fun of homos.

    I mean Bruce’s vulgarity was mild compared to the trash on TV today. FAMILY GUY and Lena Dunham ran on primetime.

    The difference is Bruce was irreverent about things we are supposed to reverent about today.

    This also goes for Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, Rodney Dangerfield, Johnny Carson, and Redd Foxx.

    That said, standup comedy since the 60s has had mostly a corrosive effect on society.
    Too much vulgarity and trashiness.

    I like Rickles and Dangerfield but too many later guys and girls are just filth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Clyde
    Fred Sanford called Aunt Esther a gorilla ten times on this youtube best of I saw a few days ago. Best of Sanford and Son. It was great when she wacked Fred over the head with her large handbag.
    , @George
    Lenny Bruce was more of a "monologist". Compare him with Andrew Dice Clay, who was never officially obscene but was forced off the stage by feminists and others.

    Mostly Clean lecture by Lenny Bruce:
    Lenny Bruce on Southerners, Religion, Racism, Obscenity, Law, Police, Politics (1966)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umI4XCOGrmo

    Gilbert Gottfried Does Andrew Dice Clay
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftMb7wLrqsw
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  6. jJay says:

    Or maybe Lenny Bruce, despite all we’ve heard about his genius over the last half century, just isn’t funny?

    I don’t get Lenny Bruce. But I’m not sure if that’s because he was never funny or I just didn’t live in the time period for me to get the context of his humor. I still get Sam Kinison. I still get Jimmy Kimmel in black-face making fun of Karl Malone. And how does Kimmel get a pass on that? Just by being a vocal lefty?

    Read More
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  7. I would love to get my hands on that script. Anyone here know anyone at Brandeis?

    The fact that it was pulled so quickly and labeled poorly written by the PDB means it must be hilarious!

    Read More
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  8. a guy says:
    @Peterike
    Lenny Bruce wasn’t a comedian. He was a cultural weapon, a bucket of acid thrown in the face of white, Gentile America. He was never funny, but that wasn’t the point. Normalizing obscenity and perversion was the point. Jews are ever in the forefront of decadence movements, because decadence is a divide and conquer strategy. Then they discovered mass immigration, even more effective. And by then, decadence had nowhere left to go.

    At the time Bruce was alive , I would wager 90%+ of the Jews in America strongly disliked him . My grandparents referred to him as a “drug addict” and “garbage” the one time I heard them mention him. Anyone younger than my grandparents generation has no thoughts about Bruce , because as Steve alluded to , he was a talentless hack and most probably don’t even know who he was. But do stay “Jew wise ” and “woke” .Its a really good look for you…………

    Read More
    • Replies: @Demosthenes Rapaport
    Zing! Nice one.
    , @Peterike
    “At the time Bruce was alive , I would wager 90%+ of the Jews in America strongly disliked him .”

    Yeah but listen chief, it’s the 10% who cause most of the trouble.
    , @Cucksworth
    "At the time Bruce was alive , I would wager 90%+ of the Jews in America strongly disliked him."

    Lenny Bruce is for the goyim. Fat acceptance is for the goyim, too. This company I work for is jewish and you can't get a job there unless you are fit and if you are a girl its even harder. Literally the only overweight women are black, and the black women there are 100 percent over weight.

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  9. “They also criticized its merits as a work of art, saying the play wasn’t well written”.

    “…everything is given to us by the party and the government and only one thing is taken away: the freedom to write badly. Comrades, we must not conceal that this is an important right, and it is no small thing to take away.”

    (Isaac Babel, from an address to the Union of Soviet Writers, 1934).

    Read More
    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    Yes, and it's also pretty hilarious that students who haven't even read the script and probably prefer Lenin to Shakespeare have turned into literary critics....
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  10. AndrewR says:
    @JohnnyD
    I'm not surprised. Today's SJWS/millennials have absolutely no sense of humor.

    Ugh, millennials, amirite??? They’re the worst!
    By the way, what’s the deal with airline food?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    By the way, what’s the deal with airline food?
     
    Airlines used to have food. Really. A meal.

    Glorified TV dinners, true but not just little bags of peanuts or pretzels like today. And included in the ticket price, imagine that! You have to be of a certain age to remember it.

    It was notoriously bad. (On US domestic routes. State-owned [and subsidized] foreign lines would use national dishes as PR, so theirs was better.)

