Lenny (1974) Movie Script

Oh, I would say, uh...
Let's see, he was busted
at least nine or ten times.
Twice for possession of narcotics,
and three, four times for obscenity.
Ladies and gentlemen, Lenny Bruce.
Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt
gave Lou Gehrig the clap?
"What'd he say? Jesus, does he
have to get that low for laughs?"
"What's the point?
That's really bad taste. "
The point... the point is
the suppression of words. Now, dig.
Here it is, 1964, and yet every doctor
I know tells me that a certain disease
is on its way to becoming an epidemic
again, when everybody knows
that one shot in the ass'd knock it out.
And yet there it is, VD,
right up there with the top ten.
Why? Because nobody talks about it.
Nobody even wants to say the word.
If the community chest
hits on you, do you say
"Excuse me, how much of my dollar
is going for the clap?"
I don't think you do.
What we have to do is talk about it.
What we really need is to get
some of our national heroes
to admit they've had it.
Eleanor Roosevelt
gave Lou Gehrig the clap.
She also gave it to
Chiang Kai-shek...
And he gave it to J Edgar Hoover,
man... which is how it really spread.
A boy gets the clap. Can he go to his
father? He can't relate to his father.
He's lucky if he can go to a schmuck
who sweeps up the drugstore.
- "I gotta talk to you. "
- "What's the matter?"
- "I got the clap. "
- "Oh, Jesus, where'd you get that?"
"Painting a car!
What's the difference? I got it. "
"What do you want?"
"You work in a drugstore.
Give me some pills. "
- "Oh, all right. Here. "
- "Dexedrine Spansules. Is this good?"
"It's all the same horseshit. Keeps
you awake so you know you got it. "
"The reason I want these pills is I got
a good job. I don't wanna get laid off. "
- "Yeah? Where you working?"
- "The meat-packing plant. "
I'll tell you what we really need.
Maybe one day Jerry Lewis
would go on television,
and instead of getting hung up
with muscular dystrophy,
he'd have a clapathon!
Forget it. It'll never happen.
You know why?
Because talking about it makes you
the worst person in the community.
When did you first meet Lenny?
It was back in 1951. Baltimore.
I was, uh, headlining... Headlining?
I was working at this club.
A- one, two, a-one, two, three, four!
? Now when
the saints go marching in, yeah
? Now when the saints
go marching in...
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Here's the moment that
you've all been waiting for.
So without further ado,
may we present "Hot" Honey Harlowe!
Let's hear it, everybody!
Oh, Eddie.
Look at that hair.
- Who's the guy over by the window?
- Lenny Bruce. He's a comic.
- What kind of comic?
- Lousy.
- I think I know her from somewhere.
- Fake hair.
- He's cute.
- Cute? He does crap.
Old jokes, lousy impressions.
But I really had problems when I was a
kid. It wasn't until I was eight years old
that I figured out my name
wasn't "Shut Up. "
All right, folks. How about some
bird impressions? Bobwhite.
Bobwhite backwards.
A duck.
A swallow.
A goose. Ooh!
Did you ever get the feeling that you're
in an amateur contest, and you're losing?
All right, folks.
Let's get back to the surefire stuff now.
So let's go to the Show Business
Hall of Fame, where the MC
is my good friend,
the old Schnozzola himself!
It's granite out there.
I went into the shoe store
and I said to the clerk
"Do you sell alligator shoes?"
And he said "What size
does your alligator wear?"
"You're really something, Durante. "
And now, I'd like to introduce ya to
my favourite singer, Vaughn Monroe.
? Racing with the moon
His act was so lousy, something
must have attracted you to him.
What was there about him?
Well, he was just, um...
I don't know, huggable.
Thank you.
My mother's a comic,
and I got out of the service
and I changed my name, you know.
- What's your real name?
- Leonard Alfred Schneider.
- Well, why did you change it?
- Too Jewish.
I like the name Bruce.
You know, Bruce sounds like
the captain of a football team.
That's why I changed it, but the first guy
I met whose name was Bruce
tried to kiss me.
418, please.
What hotel are you at?
Uh... 621, please.
Here? You're kidding.
- Well?
- Well?
- Aren't you gonna answer it?
- Why?
How do you people really feel
about "doing it"?
Isn't that about the dirtiest thing
we could do to each other?
It's really not nice "doing it".
What's the worst thing you can
say to anybody? "Fuck you!"
That's really weird, because
if I wanted to hurt you, I should say
"Unfuck you. "
Because "fuck you" is really nice, man.
"Hello, Ma, it's me. Yeah, I just
got back. Aw, fuck you, Ma!"
"Sure I mean it. Is Pop there?"
"Aw, Pop, my Pop.
Aw, fuck you, too, Pop!"
I can't believe it. I just cannot believe it.
- That I'm eating?
- Yeah, that you're eating.
No, that you're here. And that
I'm here with you. I can't believe it.
Do you know, the first time
I saw you in the cafeteria,
I wanted to go up to you and say
"Hi, I'm Lenny Bruce
and I got the hots for you. "
- Now, why didn't I do that?
- Now, why didn't you do that?
- It would have saved a lot of time.
- It would have saved a lot of time.
- I know why I didn't do it.
- Too shy.
Yes. I've always been shy.
- Even as a kid?
- Even as a kid.
I tried to get over it,
but I've always been very shy.
I guess when you get right down to it,
I'm just... basically...
a very shy person.
- Ho-ho.
- Don't you have to go to work?
Yes, I do, but I think I should stay here
and try to solve this problem
of extreme shyness.
Well, maybe I shouldn't be
telling you some of this, but...
Well, it was quite a week.
- Honey?
- Hmm?
Listen, someday I'd like you
to meet my mother.
- Did you stay together then?
- No, I had to go to Miami to work.
But, uh, Lenny called every day.
And... then one day he called
and said he was coming down
cos he couldn't stand to be without me.
We're all the same schmuck!
And it just cracks me up that we
try so desperately to be unique
when we're all the same cat -
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson,
me, you, every cat has got that one
chick who really busted up his ass!
Oh, he's here!
Just a minute.
There he stands in his underwear,
pleading like a dummy:
"Please, will you touch it once? You
never touch it any more. Just once. "
"When I don't feel like it?
When I got a headache?"
- "Yeah. "
- "When I don't get any pleasure from it?"
"Yeah, that's right. Cos I'm a dummy,
I gotta get it touched. "
"If I wait for you, you'd never touch it. "
"Oh, I touch it a lot. "
"No, you don't. You think you touch
it a lot. You used to touch it a lot. "
"Now it's a big favour
to get you to touch it. "
"It's gotta be like a big holiday,
like Armistice Day, right?"
"Well, all right. "
"If you're gonna make me feel guilty,
bring it over here, I'll touch it. "
"No, no, no, don't do me any favours!
I'll just touch it myself. "
That's it, man.
We're all the same schmuck.
Oh, my God.
Oh, man! Is that an album cover!
Why don't you come in,
big boy, and pick a few flowers?
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
It's a shiksa goddess.
That's about the time
I came into the picture.
In what capacity?
What was your relationship?
Personal manager. Friend.
You know... the relationship
between a client and an agent
is a very delicate one. Very delicate.
You don't know how far to get involved
in their personal lives.
Lenny, you name it, she's done it.
I mean, the whole bit.
By the time she was 15,
she had already done time.
So you can just imagine.
Lenny, I'd like to be more
than just an agent to you.
I think you know how I feel.
I mean, otherwise I would never
be telling you these things.
What did you do, Artie?
Hire a private eye?
I didn't have to.
Well, I heard you two were hanging
around a lot together, you know.
It was none of my business,
but I just started asking
around about her and...
- I started hearing these things.
- I love you.
Well, there was this one guy
who said that he knew her,
and he went to a party
with her, and... she, uh...
