This “politically incorrect” Jewish stand-up comic, born Leonard Alfred Schneider, was legendary for shattering boundaries. He raged and riffed on subjects that other humorists dared not approach: Divorce, motels, Las Vegas, people using “dirty” words (although he never said them in the first person). He entertained thousands by wondering out loud, “What if Christ and Moses visited a sermon at St. Patrick’s Cathedral? What would the world be like if the laws were reset from scratch? What is whiteness and blackness all about?” And he hilariously explained how invisible shape-shifting spirits could run a candy store in lower Manhattan. Get ready for an exciting and insightful examination of the context of the times and forces that were set in motion against Bruce and which eventually stopped him in his “tracks.” Bruce’s final performance was on June 24th and 25th 1966 at The Fillmore in San Francisco.
Martin Marshall has taught elements of his Contemporary Comedic Genius series at twelve OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) programs across the country over the past 10 years. Numbering more than 50 courses presented, these programs cover 17 of the greatest comedic artists and groups of our lifetimes, including Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Jon Stewart, Robin Williams, and others.
Martin is also a filmmaker, poet, actor, director, and producer. He learned his craft in the workshops of The Committee in Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the workshop at Second City in Chicago. He founded People Theater in Los Angeles in 1970, and co-founded Improvisation, Inc., in San Francisco in 1972. Besides improvisational theater, he has also directed a production of Geezer Theater, an SF Mime-Troupe-style revue, at OLLI San Francisco. He is well known as a slam and regular poet at venues throughout the Bay Area.
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