“I’m Not a Comedian … I’m Lenny Bruce” is coming to the Royal George Theatre in Chicago, a reminder of the pow – Chicago Tribune

Born Leonard Alfred Schneider on Oct. 13, 1925, on New York’s Long Island, his Jewish parents — a British-born father who sold shoes and an ambitious entertainer mom — divorced when he was 8; ran away from home at 15 and lived and worked on a chicken ranch; enlisted in the Navy, serving on a cruiser which saw action during World War II; worked small clubs around New York with an act that consisted of his imitating such people as James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart; married a stripper named Hot Honey Harlowe; banged around L.A. as a strip-club emcee while he fashioned, as one writer later put it, “a repertory of pieces and attitudes that would sustain him for the rest of the decade.” A review from that time by Herb Caen, an influential newspaper columnist: “They call Lenny Bruce a sick comic, and sick he is. Sick of all the pretentious phoniness of a generation that makes his vicious humor meaningful. He is a rebel, but not without a cause, for there are shirts that need un-stuffing, egos that need deflating. Sometimes you feel guilty laughing at some of Lenny’s mordant jabs, but that disappears a second later when your inner voice tells you with pleased surprise, ‘but that’s true.’

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