Lenny, look, I don't have
to spell it out for you, do I?
Did my mother
have anything to do with this?
Sally? No.
Look, Lenny, I'm not making this stuff up.
This isn't a very pleasant thing
to have to do, you know.
If you don't believe me,
check it out yourself.
I don't have to, man.
She already told me herself.
But, um, thanks.
I mean, I got involved in a lot of things
which I wish I didn't get involved in.
You know, very painful things
with, you know, his personal life.
Since you really cared for him.
Yeah, I loved that guy. I really did.
- Honey?
- Hm?
- Let's get married.
- What?
I was a June bride...
And I remember I was wearing
a bengaline suit, had on high heels.
Judge was Judge Liddy.
- You remember everything.
- Oh, yeah. A lot of it.
They've been sitting down there
like that for 15 minutes.
- Why doesn't she let him come up?
- Mema, give her a chance!
She's probably a lovely girl.
Oh, I knew all about her.
And I figured, it's his life, and if that's
who he loves, then that's fine with me.
But what can
they be talking about?
About us, dummy!
Oh, Jesus! There goes the hair.
My mother will be on all the time.
She probably won't
even know you're there.
Good, then I won't have to go up.
But you gotta meet Aunt Mema.
I'll get her to do her famous "Feh" for you.
"Feh"? What's that?
Her impression of a Jewish seagull.
"Feh! Feh!" You'll see.
- Come on, man, let's go.
- Lenny?
Do me a favour?
Please don't call me "man".
I really wanted her to like me.
In-laws, you know?
Oh, now, I gotta tell you
about the first time
that this schmuck ever worked a club.
Here it comes.
Never been on stage before. I'm
working this club on Ocean Parkway.
The Victory Club.
Ugh, what a joint.
The guys were so tough,
they wore wool suits in the summer.
With no underwear.
Listen, I know you know the story,
but I'm gonna tell it anyway.
- All right.
- One night the MC didn't show.
He had car trouble.
Police found marijuana in the trunk.
- Good.
- You haven't heard that before.
How long did you know Leonard
before you two got married?
- Um...
- You're on your own.
Mema... I'm on, OK?
So, I'm sitting in the bar.
And in walks Lenny.
You should have seen me. I had on
brown suede shoes, and the shirt...
So, I says "Lenny,
the MC didn't show tonight. "
"Now, how's about if I introduce you,
and you introduce the acts?"
And he says "Oh, no.
Are you kidding with that?"
And I says "There's nothing to it. '
"You don't have to be funny.
It's intros, like 'Here's Slip and Slap'."
"'How about a hand
for Schmutz and Dreck?"'
Dreck is Yiddish for "shit".
- Ouch!
- So he says "OK, why not?"
Three seconds later,
I'm in the toilet... bleurgh!
- All over the suede shoes.
- Leonard!
- Bleurgh!
- Feh!
- Bleurgh!
- Feh!
- "Feh". There it is.
- Hold it! Hold it, the star is on!
Now, listen, I'm up there, see,
and I got the microphone.
I'm saying "Folks, the MC couldn't
make it tonight, blah, blah, blah. "
"But luckily a good friend of mine,
and a funny, funny guy... "
Bullshit. You said "the funniest guy in... "
Ouch. "The funniest guy in the world. "
You're right! Right!
"Leonard Alfred Schneider,
who just flew in from the coast
for the Sullivan Show,
happens to be in the club. "
You dig what she did to me?
My own mother.
I'd never been on the stage in my life,
and now I gotta go and try to be funny.
You were so nervous
that you came rushing out,
and he tripped over the mic cord,
and he knocked us both flat on our asses.
It's true.
It's true. You never heard
such a laugh - mainly her!
So, how long did you two know
each other before you got married?
Yes, we must know the answer!
How long had we known each other
before we got married?
Half an hour. I picked him up on the
D train after he exposed his putz to me.
- Terrific!
- "Putz"?
I love the "putz"! It's terrific.
It's true. Mema, it's true.
I met her on the D train,
and I gave her one of these.
- Feh!
- That's a small "Feh".
Would you like to hear a loud "Feh"?
I went up to her...
- Feh! Feh!
- That's loud. Can I show Sophie?
Sophie! Sophie's her best friend.
Sophie! Mema.
Sophie! This is the way I met my wife!
Mema doesn't like it. I don't understand.
Mema, you used to...
you used to kiss it when I was little.
Oh, Lenny, she's a terrific girl.
There's no bigger test
of how hip you really are
than when your girlfriend
becomes your wife.
Wow. That's a new one. Why?
You're walking around
with your jugs and pupik sticking out,
and guys are sitting out there
watching you with newspapers
and hats in their laps.
You're jealous!
Oh, I like that. I like that.
So I... I thought maybe
we could work something out
that we could do together.
- What, a double act?
- Yeah.
Dig what I mean.
Like, you talk to the average guy, man.
"Hey, look at that chick over there.
I mean, isn't that a pretty chick?"
"Oh, yeah, she's beautiful. "
"She's got a real pretty face,
and nutty jugs. "
- "You'd marry a woman like that?"
- "Yeah, are you kidding me?"
- "And let your wife dress that way?"
- "No. I'd knock her right on her ass. "
"Well, what made you dig her?"
"Well, you know,
her jugs were sticking out. "
- "She can't dress that way now?"
- "No, you crazy? That's my wife. "
Well, I'll have to cancel some of my, uh...
Forget it.
OK, Daddy. A double act, OK?
That's where the conflict starts.
We all want for a wife
a combination Sunday school teacher,
and $500-a-night hooker.
Well, he started working
with me to be a singer,
and he really played, like,
Flo Ziegfeld or somebody.
And we were together 24 hours a day,
so we started working around.
Club dates, the Catskills,
and, um, it wasn't a bad act.
Really... not a bad act.
Coming from a big star like you, Mr Hart,
that really means a lot to us.
And that's a very pretty
little lady you got there.
- Very pretty.
- Thank you.
I might even be able to use ya
on my show sometime.
Thank you.
Cos I love you, Lenny.
I love you younger guys coming up.
You younger guys are what makes
this business a pleasure.
Who wants to be a parent with
no children, a king with no princes?
I was talking on the Barry Gray Show
about that. Did you catch it?
- She never misses it, Sherman. Right?
- Right.
What I'm trying to say, you're so talented.
I'd hate to see ya get off on
the wrong foot. Work clean.
Don't resort to using dirt. There was a big
beef about your show the other night.
Lucky for you, I ran into Jack Goldstein.
I stopped him
from phoning in a bad report.
I appreciate that, but it was just
a mistake. It was a comedy of errors.
We just finished the duet, and I was
bored doing the same old jokes.
It was hot. So, dig. I took off
my jacket, I turned to the band,
and I said "Now for my 'jacket off' bit"
And the mic picked it up,
so the band cracked up.
- I looked at Honey...
- I cracked up.
And then I cracked up. I know it looked
the worst, man, but it was just...
That's very stupid.
A comic has to use his head.
Up there, you gotta be
thinking every second.
Thank you, thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen,
one of the all-time greats
of show business is here.
In fact, he got his start
right here in this hotel.
Mr Entertainment himself,
Sherman Hart, ladies and gentlemen!
Sherman Hart!
You're wonderful.
You're beautiful. Oh, you're heaven!
I... Beautiful audience! Oh!
Lenny, baby, I just love
what you're doing up there!
You'll love it, too,
when you see it on my Comedy Hour.
Wednesday night, CBS.
Thank you. You're beautiful.
I might as well tell you the times.
It's 9.00 Eastern, 7.00 Rocky Mountain,
and 4am in Tokyo. Tokyo!
Oh, you're beautiful!
Thank you. Thank you.
Lenny, baby, do me a favour.
Would you just talk a little slower?
I can't write that fast.
