In 2003, Bruce was posthumously pardoned for his conviction by New York Governor George Pataki.
Transcript follows. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Image: Library of Congress
April Fourteen 1960
Mr. Nat Hentoff
150 East 77th Street
New York, N. Y.
Great piece on Lenny Bruce and the New York critics in the Voice. If I had had the time, I was going to write essentially the same thing myself. I was astounded that the supposedly hippest town in the world could give Lenny such a knockdown. He and Sahl are, to my mind, humorists of truly giant stature.
Interesting point: modern art, modern jazz, modern sculpture, modern poetry, modern politics, modern science, modern philosophy, etc., seem to leap far ahead of their audiences. The mass audience, which evidently will never learn, is not content to say "I just don't understand this new jazz." The usual comment is "It's not funny ... it's not jazz ... it's not poetry," etc. I kick this point around in an autobiography of sorts (MARK IT AND STRIKE IT) to be published this summer by Holt. Also go over the Meeting of Minds thing.