You know the campus censors are out of control when they’re attacking Lenny Bruce from the left.
Under that stage name, the late Leonard Alfred Schneider paved the way for George Carlin, Richard Pryor and the future of stand-up comedy. His blend of satire, comedy, vulgarity and philosophy eventually made him the target of a landmark free-speech case.
His six-month 1964 trial for obscenity wound up with a guilty verdict — over the public objections of Bob Dylan, Jules Feiffer, Allen Ginsberg, Normal Mailer and James Baldwin, to name just the most prominent.
To right the historic wrong, Gov. George Pataki issued a pardon in 2003.
Yet now Bruce is too hot for Brandeis University — which just canceled a play on him, “Buyer Beware,” by alumnus and award-winning playwright Michael Weller.
It tells of a student who discovers old recordings of Bruce’s comedy and plans to stage a similarly provocative performance mocking modern groupthink and censorship. The snowflakes were upset that the script mocks campus political correctness and shows insufficient respect for the Black Lives Matter movement.
One activist complained of a play by one older, straight, white male about another: “It isn’t his place to be stirring the pot.” Weller, by contrast, told an interviewer that the objecting students “just don’t know how to read a play.”
As of now, the university is still set to honor the playwright with its Creative Arts Award in January, and he’s to teach a class that semester that was supposed to accompany his play.
At this rate, though, you have to wonder what Brandeis will allow Weller to teach. We hope he dares to quote Lenny Bruce on truth: “Let me tell you the truth. The truth is what is, and ‘what should be’ is a fantasy.”