Go get 'em. Go get 'em.
Sherman Hart, ladies and gentlemen.
You're wonderful! You're super.
Thank you. Go get 'em, kid.
You know, folks, just to digress
for a second, I know that...
I'm new at this business and I've got
a lot to learn, but thanks to Sherman,
I realise I made a mistake
out here the other night.
And if I offended any of you,
I'd really like to apologise.
So, by way of making it up to you,
I, uh...
I think I'm gonna piss on you.
- Why?
- Look, I just wanna get outta here.
Why would you do such a terrible
thing on the High Holiday weekend?
Everybody's going to be
warned about you!
You won't work another club, room,
anything! You're finished!
- Finished in show business!
- Oh, no, no, no. Not that! Not that!
OK, you'll see! You've got
a rough road ahead of you, sonny!
Especially with your dirty mouth
and your no-talent wife!
Come here, Jack.
Not one Puerto Rican in your kitchen
hasn't schtupped your wife.
Thanks for everything.
What does he know about talent?
OK, what is dirty? And what is clean?
Now, if I had to make a choice, man,
I would rather my kid watches
a stag movie than a clean movie,
like King of Kings.
Why? Because King of Kings
is full of killing,
and I don't want my kid to kill Christ
when he comes back.
That's what happens in that.
Tell me about a stag movie where
anybody gets punched or killed.
If you're lucky, you might
see someone get tied up
or tapped lightly with a Hickok belt,
but for the most part, all you really
see during that hour and a half, man,
is a lot of hugging and kissing...
and moaning and groaning...
Oh, God. And then,
near the end of the movie,
when that one potential instrument
of death is revealed...
The pillow.
The guy might smother the chick,
like in a horror flick.
He takes that pillow and gently
slides it under the girl's ass.
And they go off,
and nobody gets hurt or killed.
And it's nice.
And that's the end of the movie.
Somebody help!
Please, somebody help!
Oh, I had cuts all over my arms, my legs.
I had a big gash right across here.
Um, my bladder was punctured.
I was in shock for three weeks.
It was, uh... it was very dramatic.
Would you like some cold coffee,
Mr Bruce?
Thank you.
Yes? OK, I will.
Mr Bruce? You can go in now.
- What is that, Doctor?
- Morphine.
Some people have all the fun.
I love you.
Mr Bruce?
Don't leave your coat.
- Oh, thanks.
- Let me help you on with it.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
Aw, shit.
Let's face it, guys are different.
And ladies just don't understand this.
Because to a lady,
cheating means, I know,
hugging and kissing
and liking somebody.
With guys, that doesn't enter into it.
Guys are detached.
You put a guy on a desert island,
he'll do it to mud.
A chicken. A barrel. Anything. A knothole.
If you know this,
would you really feel hurt
if you came home and found your
husband on the bed with a chicken?
- "A chicken. A chicken in our bed!"
- "Oh, come on. "
"Don't touch me! You want your dinner,
get your chicken to get it for you. "
In New York, it's illegal.
"Seeming sexual intercourse
with an animal, to wit, a chicken. "
That's the literal.
But how can you even fantasise it?
They're too short!
"How come you're alone?
Your chicken leave town?"
"Will you leave me alone already?
I was drunk. I met her in the yard. "
"Anyway, I was thinking of you
the whole time I was doing it. "
Do I have to stay in this thing?
I can walk, you know.
It's the rules. Just as far as the door.
You don't wanna break the rules, do you?
Here we go.
OK, take it easy. Easy, easy.
- You OK?
- Mm-hm.
Goodbye, Mrs Bruce, Mr Bruce.
- Bye.
- It's been nice meeting you both.
- Thanks for everything.
- Thanks a lot.
- You made it with her, didn't you?
- Deny it. Flat-out deny it!
If you really love your wife, deny it.
If they got pictures, deny it.
It bugged me at first. You know, it hurt.
If they walk in on you, deny it.
Say this chick came into the apartment
with a sign around her neck that said
"I have malaria. Lie on top of me and
keep me physically active or I'll die. "
Later, I found out a lot about
why he did things like that.
And chances are, man... they'll
believe it. Do you know why?
- To prove himself.
- Needed to prove himself.
Because they wanna believe it.
- Insecurity?
- Insecurity.
When you got out of hospital,
you had a nice surprise.
- Is that right?
- Yeah.
- You feel OK?
- Oh, a little weak.
- Don't look until I tell you to.
- OK.
Big black Cadillac.
It's ours.
Where did you get the money? Insurance?
$7,000. A few more accidents
like this, and we're set for life.
Oh, it's beautiful! It's the most!
I love it. I really love it.
You should have seen the salesman.
He said "This car is the same kind Ike
and Dick drive in. " That's what he said.
"You take it from Fat Boy.
It's almost new. "
"It's only been used once,
and that was in a suicide pact,
so there's a little bit of lipstick
around the exhaust pipe. "
I'll take it.
- That's good, young lady.
- Where are we going, Fat Boy?
First, Fat Boy's gonna take you to the
motel... where he gonna give it to you
the same way he's been giving it
to the public for 25 years.
- And in the same location, too.
- You promise?
- I promise. Honk-honk.
- Then where are we going, Fat Boy?
Then Fat Boy's gonna take you to
that great big used car lot in the sky.
- Know where that is?
- Uh-uh.
- California!
- California!
Come on, Fat Boy! Get on!
I love you, Lenny.
Well, we're off to California.
The new life, you know?
We're working our way across the
country playing these dinky clubs.
We usually bombed,
but it was kinda fun, you know?
- And that's where it all started.
- What?
Well, we were working this club in Detroit,
and we were all clowning
around in the dressing room,
and this drummer comes up and says
"Hey, you cats wanna try
something groovy?"
And we said "Sure. "
So he hands us these little straws,
and we started sniffing this stuff.
- Up our noses, you know?
- What was it, cocaine?
No, it was, um, heroin... and stuff.
- And how did that make you feel?
- Well... I sort of went bananas...
crying, jumping up and down,
stamping all around.
And Lenny?
Lenny started laughing.
But it was kind of fun, you know.
- Wow.
- Before we're done with this town,
we'll have your jugs in cement
in front of Grauman's Chinese.
We bought pots and pans,
dishes and stuff like that,
and started setting up housekeeping.
It was really terrific for a while, and then...
- Want to see a picture I took of Lenny?
- "And then" what?
The double act
wasn't getting anywhere.
We'd gone through our savings pretty
fast, so I went back to work stripping,
and Lenny took whatever jobs he could.
We got in with this crowd and...
You know, show people, musicians,
stuff like that.
And they were all messing around,
fixing, stuff like that.
You do things on dope that normally
wouldn't come into your mind to do.
Why not?
I just don't want to, that's all.
It'll be nice.
Why do you keep pushing
this, Lenny? You keep pushing.
I don't know.
A little excitement would be good for us.
I don't think we can handle it.
Well, that's very unhip.
Maybe I'm not hip.
Do you love me?
Well, don't you know that I love you?
And now, a word about dykes.
I like dykes.
How could you say that?
Lenny, Jesus Christ, you were the one
that talked me into these freak scenes.
I didn't have to do much talking, did I?
Oh, God. I knew it. I knew it.
- I told you, but...
- Didn't tell me you'd love it so much.
That's what Will Rogers once said, man.
"I never met a dyke I didn't like. "
You're crazy.
You know I made it with that nurse.
- I know it.
- She was terrific.
- You know I made it with other chicks?
- I don't wanna play this stupid game!
Don't you want to tell me about
the Chinese chick in the club?
You didn't know I knew that, did you?
I love you, Lenny.
Why don't you tell me to stop?
Why don't you tell yourself to stop?
- Tell me.
- Why? You obviously dig it.
So, you know, that's cool.
You son of a bitch! Why do you
always have to be so fucking hip?
