Leonard Alfred Schneider (October 13, 1925 - August 3, 1966), better known by his stage name Lenny Bruce, was an American stand-up comedian, social critic and satirist. He was renowned for his open, free-style and critical form of comedy which integrated politics, religion and sex. His private life was marked by substance abuse and promiscuity as well as efforts to prevent his wife from working as a stripper. His 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 comedians, and his trial for obscenity, in which- after being forced into bankruptcy- he was eventually found not guilty, is seen as a landmark trial for freedom of speech in the US. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
All my humor is based upon destruction and despair. If the whole world were tranquil, without disease and violence, I’d be standing on the breadline right in back of J. Edgar Hoover.
Communism is like one big phone company.
Every day people are staying away from the church and going back to God.
Guys are like dogs. They keep coming back. Ladies are like cats. Yell at a cat one time, they're gone.
I hate small towns because once you’ve seen the cannon in the park there’s nothing else to do.
I won't say ours was a tough school, but we had our own coroner. We used to write essays like 'What I'm going to be if I grow up.'
I'll die young, but it's like kissing God.
I've been accused of bad taste, and I'll go down to my grave accused of it and always by the same people, the ones who eat in restaurants that reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.
If something about the human body disgusts you, the fault lies with the manufacturer.
In the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls.
It's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness.
Life is a four-letter word
Miami Beach is where neon goes to die.
Never trust a preacher with more than two suits.
Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers, will allow you to satirize it which is rather ridiculous, when you think about it.
'Sex' and 'obscenity' are not synonymous.
Take away the right to say 'f*ck' and you take away the right to say 'f*ck the government.'
The 'what should be' never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no 'what should be,' there is only what is.
The kind of sickness I wish Time had written about, is that school teachers in Oklahoma get a top annual salary of $4000, while Sammy David, Jr. gets $10,000 a week in Vegas.
The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them.
The only honest art form is laughter, comedy. You can't fake it.
The truth is what is; what should be is a dirty lie.
The whole motivation for any performer is 'Look at me, Ma.'
There are never enough 'I love you's.'
There are no dirty words, only dirty minds.
We're all the same people... and it discourages me that we try so desperately to be unique.
When you're eight years old nothing is your business.
You can't get snot off of a suede jacket.