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Feast of ExcessA Cultural History of the New Sensibility$
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George Cotkin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190218478

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190218478.001.0001

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Say What?

Say What?

Lenny Bruce 1961

Chapter:
(p.145) { 10 } Say What?
Source:
Feast of Excess
Author(s):

George Cotkin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190218478.003.0012

Lenny Bruce experienced some of his greatest triumphs in 1961, as well as some of his worst moments. He killed at a Carnegie Hall concert. His off-color humor challenged the narrowness of middle-class confidence and conformity. He rejected racial prejudice in biting fashion. But his excessive use of drugs in his personal life and torrent of “blue” material in his act brought the full force of the legal system down upon him. He prevailed in an important case in San Francisco, but arrests for obscenity and drug use continued. He died, a broken man, of a drug overdose.

Keywords:   Lenny Bruce, comedy, drug use

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