If you notice,
comics will do endless fag jokes,
but never dyke jokes, man.
You know why? Because dykes
will really punch the shit out of ya!
It's really hard to spot dykes. Oh, yeah.
You know why? Because sometimes,
we're married to 'em.
I love you.
You parted several times.
What was it that you really
wanted from the marriage?
I wanted a baby. I always wanted a baby.
I thought it would help us, you know?
Bring us together.
So we both cleaned up for a while,
and on November 7th, 1955,
Kitty was born.
We were like a real family for a while.
And then I had to go back to work,
and travel a lot.
And Lenny started MC-ing
these strip joints, real dives.
We didn't get to see much
of each other and...
I don't know. Sometimes things...
just don't work out and you
really never understand why.
Do you want to see
a picture of Kitty as a baby?
No, dummy, in your mouth.
- Hey, man, what time is it?
- 9.30.
That's right.
Mommy'll be here pretty soon, OK?
Just couldn't get a cab.
Um, called three places
and they said they'd send one,
but... Nada City.
I finally got one.
Kitty, Mama's sorry she's late.
She knows Daddy's mad.
Mr Bruce? Mr Bruce? Your order ready.
- How much?
- $2.75.
Where Missis? She's the prettiest
girl I ever see. She sick?
Here the fortune cookie, and say
"hello" to her. She a wonderful wife.
- We're divorced.
- You're better off.
It's really hard when you break up
with your old lady.
At first you think "That's groovy.
Screw her, I'll really swing, man. "
But the kind of chicks you meet when
you're divorced are divorced chicks!
They all have that six-year-old kid.
He's like a prop from central casting.
But if they don't have that kid,
they have that French poodle
that has to be allowed
in the bedroom all the time.
In fact, he's on the bed
when you're trying to do it, man.
"What is the function of this dog?"
"He's looking at us.
He just wants to watch. "
"Wants to watch?
I'm not an exhibitionist! I... "
"You get outta here, you pervert. "
The sick red eyes, man.
Tap dancing on the linoleum floor.
I mean... that pink thing
sticking out of him.
It's like a lipstick, right?
No, if you've been married for five
years and it goes into the shithouse,
then you're gonna spend
a lot of time throwing up.
And when it's over, about the only
satisfaction you can have is to get even.
Get even with that chick, man.
Get that kid. Get even. I got the kid.
He just stole her from me.
We were in Hawaii, and I had gotten
busted for having a little pot in my car.
I was waiting trial
and he knew I couldn't leave.
And he took her, man, he just took her!
I'm sorry, the tape has run out.
I don't think I got all of that down.
Just give me a second and then...
maybe repeat that for me, please?
No, forget it. I know why.
He took her because he knew
I couldn't take care of her.
- Because of drugs?
- Mm-hm.
But custody doesn't mean "get even".
What custody really means...
is I raise. I get up in the morning.
I schlep the kid. I clean. I love.
It's hot.
Phew, man! Custody's a lot of dues.
Is good? You better off with me.
It's probably for you. I'll tell them
you're eating and to call later.
Here. Here, here. Have yourself an orgy.
Collect call for Mr Bruce
from Honey Bruce in Honolulu.
- Is this Mr Bruce?
- Yeah, this is him.
- Will you accept the charges?
- Yeah.
Just a moment.
Go ahead, Mrs Bruce.
- Lenny?
- Hi.
What's shaking, man? What do ya want?
I think you called me.
Oh, right.
Um, what are you doing?
Nothing. It's my night off.
Oh, right.
I've got some really good news.
I, uh, met this agent who said
that maybe he could get me
some dates working conventions.
- Yeah, I know. You told me.
- I did?
But he says it's almost definite.
He said he'd call on, um, Tuesday.
- Lenny?
- Yeah, that's good, that's good news.
Well, I... got some really good news.
Um... My lawyer says, uh,
I might not have to go to jail.
He says we can appeal, but, um...
How much this time?
Uh, I'll send what I can.
I'll pay you back this time.
He said he'd call on...
I miss you, Daddy.
How's Kitty?
- Fine.
- You change her a lot?
You know you gotta change her
or else she gets those rashes.
- I gotta hang up now.
- Lenny?
Yeah, I'm still here.
Do you still love me?
Sure, but I gotta hang up now. I can't
make these phone bills. It never stops.
I still love you,
and as soon as I'm straight...
Look, I gotta hang up.
Uh, listen, I'll send what I can.
Take care of yourself.
The trouble is we all live
in a "happy ending" culture.
A "what should be" culture
instead of a "what is" culture.
We're taught that fantasy,
but if we were taught "This is what is",
I think we'd be less screwed up.
Dig what I mean.
I'd like to show you dirty pictures
that relate to your daughter, or mine.
These are some pictures
of the Kennedy assassination.
Now... I say these are dirty pictures,
because the captions are bullshit.
"Never for an instant
did she think of flight. "
Now, that's bullshit. That's my conclusion.
Time magazine's conclusion is that
she was trying to get out of the car
to get help or trying to help
the secret service man aboard.
That's their conclusion, and we buy it.
But I think she did the normal thing, man!
When the president and governor got it,
she tried to get the hell out of there!
But they want us to believe this bullshit!
They want our daughters, if their
husbands get their faces shot off,
and they try to haul ass
to save their asses,
if they do the normal thing,
then they'll feel guilty and shitty,
because they're not like
that good woman in the fantasy!
It's a dirty lie to tell the people
that if you're good, you stay,
and if you're bad, you run,
because she didn't stay!
Fuck it, man, she didn't stay!
People don't stay!
No, people don't stay.
If a Protestant woman's
son's marriage didn't work,
and she picked up and moved
to help raise the child,
would you call her a Protestant mother?
- So you moved to California?
- What else? I'm a Jewish mother.
Lenny went to work at Duffy's?
Yeah. Duffy's was a strip joint
about a block and a half from here.
Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear it for
Miss Cindy, tits and ass on the carpet!
Come on, you degenerates,
give her a hand!
Lenny used to do a shtick
between strippers.
- What kind of stick?
- No, it's "shtick", darling, "shtick".
I just had a wild idea. You know how
many asses have been on this chair?
Ha-ha! Really, there's been
a lot of asses on this chair.
We have no way of telling how many.
But lions and tigers know, right?
That's why when Frank Buck goes
"Ha! Ha!", they go "Eurgh! Eurgh!"
Oh, am I glad that you're here tonight.
All right, you've heard enough
of the humorous side of our show.
Let's welcome a great favourite,
Miss Baby Babylon
and her travelling rash.
- No! My answer is no!
- Come on, Lenny.
I dig it here because I can say
anything I want! I can do anything.
- Nobody's listening!
- What if I could get you $750 a week?
- 750? Get outta here!
- What would they pay him 750 for?
- To say anything that's in his head!
- What are those?
- M&M's.
- They dig you.
- How do you know?
- They think you're an in thing!
- Lenny an "in thing"?
- Lenny, let me call them!
No mother-in-law jokes?
- No.
- No Max Factor?
- Nothing!
- No tuxedos?
- You can go on bare-assed if you want.
- Mm-hm... No.
Aw, come on!
Please, Lenny, I need the money!
My final answer is no.
- Artie, Lenny's right.
- Yeah.
He's better off here where he can crack up
four musicians at 90 bucks a week.
- Now he should stay here.
- Yeah, she's right. Call 'em.
- I don't feel like it.
- Come on, I need the money!
- No, you had your chance.
- Artie, I wanna be a star!
- No.
- Please call 'em!
- All right, I'll call them.
- Thanks.
Here, sweetheart. I used
to work at a post office.
Let's hear it for Miss Baby Babylon
and her bobbling boobies!
Ladies and gentlemen, let's give a nice
welcome to Miss Wanda and her bird.
No, that was last week.
