Looking for Lenny

Synopsis: Looking for Lenny is an in-depth, controversial documentary that uses Lenny Bruce's legacy to explore the present condition of the fear of words and expression. It also tackles the issue of new limitations that the government and society are placing upon freedom of expression in the artistic and political discourse. It speaks directly to recent attempts by political figures to instill fear into American society by labeling, manipulating, and inflaming people's fear of the spoken word.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Elan Gale
Production: Gravitas
65 min

[Radio tuning]

[Big band music plays]

December 7th, 1941...

A date which will live...

In infamy.


This is the news

that electrified the world.

Unconditional surrender.

Thanks, Jean,

I'll be there.

[Martin Luther king]

Injustice anywhere

is a threat

to justice everywhere.

The most shocking comedian

of our time,

Lenny Bruce.

Here he is.

No, I promise, continuity,

I'll behave myself.


Ask not

what your country

can do for you...

Will Elizabeth Taylor

become bar mitzvahed?

[Audience laughs]


There are a few

isolated flare-ups

between whites

and negroes.

By the way, are there

any n*ggers here tonight?

[Audience laughs]

That's what we're doing

in Vietnam.

[Audience laughs]


The United States

of America

was suddenly

and deliberately attacked.


The reason I got busted,


i picked on the wrong God.

There are words

that offend me.

Let's see,

governor faubus,

segregation offend me.

What has happened

to our moral values?

Don imus.


That's some nappy-headed

hoes, there.

You might be interested

in how

I became offensive.

[Piano music]

Lenny set the bar

for comedy, for everybody.

He pushed the envelope

at a time

when things

were tightening.

He opened the door for anybody

who ever stands in public

and speaks

and says anything.

The public

and their reputation

created the guy

that he became

and ultimately led

to his downfall.

People that paid to see

Lenny Bruce

came and they saw a man

starting to crumble.

Hold everything.

What's the matter?

It's all over.

What's all over?

The hair

on that man's head.

Oh, come on.

My grandfather knew Lincoln's

gettysburg address.

Well, what's so great

about that?

Everybody knows Lincoln's

gettysburg address.

Yeah, but he knew

his telephone number, too.


Before Lenny Bruce,

comics were really people

who introduced strippers.

They would do ten jokes,

you know, and here's Sally,

and she's going

to show you her stuff.

When I first got into

stand up comedy on nbc,

you couldn't have

a cleavage

or your knees showing.

It's all different

than it was when we started

because, except for

a few comedians,

you couldn't use any

blue material.

You couldn't touch

on anything

that was controversial

in politics and religion.

What was I, 21

when I discovered Lenny Bruce,

and I started doing

stand-up at 17.

And the first few years

I heard of Lenny Bruce,

and I was like,

"who's this Lenny Bruce?

"Who cares? Some old guy,

he died, whatever,

heroin overdose."

And then I went

to the museum,

the museum

of radio and television,

and I started watching.

And again,

you're just in awe

the moment you

start watching the guy,

because he did have

his own style,

and, you know,

his whole hip thing, man,

you know, dig.

Lenny was discovered

by Paul Desmond,

the alto saxophonist

with brubeck.

Lenny was working

a strip joint

in the San Fernando valley

as the emcee.

'Cause I remember he started out

doing impressions.

So many of the great comedians

started out doing impressions,

you know.

Guys like Eddie Murphy

and Jim carrey. Me.

There were kids that,

eight and nine years old,

that were sniffing

airplane glue.

[Audience laughs]

To get high on, you know.

So I had sort of a fantasy

how it happened.

The kid is alone

in his room.

And it's Saturday.

The child is played

by George macready.

[Audience laughs]

[In a gruff voice]

Well, let's see now,

I'm all alone

in the room,

and it's Saturday.

Mother's away

and what'll I do

that's good

and hostile?

Well, let's see, I'll...

[Audience laughs]

I'll make an airplane,

that's good.

I'll make a Lancaster.

Good structural design.

I'll get the balsa wood,

I'll sand it here.

I'll cut that off,

I'll get the struts now.

Now I'll get

a little airplane glue,

I'll rub it on

the rag and, uh...


Hey now,

it's a nutty plane here.

I'm getting loaded.

Is this possible,

loaded on airplane glue?

Maybe it's just stuffy

in here,

I'll call my dog over.


[Audience laughs]

Flicker, come here, darling,

and smell this rag.

Smell it,

you freaky little doggy.

Smell that rag, flicker.




It worked.

I'm the Louis pasteur

of junkiedom.

I'm out of my skull


Well, there's much work

to be done now.

Horses hooves

to melt down,

noses to get ready,

cut to

the toy store.

Any toy store,

any hobby shop.

It might be your kid

who walked in that day.


Hello, Mr. schindler.

Nice store you got here.

Give me a nickel's worth

of pencils

and a big boy tablet,

and some erasers

and 2,000 tubes

of airplane glue.

[Audience laughs]

I loved his work.

He was brilliant.

And whenever I was

on the road

and he was in town,

I would rush over

and hear him.

We worked together

extensively starting

at gene Norman's club

on the strip, the crescendo.

And we were

the house comedians.

It was upstairs.

Lenny would be working

under, say, Peggy Lee

or jeri Southern.

Downstairs I'd be with

count basie or Stan kenton.

So we were together

all the time.

We were together

after the show

at the gaiety delicatessen.

We knew each other

pretty well.

We got to know Lenny.

We got to see

Lenny working.

And we enjoyed his work.

You know, we thought him

a pretty good comedian.

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Elan Gale

Elan Gale (born October 27, 1983) is a television producer, best known for his work on the series The Bachelor. He has also produced The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise and High School Reunion. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Looking for Lenny" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Apr. 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/looking_for_lenny_12800>.

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