    My WASPY Midwestern cousin learned that to get a better meal, he would ask for a kosher dish in advance. He had moved to Santa Barbara, and travelers were savvier in SoCal.

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  11. Daniel H says:

    Most “comedians” aren’t funny. Is Bill Maher funny? Is Rosie O’Donnell funny. Is Ellen Degeneres funny? Is Stephen Colbert funny. Is David Letterman funny, Billy Crystal, Jay Leno, Tina Fey, Mort Salh, Elaine May, Jimmy Kimmel, and on and on.

    Some funny comedians through the decades: Jonathan Winters, Bob Newhart, WC Fields, Marx Brothers, Rodney Dangerfield, Moe-Larry and Curley, Bob and Dave, Woody Allen, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, Larry David, and a few more. Generally, 1 funny comedian for every 100 hacks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bartok
    Most of the the 'unfunny' comedians you name, were funny when they started out. Ellen was funny in her stand-up debut on Johnny Carson. Letterman was funny. Colbert was funny when he was in character, and before that on the Daily Show.

    They all went on too long.

    Steve Martin ended his stadium tours and his stand-up career for one main reason: It had taken him ten full years of struggle to come up with the material for that show. He wasn't about to spend ten years coming up with new material in an ascetic quest. Movie-making, a collaborative art, was the ticket.
    , @Art Deco
    Letterman, Leno, Sahl, and Nichols & May could be amusing from time to time. So could Newhart, Murray, Chase, Ackroyd, Belushi. So could Shelley Berman, Steve Allen, and Johnny Carson. So could the Stooges. So could Bob Hope. So can Judah Friedlandlander. They've made a living at it because they appealed to somebody's taste.
    , @snorlax
    Letterman's pre-CBS stint on Late Night was probably the best and funniest talk show ever.
    , @Mr. Anon
    I only ever saw Leno's monologues on the Tonight Show. They could sometimes be pretty funny. Of course he had a stable of writers concocting jokes for him.

    Mort Sahl was a guy everyone said was funny, but never seemed to be.

    And..........Chevy Chase? What a bore - all self-satisfied mugging by a loathsome douchebag. The only thing he could do that I might find funny would be to get hit by a bus. I might laugh at that.
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  12. whorefinder says: • Website

    This all reminds me very much how all the ribald acts that were normal 1920s Weimar Germany and Jazz Age New York would have been shocking to 1950s Germany and New York.

    The Left has told me throughout my lifetime that the youth are always more lefty, always more irreverent, always looser, etc. Turns out it’s just about who’s in charge.

    In other words, it’s all fun to commit throw rocks through shop windows when you don’t own them, but when you do suddenly it becomes a serious offense.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarcB.
    "The Left has told me throughout my lifetime that the youth are always more lefty, always more irreverent, always looser, etc. Turns out it’s just about who’s in charge".

    The leftist Jews who are vociferous advocates for civil liberties and Constitutionalism go silent as soon as the political winds reverse. Their silence after the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco was particularly noticeable considering their attacks on the Philly mayor and police for the Operation Move bombing back in 1985. As soon as their side is in charge, anybody advocating for an Originalist interpretation of the US Constitution is part of the vast right wing conspiracy.

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  13. Zach says:

    Odd that no one as yet has called rock music, from Elvis on to the present, cultural appropriation. And obviously The Rolling Stones and the rest are sexist too, but nobody calls them on it. In the 1980s, Allan Bloom noted that rock music got a free ride from the cultural critics because it was perceived as music for the people. Maybe this generation of Puritans will stick the dagger into the baby boomer’s music.

    Read More
    • Replies: @bartok
    The Brits got a pass, regarding cultural appropriation of black music. Elvis got plenty of criticism over the years.
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  14. Daniel H says:

    There was a scene in one of the early episodes of Mad Men where the fellas are listening to a Bob Newhart LP. They all found it hilarious, and made a point of comparing him favorably to Lenny Bruce who they said wasn’t funny.

    Was this intended by Matthew Weiner as a dig against anti-semetic WASP men for either not getting Bruce’s Jewish genius or was Weiner intentionally acknowledging that Bruce wasn’t that funny. I think it the former.

    Read More
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  15. Clyde says:
    @Anon
    play’s offensive and objectionable content,

    Ours is a culture awash in piercings, tattoos, slut culture, pornography, Tarantino-ism, rap thuggery, antifa pathology, and etc.... but these people complain about 'objectionable' content?