You're gonna love this next lovely lady,
so let's welcome her because
she'll thrill you down to your thriller!
Ladies and gentlemen, whatever
her name is, a big hand. Let's hear it.
I bid you all farewell. I'm leaving this toilet
to go on and become a big star. Oh, yeah.
Therefore, pursuant to the power
invested in me by the territory of Hawaii,
I hereby sentence you to be confined
to the Women's Correctional Institution,
Terminal Island, California,
for a period of not less than 24 months.
I mean, he stopped doing
that crappy imitation stuff
and he started to improvise.
All right.
- Who else can we talk about?
- Eisenhower.
Eisenhower. All right.
You students gotta stop
bugging him about the bomb.
He doesn't even know
where they keep the bomb.
Actually, it's not a bomb.
It's a button. A button on the fly
of a cub scout somewhere.
One day the whole world
is gonna go up, man,
because of one faggot scoutmaster.
I really dig what they do
with homosexuals in this country.
They put 'em in prison
with a lot of other men.
That's really good punishment.
Are there any niggers here tonight?
Can you turn on the house lights,
and could the waiters and waitresses
just stop serving for a second?
And turn off the spot.
Now what did he say?
"Are there any niggers here tonight?"
There's one nigger here.
I see him back there working.
Let's see. There's two niggers.
And between those two niggers
sits a kike.
And there's another kike.
That's two kikes and three niggers.
And there's a spic, right? Hm?
There's another spic.
Ooh, there's a wop. There's a Polack.
And then, oh, a couple of greaseballs.
There's three lace-curtain Irish Micks.
And there's one hip, thick,
hunky, funky boogie.
Boogie, boogie. Mm-mm.
I got three kikes. Do I hear five kikes?
I got five kikes. Do I hear six spics?
Six spics. Do I hear seven niggers?
I got seven niggers. Sold American!
I'll pass with seven niggers, six spics,
five Micks, four kikes,
three guineas, and one wop.
You almost punched me out, didn't ya?
I was trying to make a point,
that it's the suppression of the word
that gives it the power,
the violence, the viciousness.
Dig. If President Kennedy would
just go on television and say
"I'd like to introduce you
to all the niggers in my cabinet. "
And if he'd just say "nigger, nigger"
to every nigger he saw,
"Boogie, boogie, boogie,
nigger, nigger, nigger, nigger,"
till it didn't mean anything any more!
Then you'd never be able
to make a black kid cry
because somebody called him
a nigger in school.
I am of Semitic background. I'm Jewish.
Now, a Jew, dictionary-style,
is one who is descended
from one of the tribes of Judea
or one who is regarded
to have descended from them.
But you and I know what a Jew really is:
One who killed our Lord!
I don't know if it got much
press coverage here on the West Coast
cos it was 2,000 years ago.
Although there should be a statute of
limitations, we're still paying the dues.
Why do you keep busting
our balls for this crime?!
"Why? Because you skirt the issue.
You blame it on Roman soldiers. "
I'm gonna clear the air once
and for all, and confess.
We did it. My family, I did it.
We found a note in the basement:
"We killed him", signed Morty.
Good thing we nailed him when we did,
because if we had done it within
the last 50 years, we'd have to contend
with generations
of parochial schoolkids
with little electric chairs
hanging around their necks.
- 1,000 a week?
- Yeah. That's right.
No. No, no. We want 13...
- Uh... 1500 a week minimum...
- 15?!
- .. guaranteed against a percentage.
- Percentage? What percentage?
- What percentage?
- Yeah.
Uh, 20 per cent?
Get outta here!
The guy's a fad, like Hula-Hoops.
Oh, I'm a fucking fad? 30!
Look, uh... did I say 20 per cent?
I really meant to say 30 per cent.
30 per cent? I never paid an actor
30 per cent in my life.
Well, you know Lenny. He's, uh... crazy.
Crazy? Are you guys trying to screw me?
- Yes.
- How crazy can he be?
You pay me what I want
or I don't show up.
- Who is that?
- Pay Lenny or he don't go to work...
- What's going on there?
- Look, I'll call you back.
No, man, it's a lot of bullshit, man,
I'm just a comic.
Yeah, but for a nightclub comic,
you certainly have a great deal
of social impact.
No. Come on, man.
True. And people say you feel
a certain obligation to speak out
on subjects that would not normally...
No, no, no. That's not it at all.
I'm just trying to make a buck.
Oh, that's nice.
- You want some yoghurt?
- No, thank you.
- It's good for you. It's healthy.
- Well, that's good.
I really dig being up there. It's like I want
to recite a poem in front of everybody.
It's like you stand up
and everybody listens to you.
Your mother, your father.
They finally listen to you, man.
And they don't chase you outta the room.
Yeah, come in.
Hi. Oh, this is Artie Silver,
my manager.
This is... Sorry, I forgot your name again.
- John Santi.
- Mr Santi writes for Time magazine.
- Oh. Very good.
- Uh-huh.
Well, usually I don't like doing interviews,
but... I find you very interesting.
"Sick comic Lenny Bruce
whose jokes about the President... "
Blah, blah, blah, blah.
You know what's sick?
Zsa Zsa Gabor will get $60,000 a week
in Las Vegas, Nevada.
And schoolteacher salaries in that
state, top salary is $6,000 a year.
Now, that's really sick!
And that's the kind of "sick"
I wish they would have written about.
Or the fact that married guys have
to jack off more than anybody else!
It's true, and it's weird.
All over the country, thousands
of guys are lying on bathroom floors
whacking it off to Miss December!
Because the wife don't
want to touch it any more.
You can't stop masturbating gradually.
You got to do it cold jerky.
What's Time gonna say about that?
All right, how about
some more sick material, huh?
Actually, I do have some guilt that
I don't do enough for integration.
I try to do my bit,
but it just doesn't seem to be enough.
They asked me to make
the marches, but I couldn't,
because it's always the same old crap.
Ray Charles bumping into
Stevie Wonder all day long.
I mean, it's the worst!
No. You don't have to applaud!
Really, it's really weird.
It's enough that you're listening.
It's strange.
I used to get fired for doing this, and,
like, now I'm getting a following, right?
Oh, come on.
Oh, it's embarrassing!
Just stop it.
Come on. I'm walking off here
if you don't stop right now!
I don't want any more applause.
No more love.
Why aren't you two standing?
You know, I been thinking.
I mean, I am totally corrupt.
I mean, really. My whole act. My whole
economic success, whatever that is,
is based solely on the existence
of segregation, violence,
despair, disease and injustice.
And if, by some miracle, the whole
world were suddenly tranquil, pure,
I'd be standing on
an unemployment line somewhere.
So you see, I'm not a moralist.
If I were, I'd be donating my salary
to those schoolteachers. Right?
I'm a hustler.
As long as they give, I'll grab.
While that was happening,
you were in prison?
- Yeah.
- Did he visit you?
Whenever he could.
And we wrote each other a lot.
- What kind of letters?
- Oh, here, I kept some of 'em.
Shit. They're here somewhere.
Anyway, they were about, um...
how sorry we both were.
I don't know, I guess I just
never thought of us as being divorced.
Oh, wow!
Oh. I got some terrific pictures of Kitty.
- Are you ready?
- Uh-huh.
You'll be surprised.
Oh... Go on.
She's getting so big, huh?
- Kitty on pony.
- Oh, that's cute.
Kitty with stuffed lion and friends.
Who's the chick?
A friend of Artie's.
- Do you believe that?
- No, but thanks for trying.
Hey, listen.
I got cited for meritorious behaviour,
and that means that if I'm good
I get 67 days knocked off my time.
- Can I see the album again?
- Yeah.
It must be wonderful to be, like, a star.
Something's bothering me
and I wanna talk about it.
Did you read about the, uh... Thanks.
