Lenny Bruce


From Tzivi’s Nov ’09 Spotlight in the JUF News: Barry Sanders was a college student when he first heard Lenny Bruce perform, but that experience determined his future. He bookends his erudite 1995 critique, Sudden Glory: Laughter as Subversive History, with two Jews, opening with Isaac and closing with Bruce.

In Chapter 1, a woman in her 90s, told she will soon bear a child, starts laughing. And so, “God confers on the son of Abraham and Sarah his Hebrew name Yitzchak, which means ‘he laughs.’” (Page 44) This was the first child ever born of a Jewish mother, and laughter has been part of our tradition ever since.

In Chapter 8, set many centuries later: “Without Lenny Bruce, without this wild man of laughter, all of that political activism [of the 60s] would have taken longer to burst forth. He put ideas in the air; he planted seeds of change.” (Page 262)

Barry Sanders will lecture on Lenny Bruce on Saturday, Nov 7 as part of this year’s Chicago Humanities Festival series on Laughter.

If you can’t make it, surf over to Netflix and order a copy of Lenny.

Click HERE to read my FF2 haiku for Lenny, the Lenny Bruce biopic starring Dustin Hoffman that received six Oscar nominations in 1975.

Jan Lisa Huttner (“Tzivi”) is the Arts & Culture critic for Chicago’s JUF News as well as a Chicago YIVO board member.

Book Signing. Photo Credit: Rich Miller (11/7/09)

2 Responses to “Lenny Bruce”

  1. Joel Harlib Says:

    Hi Jan,
    I cannot connect with your FF2 haiku for Lenny. How do I get a ticket for the November 7th lecture?

  2. chicagoyivo Says:

    Click HERE, Joel:


    If you still have problems, Google: Chicago Humanities Festival & search on “Sanders.”

    I have tix already so I will definitely be there. If you’re there too, please find me & say Hi 🙂

    Zay gezunt,

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