    All it means is that Liberal culture back then reveled in ethnic/race humor and making fun of homos.

    I mean Bruce's vulgarity was mild compared to the trash on TV today. FAMILY GUY and Lena Dunham ran on primetime.

    The difference is Bruce was irreverent about things we are supposed to reverent about today.

    This also goes for Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, Rodney Dangerfield, Johnny Carson, and Redd Foxx.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uldt6Y-CE3s

    That said, standup comedy since the 60s has had mostly a corrosive effect on society.
    Too much vulgarity and trashiness.

    I like Rickles and Dangerfield but too many later guys and girls are just filth.

    Fred Sanford called Aunt Esther a gorilla ten times on this youtube best of I saw a few days ago. Best of Sanford and Son. It was great when she wacked Fred over the head with her large handbag.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. jJay says:
    @Anon
    OT: sorry just read about the Pittsburgh "Kneelers" - NFL never will return to what it was.

    Tao Te Ching "Rulers should not do clever things, because it strikes a resonant chord in the people"

    This chord lopped 2 0s off the Kneelers market value.

    OT: sorry just read about the Pittsburgh “Kneelers”

    I assistant couch a little league baseball (fallball) team. I left the game for moment to take a piss and when I returned all the player were taking a knee. That’s because someone got hurt and the rule is all the fielders take a knee until the hurt player gets back up. So I say, “What’s up, did someone play the National Anthem?”. That went over like a lead balloon. And it was my son, the catcher, who got hurt.

    Tough crowd these days.

    Read More
    • LOL: TomSchmidt
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  17. Here’s a little project for anyone who wants to take it on: Scan YouTube for representative short clips of standup comedy by Lenny Bruce and by, say, Jerry Seinfeld. They we could do an A/B comparison to determine which was funnier. Kind of like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_or_Not .

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Shanken
    I found some of Bruce's non-ideological material funny. His "Lounge Comedian at the Palladium" and "Lawrence Welk and the Heroin Addict" were real gems. I saw one live, and have recordings of both.
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  18. whoever says: • Website

    I can’t imagine anyone today putting on Marc Connelly‘s 1930 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Green Pastures.
    The production linked here was sponsored by the Ford Motor Co., and broadcast Feb. 1, 1948.
    Nowadays, it would be accused of being racist, sexist, anti-semitic, and de Lawd only knows what else. But, to my deplorable shame, I find it charming and amusing.

    Read More
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  19. @a guy
    At the time Bruce was alive , I would wager 90%+ of the Jews in America strongly disliked him . My grandparents referred to him as a "drug addict" and "garbage" the one time I heard them mention him. Anyone younger than my grandparents generation has no thoughts about Bruce , because as Steve alluded to , he was a talentless hack and most probably don't even know who he was. But do stay "Jew wise " and "woke" .Its a really good look for you............

    Zing! Nice one.

    Read More
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  20. bartok says:
    @Daniel H
    Most "comedians" aren't funny. Is Bill Maher funny? Is Rosie O'Donnell funny. Is Ellen Degeneres funny? Is Stephen Colbert funny. Is David Letterman funny, Billy Crystal, Jay Leno, Tina Fey, Mort Salh, Elaine May, Jimmy Kimmel, and on and on.

    Some funny comedians through the decades: Jonathan Winters, Bob Newhart, WC Fields, Marx Brothers, Rodney Dangerfield, Moe-Larry and Curley, Bob and Dave, Woody Allen, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, Larry David, and a few more. Generally, 1 funny comedian for every 100 hacks.

    Most of the the ‘unfunny’ comedians you name, were funny when they started out. Ellen was funny in her stand-up debut on Johnny Carson. Letterman was funny. Colbert was funny when he was in character, and before that on the Daily Show.

    They all went on too long.

    Steve Martin ended his stadium tours and his stand-up career for one main reason: It had taken him ten full years of struggle to come up with the material for that show. He wasn’t about to spend ten years coming up with new material in an ascetic quest. Movie-making, a collaborative art, was the ticket.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Steve Martin was a struggling comic in New Mexico and his neighbor in the apartment building Jack Handy was a local newspaper reporter. They got to talking and they found they were very funny together.
    , @CCZ
    "At Reed College, a small liberal-arts school in Portland, Oregon, a 39-year-old Saturday Night Live skit recently caused an uproar over cultural appropriation. In the classic Steve Martin skit, he performs a goofy song, “King Tut,” meant to satirize a Tutankhamun exhibit touring the U.S. and to criticize the commercialization of Egyptian culture. You could say that his critique is weak; that his humor is lame; that his dance moves are unintentionally offensive or downright racist. All of that, and more, was debated in a humanities course at Reed.