.. the two schoolteachers who
were busted for homosexuality?
Right. This is an editorial
from this morning's newspaper
and I'm quoting directly from it.
I'll just read the last sentence:
"And let us make certain
that these sexual deviates
are never allowed
inside a classroom again. "
That's wrong. First, they were
busted for what they were doing
15 miles away from the school.
What's more important
is what came out at the trial
is that they're good teachers.
And do you know how long it takes
to make a good teacher?
I'll tell you something else.
There wasn't one incident reported
where a kid came home and said
"We had five minutes of geography,
10 minutes of cocksucking. "
Man, what is that?
And that's what happened the first time.
Dirty Lenny said a dirty word,
and they schlepped him away for it.
What makes you think you've got
the right to say a word like that?
What word is that? I said a lot of words.
You know what word I'm talkin' about.
It's against the law.
I didn't do it, man, I just said it.
Yeah. If you ever said it
in front of my wife or kid,
I'd punch you right out.
I really don't want to get involved in this.
Empty your pockets.
At first, I think he really enjoyed it.
You know, he got a lot of publicity.
I don't know if he enjoyed it or not.
Enjoyed it? Hell, no.
He was obsessed with it.
Toward the end, he wouldn't do any bits,
he wouldn't do any jokes.
All he wanted to do was read
from the transcripts of his trials.
My first trial was in front
of a judge, no jury.
The judge was distinguished-looking.
He looked like a movie judge.
Like Andy Hardy's father.
So I said "That's cool. He'll be fair. "
Your Honour, if I might interject,
even if there were minors present,
I don't think that I said anything
that would have done them any harm.
Young man, I think you'd better
let your attorney try this case.
Now, as far as I'm concerned,
I'm ready to find you guilty right now.
However, I will grant a continuance
as you have requested.
Thank you, sir.
Now it's my understanding
that he has a performance on, uh...
- Saturday.
- .. Saturday.
Yes, sir.
I want to caution you
right now, young man,
that if I get a report that you have
repeated any of this language,
any of these words,
you'll take the consequences.
- Is that clear?
- If I repeat what words? It's all right.
If I repeat what words
specifically, Your Honour?
You say anything obscene,
and I'll take that into consideration
when I dispose of the case.
Court adjourned.
Thank you very much.
And now, ladies and gentlemen,
Lenny Bruce!
Thank you. Bless you. Bless you.
That's because you're good.
Wow. Look at that. We seem
to have some company here tonight.
Could you throw the spotlight
against the wine chest?
I'd like to welcome some friends.
I think they're here.
Ah, yes, there they are.
Good evening, fellas. Hi, guys.
It's Mount Rushmore.
Could we throw the spot on the
other wall there? I think I spot two.
I'm not sure. Ah, yes, there they are!
Hi, Mickey. How's the family? OK.
Wow. Have you ever seen
so much blue in all your life?
I seem to be under a little pressure
here tonight to cool my act.
I don't know how many of you know,
but I was arrested, busted,
right here on this stage
a few nights ago, for saying... No.
I'm not gonna say it.
Let's see. It's an 11-letter word,
it starts with a "C" and ends with a "G".
And it was used... it was used
in the context of defending
a certain homosexual practice.
Actually, though, I don't relate it
only to homosexuals...
I relate it to any contemporary
woman I know! Oh, yeah.
Would know or love or marry.
- You do, too, if you're honest, right?
- Right!
OK, I'd like to ask you all
a few questions now, OK?
And you're all under oath, all of you.
Even standing room only.
How many people in this club here
tonight have ever used that word...
Don't be shy, you can raise
your hands. Well, that's cool.
Now let's get really honest. You, sir,
have you ever had your blah blahed?
Hm? It's either yes or no.
There's no two ways about it!
OK, how many men in this room
have ever had their blah blahed?
Raise your hands.
Oh, come on, officers.
Now you're under oath.
All right, keep your hands raised.
How many men in this room
have ever blahed a blah? Phew, man.
Somebody's not telling the truth.
OK, ma'am, tell me,
have you ever blahed a blah?
The officers couldn't see it, but she
went like this, and he went like this.
This time the whole audience
gets schlepped away, right?
This is the dirtiest show
I've ever done in my life!
This is really filth!
Now if there is anyone who has not
found this obscene, you're full of blah,
and I hope you never get your
blah blahed again! That's my show.
Thank you and good night!
Andy Hardy's father found me guilty.
One year in jail, and $1,000 fine.
Phew. So you know what we did?
We made a motion for a trial de novo.
We wanted a jury trial, figuring that
12 average members of the community
could better determine what was
obscene, as opposed to one judge.
Here is a guy that never
got past the ninth grade.
At the age of 36, he turns around,
he decides to become a lawyer.
And, I mean,
he drove his friends nuts with it.
Collecting old law books, case numbers,
newspaper clippings, you name it.
And tape. He started taping everything!
He spent $63,000 for tape recordings,
tape equipment, engineers.
He even hired a guy
to record his own trials!
Officer Ryan, were you sexually
stimulated by Mr Bruce's performance?
Irrelevant and immaterial, Your Honour.
- Overruled.
- No, sir.
Officer Ryan, have you ever used
the word "cocksucker"?
Not to my knowledge.
You are quite familiar with the term
"cocksucker", are you not?
I've heard it used.
Matter of fact, the word "cocksucker"
is frequently heard
in a police station, is it not?
Irrelevant and not germane to the issue.
The objection is overruled.
You may answer, Officer.
Could I have
the question again, please?
"Matter of fact, the word 'cocksucker'
is frequently heard
in a police station, is it not?"
I have heard it used, yes.
Yes, you have heard
the word "cocksucker"
used in a police station,
which is a public place.
I think you're all getting off on that word.
You see, Lenny Bruce's satire
is related to the kind of social satire
found in the works
of Aristophanes, Jonathan Swift...
Your Honour, Aristophanes
is not testifying here.
I don't see how he really could.
Reverend Mooney, could you give
the jury a brief summary
of your background in the
field of higher education?
Yes. I have been a Professor of Theology
for almost 12 years now.
Could you speak a little louder, sir?
I've taught at Boston University
for three years,
Northwestern University for two years,
then UCLA for three years more,
and I am now at Berkeley.
This poor schmuck can't hold a job.
Reverend Mooney, how would
you characterise Mr Bruce's work?
Well, I think that Lenny
has a message to convey.
Now it's my turn. Would you speak
a little louder, please, Reverend?
Yes. He has a message to convey.
And he is honest and sincere about it.
The message is, I believe,
to expose and hold up American society,
so they can really see themselves.
Your Honour, I cannot hear the witness.
- Reverend.
- I'm sorry.
He uses words as weapons,
to hit people over the head with.
To make them recognise
they are being hypocritical
in every phase of their lives.
Words are his tools, and he uses them
like a carpenter uses a hammer...
Order. Order. Order.
Spectators will be seated.
Order in the court. Mr Bruce!
What was the nature of this "chant"?
Well, it was supposed to be talk
between a man and a woman,
who were... involved in the...
in the act of copulation.
"To" is a preposition. "Come" is a verb.
"To" is a preposition. "Come"
is a verb. The verb intransitive.
"To come. " I've heard these
two words my whole adult life,
and as a kid when they
thought I was sleeping.
It's been like a big drum solo.
"Did you come? Did you come good?"
"Did you come good?
Did you come good?"
"Did you come good?
Did you come good?"
"Did you come good?
Did you come good?"
"Did you come good?"
"I come better with you, sweetheart,
than anyone in the whole damn world. "
"But don't
come in me. Don't come in me. "
"Don't come in me mimme mimme,
don't come in me mimme mimme,
don't come in me. "
"I can't come. Don't ask me!"
