The Carnegie Hall Concert Live
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Lenny Bruce is not a comic for the intellectually challenged. He was quick, improvisational in nature, and at times brilliant. Listening to one of his live performances requires your undivided attention, like great jazz or classical music, to truly appreciate. If you want jokes jokes about dad making breakfast and babies being born, go listen to Cosby and Pryor, they ARE great, but when I want my gray matter tickled along with my funny bone, I go to Lenny Bruce. To those of us who do appreciate Lenny Bruce he was more than just an important and influential comedian, he was a prophet and a sage; still is. But along the way, if you have the guts, the brains, the honesty to listen, you WILL laugh, because Lenny Bruce is a very funny (if dead) man.
A fan of Lord Buckley, Bruce's mentor, it was inevitable after hearing schticks like "Psychopathia Sexualis" (on the Beat Generation boxed set)and hearing his gay Lone Ranger routine, I finally decided to bang my head against the wall, try to forget all the biographical/historical propaganda rammed down my throat and try to relive his routines. I found them to be incredibly engaging, thought provoking, at times rambly and self centered, at other times hillarious. In fact, in many ways, Bruce surpassed his mentor, especially in his abililty to bring a wide array of strange and twisted charactors to life... from his Yiddish accents to American icons and authority figures. Lord Buckley was moreso Lord Buckley and his imagination, whereas Bruce had a knack with charactors.
His routines are great and absorbing. He draws you into his world and holds you. Though perhaps a product of the beat generation, and later the hippies, his style of intellectual comedy holds well today, surpassing the times, and making much of the comedy one sees and hears today seem superficial.
Long live Bruce and Buckley ! ! !
Listening to this recording is to hear the man in his element, riffing off the crowd and going off on anything that came into his head. He zips all over the place and it is almost as if you can hear his mind at work, racing from topic to topic. While his material is dated at times, it is an incredible snapshot of the times he lived in. He brutually skewered social conventions (like how we refer to minorities) and was quite political as well. But most of all he was just damn funny and this performance shows him in great form.
This is easily one of the best live recordings of Lenny at his uncensored best. Before he got beaten down by endless obscenity trials and his slide in substance abuse. Essential.
To the uninitiated, this CD is as good a place as any to discover the genius of Lenny Bruce. Even now, almost 45 years later, The Midnight Concert is still screamingly funny; A testiment to Lenny's depth as a social commentater and comic philosopher. This was two years before the onset of the physical and mental decline that would end with his death, at age forty, from an overdose of heroin on August 3, 1966.
Why is Lenny Bruce remembered as a brilliant comedian all these years later? The answer is right here.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was born in 1973 and I get every bit of his comedy..indeed, not for the simpleton comedy lover. He was a true prophet, as deep as it got, and way before his time. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jennifer B. Bowen
I had seen him many times in clubs. If i have to rate this event, i'd have to say it was far from his best evening. But hearing him was always an event. Read morePublished on August 8, 2012 by David Kennedy
Delve into any American alternative comedy and, like Peter Cook in the UK, you'll find Lenny Bruce as the ultimate source and inspiration of their act. Read morePublished on June 25, 2011 by Magic Lemur
I idolize Lenny Bruce - before Pryor, before Carlin, Hicks, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock - the list goes on and on -, there was a former burlesque emcee-conman-Navy man who swore he'd... Read morePublished on October 3, 2010 by Rhonda Poynter
I purchased this for a friend who does not have access to the Internet. He was quite happy with the quality and price.Published on August 19, 2009 by P. Davis
I'm still waiting for a funny line from this icon of comedy.
After listening to it, and not laughing. Read more
In the humble opinion of this Bruce-o-phile, "The Carnegie Hall Concert" is the most valuable document of what was great about Lenny Bruce and why he mattered. Read morePublished on November 2, 2005 by J. Merritt