    But many students found the video so egregious that they opposed its very presence in class. “That’s like somebody … making a song just littered with the n-word everywhere,” a member of Reedies Against Racism (RAR) told the student newspaper when asked about Martin’s performance. She told me more: The Egyptian garb of the backup dancers and singers—many of whom are African American—“is racist as well. The gold face of the saxophone dancer leaving its tomb is an exhibition of blackface.”"

    The Atlantic, November 2, 2017
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  21. bartok says:
    @Zach
    Odd that no one as yet has called rock music, from Elvis on to the present, cultural appropriation. And obviously The Rolling Stones and the rest are sexist too, but nobody calls them on it. In the 1980s, Allan Bloom noted that rock music got a free ride from the cultural critics because it was perceived as music for the people. Maybe this generation of Puritans will stick the dagger into the baby boomer’s music.

    The Brits got a pass, regarding cultural appropriation of black music. Elvis got plenty of criticism over the years.

    Read More
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  22. Art Deco says:
    @Daniel H
    Most "comedians" aren't funny. Is Bill Maher funny? Is Rosie O'Donnell funny. Is Ellen Degeneres funny? Is Stephen Colbert funny. Is David Letterman funny, Billy Crystal, Jay Leno, Tina Fey, Mort Salh, Elaine May, Jimmy Kimmel, and on and on.

    Some funny comedians through the decades: Jonathan Winters, Bob Newhart, WC Fields, Marx Brothers, Rodney Dangerfield, Moe-Larry and Curley, Bob and Dave, Woody Allen, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, Larry David, and a few more. Generally, 1 funny comedian for every 100 hacks.

    Letterman, Leno, Sahl, and Nichols & May could be amusing from time to time. So could Newhart, Murray, Chase, Ackroyd, Belushi. So could Shelley Berman, Steve Allen, and Johnny Carson. So could the Stooges. So could Bob Hope. So can Judah Friedlandlander. They’ve made a living at it because they appealed to somebody’s taste.

    Read More
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  23. @bartok
    Most of the the 'unfunny' comedians you name, were funny when they started out. Ellen was funny in her stand-up debut on Johnny Carson. Letterman was funny. Colbert was funny when he was in character, and before that on the Daily Show.

    They all went on too long.

    Steve Martin ended his stadium tours and his stand-up career for one main reason: It had taken him ten full years of struggle to come up with the material for that show. He wasn't about to spend ten years coming up with new material in an ascetic quest. Movie-making, a collaborative art, was the ticket.

    Steve Martin was a struggling comic in New Mexico and his neighbor in the apartment building Jack Handy was a local newspaper reporter. They got to talking and they found they were very funny together.

    Read More
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  24. Peterike says:
    @a guy
    At the time Bruce was alive , I would wager 90%+ of the Jews in America strongly disliked him . My grandparents referred to him as a "drug addict" and "garbage" the one time I heard them mention him. Anyone younger than my grandparents generation has no thoughts about Bruce , because as Steve alluded to , he was a talentless hack and most probably don't even know who he was. But do stay "Jew wise " and "woke" .Its a really good look for you............

    “At the time Bruce was alive , I would wager 90%+ of the Jews in America strongly disliked him .”

    Yeah but listen chief, it’s the 10% who cause most of the trouble.

    Read More
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  25. (Lenny Bruce’s joke about Eleanor Roosevelt’s tits was the highlight of his act : people traveled from Europe to New York just to hear him spew filth about the Mother Mary of the Democrat party. Lenny was certainly “edgy” if nothing else. On the night of November 22, 1963, he was ready and willing to tell sick Dallas jokes).

    Malcolm Muggeridge caustically observed the Lenny Bruce wasn’t a comedian in the traditional sense but a sort of devilish court jester and that his target was always the gentile bourgeoisie. Somewhere in Hell, Lenny Bruce is smiling when Steve Colbert tells yet another joke about Trump going down on Putin.