"You don't love me,
that's why you can't come. "
"I love ya, I just can't come, that's my
hang-up. I can't come when I'm loaded. "
- "Cos you don't love me. "
- "What is the matter?"
"What has that got to do with loving
you? I just can't come, that's all. "
Now, if anyone in this room,
or the world,
finds those two words
obscene, indecent, immoral,
you probably can't come.
Mr Bruce, you are smiling.
This is not for your entertainment.
I don't know if what I've heard
is legally obscene...
- Your Honour, do you believe in God?
- Bailiff?
A God that made your body.
If you believe there is a God
that made your body,
then why do you keep telling children
to cover up, that the body is dirty?
God, what a bore.
If the body is dirty, then the fault
lies with the manufacturer.
That means you gotta schlep
God into court with me.
The defendant is charged
with violating section 311.6
of the California penal code
which provides:
"Any person who knowingly
speaks any obscene song, ballad
or other words in a public place
is guilty of a misdemeanour".
Now, "obscene" means
to the average person,
applying contemporary
standards of the community.
The dominant appeal of the matter
being to arouse a prurient interest,
which is a morbid or shameful interest
in nudity or sex or excretion,
which goes beyond the limits
of such matters.
.. redeeming social importance.
Now, sex and obscenity
are not synonymous.
To make sex obscene,
it is necessary that the portrayal of it
must be done in such a way
that its dominant tendency
is to corrupt the average adult,
by creating a clear and present danger
of antisocial behaviour.
In other words,
some cat'll see my show, get horny,
run off to a museum,
and jerk off a dinosaur!
"We, the jury, find
the defendant not guilty
of violation of Section 311.6 of the
penal code of the state of California,
to wit, 'speaking or singing obscene
words or ballads in a public place'."
You'd mentioned you'd get
six months off that jail sentence.
Did that happen?
No, I got in some trouble,
so I had to serve my full time.
What kind of trouble?
- Well, I just did something crazy.
- You don't want to tell me about it?
All right. Anyway, you did get out.
Yeah. They give you a lot
of speeches about rehabilitation,
they lay a little bread on you,
they try to help you, and then...
- Good luck, dear.
- Oh. Thank you.
.. they drop you on the sidewalk.
It had nothing to do with justice.
That lady I wrote you about?
The one with the hat
and the twitchy mouth?
Right. When we got in the jury room,
and she started bitchin', "He's guilty. "
Then all of a sudden, "He's not guilty. "
- Well, how come?
- She was a lush.
And she had to get out to get a drink?
- Right. So I was saved by Gallo Wine.
- Who cares, man? You beat it.
I know, but I wanted to win it
on the First Amendment.
I love you.
Wow, was I happy. I think he was too.
He was making a lot of bread.
After the San Francisco trial
and all that publicity,
everybody wanted to see him.
There were the semi-hip, Playboy-type
people who thought it was in to dig him.
And then there were the people
who really loved Lenny.
You really are the truth.
She's a nut...
But she's right.
He started coming on like a rabbi.
I used to kid him about it.
I'd call him "the Meshugana Messiah".
But I'm not anti-Christ or anti-religion,
I just think it's encouraging that people
are leaving the church
and going back to God.
He was putting
everybody down. The Pope.
I mean, jeez, he even went after Kennedy.
I suppose people came in
to see if he might get arrested.
Oh, absolutely.
Right... right on. Right on.
You were with him when he was
arrested in Los Angeles and Chicago?
What's the matter?
Well, um, it's like that lady alcoholic
in I'll Cry Tomorrow.
- Lillian Roth?
- No, Susan Hayward.
See, junkies think like...
"I'll kick tomorrow. "
And it was the same thing with me.
But, uh, tomorrow just...
Follow the dots
down the yellow brick road.
Goddammit! He was just fine until
you had to be schlepped into it again.
OK, I'll, uh, kill myself.
Lenny was deep into drugs
himself, though, wasn't he?
You're really cute, aren't you?
You want me to say it.
Monogram Pictures presents
Rotten Together, starring
Faye Wray and King Kong.
You think it's funny?
King Kong's mother.
You two think you're so damn funny...
- Well?
- It's a waste of time.
The mercenary old bitch won't budge!
- She has to.
- Yeah, well, you tell her.
Beth, he's in no condition to go on.
You can't let him go on.
Look at this. It's five bucks a head.
You know what that would cost me?
If he gets busted,
it'll cost you your liquor licence.
I'll take my chances.
Lenny, you've got to be a good boy
and get up and get on your feet.
Lenny, you can't get up.
Come on, Lenny, you gotta get up.
I know you can do it, man.
- They're all out there waiting for ya...
- I'm no junkie.
You can't disappoint the public.
There you go, man.
That's it.
I'm proud of you.
Uh-oh. There's the city heat.
There's the county heat.
There's the state heat. And I even think
I see two cats from Interpol, man.
And I know I saw four Mounties, man!
Ladies and gentlemen,
Lenny Bruce.
Super Jew!
The Ecumenical Council has given
the Pope permission to become a nun.
But only on Fridays.
Wait. What's that?
King Kong is ready now?
Oh, he's almost ready.
Oh, we're gonna have King
for the second show.
Look, I gotta warn you photographers
not to take any flashbulbs.
Cool it with the flashbulbs, man,
because otherwise King gets
a little shitty, you know.
So just give him a...
air... a building to play with
or an airplane to squeeze and... Yeah.
Where the fuck was I?
It's really wild, man, because
a judge can get away with that.
He just sits up there, man,
just junked out of his head, man,
and he says
"I'll take it under advisement. "
Where was I, now?
Let me see, where was I?
Oh, yeah. I know... Yeah. I know what
I want to do. I know what I want to do.
You're all wondering
why I'm wearing this raincoat.
The reason I'm wearing this
raincoat is, as you all know...
I've been busted a few times
for obscenity,
and the last time I was busted
was in Los Angeles,
and they didn't give me time to get my
coat. So, since Chicago is a cold city,
if they come, I'm ready.
And the heat... the heat is here
tonight. The heat is here.
Oh, are there any attorneys here tonight?
Where? You are? Are you
an attorney, man? Really?
Here. Now you guys got it all, man. There.
That's it, man.
I... I... No... I want to show you something.
Oh, I know what I want to show you.
You wanna see...
you wanna see a picture
of a really beautiful pink-nippled lady?
She's my wife, man. And I gave her away.
Where are you going?
Wait a minute.
Hey, where are you people going?
Oh, come on, man, I haven't
even said "cocksucker" yet.
Let 'em go, man. Let 'em go.
I can't work this shithouse.
My stomach is killing me.
I know what I want to do.
I know what I want to do.
This is for you guys over there.
I read in the Chicago paper...
I read in the Chicago paper.
There's an article here
about these transvestites
who are posing as policemen.
Police officers who are
dressing up like pretty ladies.
Here is Officer Dolan. Stan, as the
guys call him down at the baths.
"Officer Stanley Dolan said that
the hardest part of police work
was learning how
to walk in high heels, man. "
And I think that's a gas, man.
You guys are so naive, man.
I defend you all the time,
but you're so naive.
You think the guy's gonna
grab you and you're gonna say
"OK, now, stop that. You can't touch
me. I'm not a beautiful woman. "
"I'm a police officer
and you're under arrest. "
But you don't... guys don't know
who you're dealing with, man!
They don't care.
They'll just grab ya and they'll say
"I don't care if you are a cop,
you got a cute ass,
and I'm gonna schtup you anyway, man. "
It's not nice, man.
Hey! It's not nice to incite!
It's not nice to entrap!
It's not nice to exploit those people, man.
They're sick people.
You wanna know what I'm talking about?
I'm talking about Vietnam!
It's like...
Catholicism is like
one big franchise, man.
It's like... it's like Howard Johnson's.
And Kennedy, man.
He... No, no, man, no. He can't...
