Thursday, August 3, 2006


Forty years ago today, revolutionary comic Lenny Bruce died of a drug overdose. Had he lived, he would have been 80 years old this year.

As himself, Lenny Bruce appeared on 'Playboy After Dark', and his work can be seen in archival footage for several documentaries.

But he does have televersions; actors playing him in a TV movie and in a TV series. It would be nice to keep both performances in the same TV dimension; making the claim that the difference in appearance could be attributed to his abuse of drugs, perhaps.

The Weasel King Pauly Shore played Bruce in "Hefner: Unauthorized", which was broadcast in 1999. As it beat the other contender to the airwaves by 3 years, this should be given the right to be installed as THE televersion of Lenny Bruce.

However, Hugh Hefner has built up a steady list of credits over the years to bolster his standings in the League of Themselves, and that would toss the TV movie into a parallel dimension.

As for Rich Vos' appearance as the original shock-meister on an episode of 'American Dreams', I'm still conflicted about what exactly should be the fate of that series in the overall scheme for Toobworld. It's not so much the use of the TV show 'American Bandstand' as an anchor around which the stories revolve; I don't even have a problem with all of the musical stars who did cameos on the program as the televersions for their counterparts back in that era.

My hesitation stems from an appearance by Paris Hilton as Barbara Eden as she looked in her harem outfit while she filmed 'I Dream Of Jeannie' - a TV sitcom that should exist within the same dimension as 'American Dreams'.

Oh, and the fact that it was Paris Hilton playing the role. She turned the lovely and effervescent Ms. Eden into a lobotomized zombie.

Somebody should blink Paris Hilton into the cornfield......

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Lenny Bruce......

Perhaps someday a TV movie will be made about the life of Lenny Bruce; one which will be the definitive portrayal of the comic and the turbulent times in which he lived. But it may prove to be a daunting task when the "Cineverse" has already provided Bob Fosse's version starring Dustin Hoffman.

In the meantime, there is the archival footage and documentaries, the record albums, and a great cartoon short that brought one of his routines to life:

"Thank You, Masked Man".


"Life's a series of bad jokes,
And Death tops them all
Dinner Guest
'The Saint'

1 comment:

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