    Colbert is supposed to be outrageously funny about Trump even if you’ve heard the same joke a thousand times before. Remember when Colbert informed his audience that Trump had just fired Comey and his audience started to cheer and clap but Colbert immediately told them to pipe down. In order to follow Colbert, you need a scorecard printed in Orwell’s 1984. What’s funny on Tuesday will probably become a hate crime by Thursday – – – and the Dems are still confused about the reasons they lost the 2016 election.

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  26. Is anyone seeing the generational picture here?

    In the ’60s, it was the adults who were mortified by Bruce. Now it’s the students.

    I don’t think the issue is whether Bruce was funny, anti-Gentile, or if the play was “well-written” (which is a subjective thing anyway). The matter at hand is why 20-year-old are acting like our grandparents did at 50.

    To me, this is a serious cultural problem. Imagine what the future kids of these Millennial Censors are going to have to deal with. Our parents might have shaken their heads at Black Sabbath and Frank Zappa for being outlandish. They’ll ban the Beatles for being “heteromormative” and the Beach Boys for being too white. If pop music lasts that long.

    Read More
    • Replies: @stillCARealist
    No it just means that the boomer generation is seriously messed up. The older gens could see it and now the younger ones can see it too.
    , @EdwardM
    It's really astonishing. Young people are always the ironic, or at least sarcastic, ones. But the Millennials, or whatever college students now are called, have no sense of irony.

    When I was that age, not too long ago, a comment such as:


    the play’s main character discovers old recordings of Bruce’s stand-up routine and makes plans to deliver a similar performance at Brandeis, which is met with university pushback and student protests"
     
    in an article framed like this might be seen as not even trying hard enough for The Onion. But now the readers of this don't even understand the irony, much less laugh uproariously like I did. Is this what a Millennial would call "meta"?

    This just doesn't compute with me.

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  27. snorlax says:
    @Daniel H
    Most "comedians" aren't funny. Is Bill Maher funny? Is Rosie O'Donnell funny. Is Ellen Degeneres funny? Is Stephen Colbert funny. Is David Letterman funny, Billy Crystal, Jay Leno, Tina Fey, Mort Salh, Elaine May, Jimmy Kimmel, and on and on.

    Some funny comedians through the decades: Jonathan Winters, Bob Newhart, WC Fields, Marx Brothers, Rodney Dangerfield, Moe-Larry and Curley, Bob and Dave, Woody Allen, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, Larry David, and a few more. Generally, 1 funny comedian for every 100 hacks.

    Letterman’s pre-CBS stint on Late Night was probably the best and funniest talk show ever.

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  28. CCZ says:
    @bartok
    Most of the the 'unfunny' comedians you name, were funny when they started out. Ellen was funny in her stand-up debut on Johnny Carson. Letterman was funny. Colbert was funny when he was in character, and before that on the Daily Show.

    They all went on too long.

    Steve Martin ended his stadium tours and his stand-up career for one main reason: It had taken him ten full years of struggle to come up with the material for that show. He wasn't about to spend ten years coming up with new material in an ascetic quest. Movie-making, a collaborative art, was the ticket.

    “At Reed College, a small liberal-arts school in Portland, Oregon, a 39-year-old Saturday Night Live skit recently caused an uproar over cultural appropriation. In the classic Steve Martin skit, he performs a goofy song, “King Tut,” meant to satirize a Tutankhamun exhibit touring the U.S. and to criticize the commercialization of Egyptian culture. You could say that his critique is weak; that his humor is lame; that his dance moves are unintentionally offensive or downright racist. All of that, and more, was debated in a humanities course at Reed.

    But many students found the video so egregious that they opposed its very presence in class. “That’s like somebody … making a song just littered with the n-word everywhere,” a member of Reedies Against Racism (RAR) told the student newspaper when asked about Martin’s performance. She told me more: The Egyptian garb of the backup dancers and singers—many of whom are African American—“is racist as well. The gold face of the saxophone dancer leaving its tomb is an exhibition of blackface.””

    The Atlantic, November 2, 2017

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    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Snobs are going to look down their noses. It's what they do.

    Whether the unwashed masses are too prudish for them or not prudish enough doesn't much matter. Don't read too much into it.

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  29. Mr. Anon says:
    @Daniel H
    Most "comedians" aren't funny. Is Bill Maher funny? Is Rosie O'Donnell funny. Is Ellen Degeneres funny? Is Stephen Colbert funny. Is David Letterman funny, Billy Crystal, Jay Leno, Tina Fey, Mort Salh, Elaine May, Jimmy Kimmel, and on and on.