Man, I can't put together
what I'm trying to say,
and the thing that I'm trying to tell you
is it's harassment, man!
It's repression!
It's club owners being called up
in the middle of the night,
and being told not to hire me
or they're gonna lose their liquor licence!
It's Vietnam! It's atrocities here and there!
I'm sorry.
I'm not funny.
I'm not a comedian.
Listen to the ovation.
- Get that door.
- Get out of the way!
- Let's go, lady!
- Please, don't hurt him.
Take it easy.
This is America. You can't come
in my shithouse without a warrant.
I love you.
I was arrested 13 times in the next year.
Um, I flipped out mentally.
I kept schlepping him
in and out of hospitals.
We were getting cancellations, bad press.
I wound up in a hospital...
in the psychiatric division...
in a padded cell.
Then he got picked up
for possession of narcotics.
Now he's got to fight that
in the courts, too, right?
Then his health started to go bad.
- Rita?
- Yes, sir.
Would you change my barber
appointment to 3.15 tomorrow?
He had pleurisy. One lung
had to be peeled three times.
And finally it collapsed.
There were days that would go by
when I didn't even know where I'd been.
He was going broke fast, what
with the lawyer bills and the doctor bills.
The dope, and the pressure
with Honey and...
Just... I mean, poor guy, you know.
He had an incision that went from
his chest right through to his back.
I'm sorry. Where were we?
This obscenity circus has been
going on for about four years!
It's a three-ring circus
starring the district attorney,
the Lower Court
and the Supreme Court.
I'm a schmuck who fell off a high wire
in the middle of it. It's killing me.
Can you turn the sound up, please?
The people can't hear me.
Thanks. OK, now, where was I?
Chicago bust: guilty.
That case is
now being appealed in lllinois,
citing the Daylight Book Company versus
Summerville, US268- no, wait a minute.
US 652. That's not...
Where are you going?
These are the jokes!
- You want a bit?
- Do "Tits and Ass".
No, I don't wanna do "Tits and Ass"!
I can't do...
You want to know
where it's really at with tits?
You see that chick? She has beautiful tits.
We couldn't take a picture
for the newspaper
because that's obscene, that's offensive.
I'll tell you what's offensive to me.
The pictures in the newspapers are
of tits that have been shot up, maimed...
- Turn the house lights on.
- .. burned. It's really weird.
- Come on. What's happening?
- This man's under arrest.
What, again? Oh, what the fuck
is going on here, man?
What is it, getting chic to arrest me?
- He used the words... "fuck you".
- Objection, Your Honour!
Come on! That's out of context,
and you know it.
Overruled. Counsel will control
their client. You may continue.
All right, what else do you recall?
I mean, did he make a gesture...
- Objection!
- Leading the witness!
I'm sorry, Your Honour.
I'll rephrase the question for Mr Bruce.
All right, Sergeant.
What else do you recall happening?
You could refer to your notebook.
- He made a gesture.
- Hey, man, you got it in.
- What sort of gesture?
- He used the microphone.
Would you mind demonstrating it
for the court, please?
I never meant that to mean "jack off".
It's pathetic!
He's doing my act for the court!
- Mr Bruce!
- How can you make a fair judgment?
What he is doing is obscene!
No, man, I want to tell them!
- I should be doing my act!
- Mr Bruce!
I can do me better than he does me!
I've been at it longer than anybody!
If I could just talk to him eye to eye.
He's not a bad guy.
I can make him understand me.
He's a human being.
He doesn't want to hear
one more word from you.
He'll cite you for contempt.
You guys are not representing me
the way I have asked.
We're doing the best we can, Lenny.
Did you talk to him about me
doing my act for the court?
- No.
- Why?
He has all the tapes,
you've had several witnesses,
and you're not in
a proper emotional state...
I'm fine, man. I just know if I don't do
my act for the court, I'm gonna lose!
Come on, man. You know it,
he knows it. I know it.
Will you give us a coupla minutes alone?
No, if it's about me,
I wanna hear it, man. I'm not a baby.
OK, have it your way.
You don't have to whisper.
When it goes to the appellate court,
I don't want you in the record.
We'll have to eat a guilty verdict.
You are wild!
You eat the verdicts, I do the time!
- It is really bizarre!
- These lower courts are meaningless.
- They don't mean a thing.
- It'll be like Chicago.
We'll appeal to the state,
you'll get relief there.
That took two years
and every nickel I had!
I had to borrow 10 bucks just to get here!
I'm like a nigger
looking to use the toilet!
By the time I get relief, it'll be too late.
I don't wanna go to jail!
And I'll tell you something else!
Either put me on the stand,
you let me do my act for that court,
or I'm gonna sue your asses,
and go in there and represent myself,
and that's it! No more bullshit!
If it please the court...
I wish to defend myself.
Your Honour, I can no longer
relate to my counsel.
Mr Bruce, my suggestion is
that you now make a request
for a continuance,
for the purpose of retaining new counsel.
If you do, then I will so grant that request.
I just want a chance to talk to the court,
just to talk to you without all
the legal double-talking bullshit.
You are making this very difficult for me.
Sorry, but attorneys keep telling me
"Don't worry, it's just the Lower Court,
they're all assholes. "
"We'll win in a higher court. "
I shouldn't lose here.
I'm not doing anything wrong.
Would you please sit down?
- I do have the right to say things.
- I am running out of patience!
If you'd just let me do my act
for the court, I'll take my chances.
If after you hear me,
if you don't think it's funny,
if you think it has no redeeming
social value, if it strikes you as dirty...
I cannot allow this to continue!
Your Honour... I so want your respect.
I know you're a good person
and this legal system
is the best in the world,
but you... you can't seem to hear me!
- Sit down!
- When I'm talking about tits and ass,
I'm not up there to shock
the audience by repeating
"tits and ass, ass and tits,
tits and ass!"
The point is that we all live
in a hypocritical society!
You leave me no alternative but
to find you in contempt of this court!
Then sentence me. I have no money left.
Might I be sentenced now?
I can't afford to be on trial.
The police took away my cabaret card.
I can't work any more.
- Please, sentence me.
- No, I will not sentence you today.
I order you, when you appear before me
again, to appear with suitable counsel.
And I am further ordering psychiatric
evaluation by the psychiatric clinic.
- December 16th. Bail continued.
- You're trying to stop the information!
Bailiff, will you remove
this man from the courtroom?
Court adjourned!
.. the information
keeps the country strong!
You need the deviate! Don't shut him up!
You need that madman to stand up,
tell you when you're blowing it!
The harder you come down on him,
the more you need him!
Please! Don't take away my words!
They're just words!
I'm not hurting anybody!
He was found guilty in New York
and sentenced to four months, right?
- He was frightened of being confined?
- Yes.
Among his belongings,
they found a letter from the bank,
that said he had lost the house.
Do you suppose those things and that
letter had anything to do with his death?
I don't know what you mean.
See you Saturday.
Get some sleep and do something
about that weight.
Yeah, you're right.
I'm gonna go on a diet. Bye-bye.
Bye, man.
I know where you're trying
to take this, and it's just not so.
He'd never do a thing like that.
Anyway, why was he
trying to lose weight?
I loved him. I really loved him.
I'm very happy that his records
are starting to sell again.
He was nutty, you know?
He did a lot of crazy things.
And we were always doing bits
to crack each other up.
Doesn't it strike you as rather ironic that
the things that Lenny was arrested for
would be considered
fairly harmless today?
Well, like, um,
I don't really know about that.
I mean...
He was just so damn funny.
You know I'm negotiating
for a film based on his life?
I got all the rights tied up.
Oh, listen, I'm afraid
that's all the time I have.
I have to get out to the Valley,
catch a comic.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
- Thank you very much.
- It was a pleasure.
Into the shithouse for good
this time. Forget it. Oh, man. Forget it.