In 1948, Lenny Bruce was just another comic who couldn't get arrested. By 1961, all that would change.
Synopsis. Twelve years in the making, this Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning documentary, narrated by Robert De Niro, chronicles the life of the unorthodox American stand-up comedian who was no stranger to controversy. By the early 1950's, Bruce shared the stage with local strippers and ended up marrying one. By the late 50's he had perfected a jazzy improvisational delivery that led to TV dates with hosts Steve Allen and Hugh Hefner.
By the early 60's, his sold-out club dates were cracking up audiences from coast to coast, taking a hipster's aim at conventionality and hypocrisy -- and the Catholic Church, arguably the reason prosecutors now felt compelled to repeatedly arrest him for obscenity and narcotics possession. With humor and pathos, director Robert B. Weide profiles this provocative social comic and features rare, unaired TV appearances, newsreel and home movie footage, and interviews with Bruce's mother, wife, daughter, lawyers, club owners, friends and prosecutors.
New York Post: "The documentary is exceptionally powerful. The story is about much more than just a comic. It is about the way society treats non-conformists who threaten established values, the need to be vigilant about constitutional rights, and much more."