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To Is a Preposition; Come Is a Verb

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Album Review

Following Lenny Bruce's death in 1966, his mother allowed Douglas Records to release these tapes that Bruce wanted to use in court during his obscenity trials as part of his defense. Bruce couldn't believe he was being continuously arrested for his words. He wanted to use these tapes as proof to the judge and jury that he was not obscene, but that his bits were simply being taken out of context. Bruce chose to ignore the irony that these same tapes contained many of the bits that got him arrested in the first place. To Is a Preposition, Come Is a Verb is not only an early representation of the type of humor that would open the door for Richard Pryor, Sam Kinison, George Carlin, and many others, but more importantly provides a dangerous glimpse into the world of censorship and where it can lead. The fact that Lenny Bruce, whose morality is evident on these tapes, could have been arrested numerous times because of what he said to an audience paying to hear his words, then endlessly harassed by the police because of it, remains a travesty. The proof is included here.


Born: 13 October 1925 in Mineola, NY

Genre: Comedy

Years Active: '50s, '60s

When once asked to describe jazz, trumpet legend Miles Davis sarcastically but saliently replied, "You can sweat it down to four words: Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker." Applying that same old-school, new-school trailblazer to comedy is somewhat more problematic. A number of great early comics could stand in for the Armstrong entry, among them Charlie Chaplin, Groucho Marx, Jack Benny, and George Burns. But in choosing the "Charlie Parker of comedy," by that meaning the one who blazed the modern-day...
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To Is a Preposition; Come Is a Verb, Lenny Bruce
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