stand up comedy

(Pt 2) History of Lenny Bruce, Censorship, and Free Speech

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We continue with the literal trials of Lenny Bruce - and the nature of free speech in comedy clubs.

Does free speech mean that we occasionally have to listen to what we don’t want to hear?

We dive into the gamut of free speech from the controversy of Milo Yiannopoulos appearing at a NYC comedy club - to comedian Ahmed Ahmed having a comedy club patron call 911 on him for making ‘Middle Eastern’ jokes.

Are there limits to Lenny Bruce’s plight?

History of Lenny Bruce, Censorship, and Free Speech

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Lenny Bruce was a comedian who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. And because of that, he became a martyr for free speech. Between 1961 to 1964, he was arrested on obscenity charges 8 times - for performing stand up comedy. You might have seen a fictional portrayal of Bruce on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

In this CH101 episode we dive into the history of Lenny Bruce, censorship, and free speech in stand up comedy.

History of Right-Wing Comedians Punching Down

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Roseanne was supposed to be the big comedy breakout star of Trump’s America… and look how that turned out. So, why are there so few right-wing Republican comedians who can extend the comedic olive branch across both sides of the political aisle? And how come every time there’s a Republican version of The Daily Show - it fails?

We dive into the fine art of right-wing comedy and its proclivity to punch down rather than punch up….

Today’s episode jumps off from a story I did for the Observer - on the release of Nick DiPaolo’s right-wing comedy special that he deemed “Too dangerous for Netflix and too honest for Comedy Central.”