    Some funny comedians through the decades: Jonathan Winters, Bob Newhart, WC Fields, Marx Brothers, Rodney Dangerfield, Moe-Larry and Curley, Bob and Dave, Woody Allen, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi, Larry David, and a few more. Generally, 1 funny comedian for every 100 hacks.

    I only ever saw Leno’s monologues on the Tonight Show. They could sometimes be pretty funny. Of course he had a stable of writers concocting jokes for him.

    Mort Sahl was a guy everyone said was funny, but never seemed to be.

    And……….Chevy Chase? What a bore – all self-satisfied mugging by a loathsome douchebag. The only thing he could do that I might find funny would be to get hit by a bus. I might laugh at that.

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    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Leno was very funny in concert circa 1985.
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  30. @CCZ
    "At Reed College, a small liberal-arts school in Portland, Oregon, a 39-year-old Saturday Night Live skit recently caused an uproar over cultural appropriation. In the classic Steve Martin skit, he performs a goofy song, “King Tut,” meant to satirize a Tutankhamun exhibit touring the U.S. and to criticize the commercialization of Egyptian culture. You could say that his critique is weak; that his humor is lame; that his dance moves are unintentionally offensive or downright racist. All of that, and more, was debated in a humanities course at Reed.

    But many students found the video so egregious that they opposed its very presence in class. “That’s like somebody … making a song just littered with the n-word everywhere,” a member of Reedies Against Racism (RAR) told the student newspaper when asked about Martin’s performance. She told me more: The Egyptian garb of the backup dancers and singers—many of whom are African American—“is racist as well. The gold face of the saxophone dancer leaving its tomb is an exhibition of blackface.”"

    The Atlantic, November 2, 2017

    Snobs are going to look down their noses. It’s what they do.

    Whether the unwashed masses are too prudish for them or not prudish enough doesn’t much matter. Don’t read too much into it.

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  31. @Mr. Anon
    I only ever saw Leno's monologues on the Tonight Show. They could sometimes be pretty funny. Of course he had a stable of writers concocting jokes for him.

    Mort Sahl was a guy everyone said was funny, but never seemed to be.

    And..........Chevy Chase? What a bore - all self-satisfied mugging by a loathsome douchebag. The only thing he could do that I might find funny would be to get hit by a bus. I might laugh at that.

    Leno was very funny in concert circa 1985.

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  32. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Cuz we all know how a 3-night gig hosting the the comedy stylings of Steve Sailer would sell out Wannahachee Woods Casino & Resort… WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THESE POST-1940s GOLF COURSES, EH

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    And then I'd explain to the audience what the deal is.
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  33. @Anonymous
    Cuz we all know how a 3-night gig hosting the the comedy stylings of Steve Sailer would sell out Wannahachee Woods Casino & Resort... WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THESE POST-1940s GOLF COURSES, EH

    And then I’d explain to the audience what the deal is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    AHAHAHA! STOP IT YOU'RE KILLING ME!
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  34. @Days of Broken Arrows
    Is anyone seeing the generational picture here?

    In the '60s, it was the adults who were mortified by Bruce. Now it's the students.

    I don't think the issue is whether Bruce was funny, anti-Gentile, or if the play was "well-written" (which is a subjective thing anyway). The matter at hand is why 20-year-old are acting like our grandparents did at 50.

    To me, this is a serious cultural problem. Imagine what the future kids of these Millennial Censors are going to have to deal with. Our parents might have shaken their heads at Black Sabbath and Frank Zappa for being outlandish. They'll ban the Beatles for being "heteromormative" and the Beach Boys for being too white. If pop music lasts that long.

    No it just means that the boomer generation is seriously messed up. The older gens could see it and now the younger ones can see it too.

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  35. @Steve Sailer
    And then I'd explain to the audience what the deal is.

    AHAHAHA! STOP IT YOU’RE KILLING ME!

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  36. EdwardM says:
    @Days of Broken Arrows
    Is anyone seeing the generational picture here?

    In the '60s, it was the adults who were mortified by Bruce. Now it's the students.

    I don't think the issue is whether Bruce was funny, anti-Gentile, or if the play was "well-written" (which is a subjective thing anyway). The matter at hand is why 20-year-old are acting like our grandparents did at 50.

