The Nacelle Company, parent company to the award-winning stand-up comedy label Comedy Dynamics, is set to unveil the Legends of Laughter action figure line featuring comedy legends, Lenny Bruce, Joan Rivers and Bill Hicks, ComicBook.com has learned exclusively. This release marks the first time the diversified media company known for Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us, A Toy Store Near You, and The Movies That Made Us, as well as Behind The Attraction (that one’s on Disney+), has blended both of its established brands into one collectible. Sprinkle in some nostalgia and you have what’s likely to be a winning combination, especially with the announcement coming on the heels of HBO’s George Carlin’s American Dream.
The first wave of pre-orders will be available on NacelleStore.com starting August 16th, in celebration of National Joke Day. In addition to Nacelle Company’s online store, the figures will be available through hundreds of independent toy stores and other retailers worldwide. Also, as a first for the toy industry, each figure package will include a QR code that allows users to enjoy an exclusive previously unreleased track from that artist, which has been personally curated by the Rivers, Hicks and Bruce estates, respectfully.
“Much of my career has been built on comedy, and so this is a unique moment where I can blend both passions, comedy and toys, into one action figure,” said Nacelle Company CEO Brian Volk-Weiss.
You can see the figures below, along with some biographical information about the comics.
Lenny Bruce’s open, free-style and critical form of comedy catapulted him into legendary status as a comedic pioneer that showcased satire, politics, religion, sex, and vulgarity in his act. As a result, he developed hardcore fans (the Carlin documentary details a night when he was purposely arrested in solidarity with Bruce) as well as swift and terrible wrath from the government, as detailed in the massive book The Trials of Lenny Bruce.
Bruce’s 1964 conviction in an obscenity trial was followed by a posthumous pardon, the first in New York State history, by then-Governor George Pataki in 2003. He paved the way for future outspoken counterculture-era comedians, and his trial for obscenity is seen as a landmark for freedom of speech in the United States.
On February 3, 1961, in the midst of a severe blizzard, he gave a famous performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. It was recorded and later released as a three-disc set, titled The Carnegie Hall Concert. Bruce was also the topic of a 1981 song by legendary folk-rocker Bob Dylan.
“This is another way to honor the legacy of Lenny Bruce as one of the greatest trail blazers, irreverent figures, who always stayed true to what he believed in as a freedom fighter for the first amendment” said Kitty Bruce, the comedian’s daughter with the late entertainer Honey Bruce.
Joan Rivers was more than just a comedian; she stands as a force of nature, and an unparalleled legend in the entertainment industry. For over 50 years, Rivers pioneered her own brand of irreverent, unconventional comedy, leading her to become an internationally recognized celebrity, Emmy-award-winning talk-show host, Grammy-award-winning performer, Tony-award-nominated actress, bestselling author, playwright, screenwriter, film director, columnist, lecturer, radio host, jewelry designer, entrepreneur, and the renowned creator of the modern day “red carpet.” Rivers was also the first woman to break the glass ceiling of male-hosted late-night television.
“I think the term,’ Action Figure,’ may be a bit ambitious for a woman who considered making a martini exercise,” joked Rivers’s daughter, Melissa. “Nonetheless, It is a treat to see my mother captured, and I do mean captured.”
Bill Hicks, the most recent of the three comedians, was active until his death in 1993 and is often regarded as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. A master of dark and observational comedy, much of his comedy acts involved direct attacks on mainstream society, religion, politics and consumerism. Hicks is the sarcastic and satiric voice of society which altered people’s perception of events and made them see things from a different angle.
After his death, Hicks’s body of work gained a significant measure of acclaim in creative circles, and he developed a substantial following. He is brutally honest in terms of describing society. His famous philosophy on life, ‘It’s Just a Ride’, is a perfect reflection of his personality and continues to encourage his fans to live life with conviction, integrity and love.
Hicks has been celebrated in the works of the band Tool and the DC/Vertigo comic Preacher, in which the comedian had a memorable cameo appearance. An animated documentary film, American: The Bill Hicks Story, was released in 2009. While never censored by the government, one of the most famous incidents in Hicks’s career came when his set was pulled from Late Night With David Letterman at the last minute, with producers expressing concern that it would offend evangelical Christians. After Hicks passed away, Letterman invited Bill’s mother, Mary Hicks, onto the late night show and the routine was screened unedited.
“What a cool, fun way to further acknowledge Bill’s place in comedy!” Hicks’s brother Steve Hicks said in a statement. “Such a privilege for him to be included in this first run of Legends along with fellow icons Lenny Bruce and Joan Rivers.”
The Nacelle Company’s Legends of Laughter action figure line is an extension of their Comedy Dynamics brand, the award-winning stand-up comedy division in the Burbank based diversified media company. In the past few years, the Grammy winning production company has produced and distributed a bestselling Bill Hicks box set, as well as a bestselling Lenny Bruce Record Store Day vinyl, and the company is currently developing a Joan Rivers box set slated to release later in 2022.