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10 Controversial Comedians on Their Right to Be Offensive

Today would have been Lenny Bruce’s 88th birthday, and we couldn’t celebrate the scathing satirist’s legacy without a little help from a few fellow controversial comedians. Bruce is most famous for his highly publicized 1964 obscenity conviction, which found well-known personalities like Woody Allen, Allen Ginsberg, and Norman Mailer speaking in support of the stand-up. He was granted a posthumous pardon in 2003. Bruce’s straightforward style and struggles against censorship helped paved the way for other comics. We highlight a few of their stories, below.

October 4, 1961 - San Francisco, CA. Lenny Bruce being booked  by the San Francisco Police after his arrest for obscenity at the Jazz Workshop.

Lenny Bruce

“Take away the right to say ‘Fuck’ and you take away the right to say ‘Fuck the government.'”

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