    To me, this is a serious cultural problem. Imagine what the future kids of these Millennial Censors are going to have to deal with. Our parents might have shaken their heads at Black Sabbath and Frank Zappa for being outlandish. They'll ban the Beatles for being "heteromormative" and the Beach Boys for being too white. If pop music lasts that long.

    It’s really astonishing. Young people are always the ironic, or at least sarcastic, ones. But the Millennials, or whatever college students now are called, have no sense of irony.

    When I was that age, not too long ago, a comment such as:

    the play’s main character discovers old recordings of Bruce’s stand-up routine and makes plans to deliver a similar performance at Brandeis, which is met with university pushback and student protests”

    in an article framed like this might be seen as not even trying hard enough for The Onion. But now the readers of this don’t even understand the irony, much less laugh uproariously like I did. Is this what a Millennial would call “meta”?

    This just doesn’t compute with me.

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  37. lnardozi says:

    The funniest part of this – I have always found intellect to be an excellent indicator of who will find Mr. Bruce amusing. I mean, if you don’t understand the references, know no foreign languages and have a limited vocabulary, how funny could it be?

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  38. @AndrewR
    Ugh, millennials, amirite??? They're the worst!
    By the way, what's the deal with airline food?

    By the way, what’s the deal with airline food?

    Airlines used to have food. Really. A meal.

    Glorified TV dinners, true but not just little bags of peanuts or pretzels like today. And included in the ticket price, imagine that! You have to be of a certain age to remember it.

    It was notoriously bad. (On US domestic routes. State-owned [and subsidized] foreign lines would use national dishes as PR, so theirs was better.)

    My WASPY Midwestern cousin learned that to get a better meal, he would ask for a kosher dish in advance. He had moved to Santa Barbara, and travelers were savvier in SoCal.

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    • Replies: @AndrewR
    On flights more than a few hours, meals are still the norm, and sometimes they're pretty good too. Some routes even have free beer.
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  39. AndrewR says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    By the way, what’s the deal with airline food?
     
    Airlines used to have food. Really. A meal.

    Glorified TV dinners, true but not just little bags of peanuts or pretzels like today. And included in the ticket price, imagine that! You have to be of a certain age to remember it.

    It was notoriously bad. (On US domestic routes. State-owned [and subsidized] foreign lines would use national dishes as PR, so theirs was better.)

    My WASPY Midwestern cousin learned that to get a better meal, he would ask for a kosher dish in advance. He had moved to Santa Barbara, and travelers were savvier in SoCal.

    On flights more than a few hours, meals are still the norm, and sometimes they’re pretty good too. Some routes even have free beer.

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  40. MrLiberty says:

    I recently received the annual alumni publication for my alma mater, the University of California at Irvine (not a university I am proud of in the least). In an interesting article, the Chancellor commented on the anniversary of the “free speech” movement and the significant changes that have taken place throughout the UC system since that time in the 60s. His main point was that in the 60s, the students were actively protesting the restrictions on free speech imposed by the faculty and administration and today it is the students calling for massive restrictions on free speech – something he saw as a complete and total failure of what our society has become. One shining bit of insightful commentary.

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  41. George says:
    @Anon
    play’s offensive and objectionable content,

    Ours is a culture awash in piercings, tattoos, slut culture, pornography, Tarantino-ism, rap thuggery, antifa pathology, and etc.... but these people complain about 'objectionable' content?

    All it means is that Liberal culture back then reveled in ethnic/race humor and making fun of homos.

    I mean Bruce's vulgarity was mild compared to the trash on TV today. FAMILY GUY and Lena Dunham ran on primetime.

    The difference is Bruce was irreverent about things we are supposed to reverent about today.

    This also goes for Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, Rodney Dangerfield, Johnny Carson, and Redd Foxx.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uldt6Y-CE3s

    That said, standup comedy since the 60s has had mostly a corrosive effect on society.
    Too much vulgarity and trashiness.

    I like Rickles and Dangerfield but too many later guys and girls are just filth.

    Lenny Bruce was more of a “monologist”. Compare him with Andrew Dice Clay, who was never officially obscene but was forced off the stage by feminists and others.

    Mostly Clean lecture by Lenny Bruce:
    Lenny Bruce on Southerners, Religion, Racism, Obscenity, Law, Police, Politics (1966)

    Gilbert Gottfried Does Andrew Dice Clay

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  42. @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)
    Here's a little project for anyone who wants to take it on: Scan YouTube for representative short clips of standup comedy by Lenny Bruce and by, say, Jerry Seinfeld. They we could do an A/B comparison to determine which was funnier. Kind of like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_or_Not .

