[[quoteright:328:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lenny-bruce.gif]]
->"Lemme tell you the truth. The truth is... what is. And what "should be" is a fantasy -- a terrible terrible lie, that someone gave the people long ago."

->"Take away the right to say 'fuck' and you take away the right to say 'fuck the government'".
-->--''Lenny Bruce''

-> "He sure was funny/and he sure told the truth/and he knew what he was talking about"
-->-- Music/BobDylan's "Lenny Bruce"

Lenny Bruce was a controversial stand-up comedian and social critic. Active from the late 40s through the mid 60s, it's his 60s stuff that made him (in)famous. During this era, clean-cut, family-friendly comedy was the norm. Lenny's stand-up was confrontational, profane, unforgiving and uncompromising and paved the way for modern comedy. Bruce was an influence on [[Creator/GeorgeCarlin some]] [[Creator/RichardPryor other]] [[Creator/BillHicks specific]] comedians. He wrote an autobiography that was serialized in ''Magazine/{{Playboy}}'' called ''How to Talk Dirty and Influence People''.

Lenny's uncompromising attitude toward his work contributed to his success but also caused his decline. Arrests, drug addiction and depression took their toll on Bruce, and he was found dead from a morphine overdose in 1966, aged 40. The consensus is that his death was a suicide although there are those who will question the notion.

On a side note, he once impersonated a priest and jumped out of a two-story window while high. Awesome.

--------
!!! ''The Sick Tropes of Lenny Bruce'':
* AllThereInTheManual: In 1991, Fantasy Records released on CD ''The Lenny Bruce Originals Volume 1'' (containing, with a couple of changes for better playing time, Bruce's albums ''The Sick Humor of Lenny Bruce'' and ''Interviews Of Our Times'') and ''The Lenny Bruce Originals Volume 2'' (containing Bruce's albums ''Togetherness'' [aka ''I'm Not a Nut, Elect Me''- listen to "Our Governors"] and ''Lenny Bruce- American''), with each disc containing "A Skeleton Key To Lenny Bruce," a guide to the mix of Yiddish expressions and possibly dated entertainment/cultural/political references in Bruce's routines.
* AntiLoveSong: "All Alone" has heavy elements of this.
* AuthorFilibuster In his later years, he often spent several minutes on-stage telling stories and making pointed observations without telling a single joke.
* BadassBeard: Often had one of these due to his erratic grooming habits
* {{Biopic}}: Bob Fosse directed one of Bruce in 1974. Bruce was played by Creator/DustinHoffman, in a role that earned him an Oscar nomination.
* BlackComedy: "Are there any niggers here tonight!?" of course, taking it as straight-up Black Comedy misses the point.
* ClusterFBomb: Though not as often as you might think.
* CulturePolice: They were responsible for the decline of his career. Undercover officers would often attend his performances so that they could arrest him, and many venues eventually refused to let him perform because of police harassment. He eventually went bankrupt paying for legal fees.
* GoodIsNotNice: He had his darker side. His outside.
* JesusWasWayCool: Despite his caustic criticism of religion Lenny was rather fond of Jesus.
* {{Permastubble}}: Shaved very erratically.
* ReligionOfEvil: Bruce's opinion on all religions in general. Many cite his vocal expression of this opinion on stage as the reason why TheMan targeted him.
* ReturningWarVet: He joined the Navy during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII at 16 and served aboard the light cruiser USS ''Brooklyn'', fighting in North Africa and Palermo in 1943, and Anzio in 1944. In May 1945, be dressed up in a WAVES uniform for a comedy show, and landed in hot water with his superiors (who apparently didn't get the joke). To spite them, he convinced the doctors he had homosexual urges, which resulted in a dishonourable discharge in July 1945, which he applied and had changed to an honourable discharge because he never committed or confessed to any breach of naval regulations.
* RuleOfFunny: Though he dropped this as he got deeper and deeper into his troubles.
* StageName: Leonard Alfred Schneider was his birth name.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Several stories state that, while in the Navy, he would wear a WAVES uniform to get a discharge. In actuality, he only wore one once for a comedy bit for his shipmates, then claimed to have homsexual urges to spite his commanding officers (who had ordered an evaluation), which resulted in a dishonourable discharge (later changed to honourable due to a lack of any misconduct). According to Larry Gelbert (writer/producer of ''Series/{{Mash}}''), Klinger was based on the stories.