Notorious SF: Lenny Bruce

Parking lot next to 534 Broadway, where Lenny Bruce took a header in '65.
Lenny Bruce is the ultimate politically incorrect comedian whose career began and ended in North Beach. The comedian, whose profanity-laced, politically confrontational monologues made him the object of public derision and police harassment, revolutionized stand-up comedy in the U.S. in the 1960s. Among his many legal battles, Bruce was convicted of obscenity for a November, 1964 performance in Greenwich Village. New York Governor George Pataki granted Bruce a posthumous pardon on December 23, 2003. Also among the events in Bruce's tumultuous life is a 1965 fall from a second story window of the Swiss American Hotel, 534 Broadway.

Detail I
Detail II
Detail III: Bob Fosse's "Lenny"
Detail IV: "The Lenny Bruce Performance Film"


Copyright 2002 Hank Donat
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