    I found some of Bruce’s non-ideological material funny. His “Lounge Comedian at the Palladium” and “Lawrence Welk and the Heroin Addict” were real gems. I saw one live, and have recordings of both.

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  43. The brilliant comic and social critic Lenny Bruce, through his many sacrifices and the government harassment he suffered was the brave embodiment of the First Amendment. The PC, SJW, Cultural Marxists (who insist on absolute entitlement for themselves and their message) are attempting to travel upon then subsequently sabotage the roads of free expression that Lenny Bruce paved.

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  44. “It’s the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness.”

    -Lenny Bruce

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterike

    “It’s the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness.”

    -Lenny Bruce
     
    You really can't see through the agenda in that bit of Talmudic flummery? It's an open plea for bottomless depravity.
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  45. On flights more than a few hours…

    In the hub-and-spoke age, how many domestic flights are more than a few hours? But then, I live in the center of the country, where no flight need be more than two hours to anywhere in the continental US or occupied Canada. (Excuse me, populated Canada.) Those on the perimeter may vary.

    Some routes even have free beer.

    That used to be prohibited in the US, and perhaps still is, not that budget-conscious airlines are in any hurry to give it away. You might not be sober enough to listen to the credit-card pitch.

    IATA’s rules differ from domestic rules in the US. In the mid-’80s I flew from Hong Kong to Europe on Air Lanka. A cumberbunned steward walked up-and-down the aisles topping up our wine. I picked up some kind of bug in Colombo, so after that I took him up on it every time. Don’t know if it helped my condition, but at least I cared less.

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  46. As the left devours itself, anyone else noticing that lately, for whitish Jewish males, the Jew card is no longer carrying much weight.

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  47. @a guy
    At the time Bruce was alive , I would wager 90%+ of the Jews in America strongly disliked him . My grandparents referred to him as a "drug addict" and "garbage" the one time I heard them mention him. Anyone younger than my grandparents generation has no thoughts about Bruce , because as Steve alluded to , he was a talentless hack and most probably don't even know who he was. But do stay "Jew wise " and "woke" .Its a really good look for you............

    “At the time Bruce was alive , I would wager 90%+ of the Jews in America strongly disliked him.”

    Lenny Bruce is for the goyim. Fat acceptance is for the goyim, too. This company I work for is jewish and you can’t get a job there unless you are fit and if you are a girl its even harder. Literally the only overweight women are black, and the black women there are 100 percent over weight.

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  48. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

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  49. pyrrhus says:
    @jimmyriddle
    "They also criticized its merits as a work of art, saying the play wasn’t well written".


    “…everything is given to us by the party and the government and only one thing is taken away: the freedom to write badly. Comrades, we must not conceal that this is an important right, and it is no small thing to take away.”

    (Isaac Babel, from an address to the Union of Soviet Writers, 1934).

    Yes, and it’s also pretty hilarious that students who haven’t even read the script and probably prefer Lenin to Shakespeare have turned into literary critics….

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  50. MarcB. says:
    @whorefinder
    This all reminds me very much how all the ribald acts that were normal 1920s Weimar Germany and Jazz Age New York would have been shocking to 1950s Germany and New York.

    The Left has told me throughout my lifetime that the youth are always more lefty, always more irreverent, always looser, etc. Turns out it's just about who's in charge.

    In other words, it's all fun to commit throw rocks through shop windows when you don't own them, but when you do suddenly it becomes a serious offense.

    “The Left has told me throughout my lifetime that the youth are always more lefty, always more irreverent, always looser, etc. Turns out it’s just about who’s in charge”.

    The leftist Jews who are vociferous advocates for civil liberties and Constitutionalism go silent as soon as the political winds reverse. Their silence after the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco was particularly noticeable considering their attacks on the Philly mayor and police for the Operation Move bombing back in 1985. As soon as their side is in charge, anybody advocating for an Originalist interpretation of the US Constitution is part of the vast right wing conspiracy.

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  51. peterike says:
    @Jeffersonianideal
    "It's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness."

    -Lenny Bruce

    “It’s the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness.”

    -Lenny Bruce

    You really can’t see through the agenda in that bit of Talmudic flummery? It’s an open plea for bottomless depravity.

    Read More
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