Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lenny Bruce on "The Steve Allen Show"

Lenny Bruce was no stranger to controversy, whether as a petty criminal or a stand-up comedian... Born on this day in 1925, Bruce made this early television appearance in 1950; at the time it was notorious for the first line of the routine - an ad-lib - in which he queried: 'Will Elizabeth Taylor become bar mitzvahed?' The Hollywood beauty had recently converted to Judaism to marry singer Eddie Fisher.

Eleven years later Lenny Bruce was charged with obscenity by police - for using the word 'cocksucker' in a comedy routine in a country renowned as the first to enshrine the freedom of speech in its constitution. Although he was acquitted in that instance, law enforcement began using obscenity legislation to torment Bruce; five years later, in August 1966, he was found dead at his home in the Hollywood Hills of an accidental heroin overdose.
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