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I always give the example, if you turn on the radio today, black radio, Lenny Kravitz is not black. Bob Marley wasn't black: in the beginning, only white college stations played Bob Marley.
Joan Rivers telling Lauren Bacall her dress is all wrong is like Carrot Top telling Lenny Bruce he needs to get an edge.
When I went out on tour as Bing Hitler I would hook up with Lenny and we'd get drunk together. He was always very supportive. He was a big star and a lot of what he said to me had power and impact. Apart from that, I just like him.
It never hurt Lenny Bruce's career to get arrested for swearing. It did back in the time, but he broke those doors down by doing the stuff that he believed in.
I know I had my equivalents in Adrian Lester and Lenny James when I was at drama school. I remember David Harewood doing 'Othello' at the National, and Adrian Lester having done Cheek by Jowl's famous 'As You Like It and Company' at the Donmar. Not necessarily performances I saw, but just the fact they happened was massively encouraging.
I was also a big Woody Allen fan. When I got into college I listened to Lenny Bruce but it's taken me years to put him into context historically and really get what he did.
In my opinion, Lenny Bruce was more of an influence on Zappa's satirical lyric's than anyone that I know of.
Jimmy Carl Black
My influences were Woody Allen and Lenny Bruce.
Bill Maher fancies himself the reincarnation of Lenny Bruce.
I mean, I was always interested in people like Lenny Bruce, people who are breaking the old rules and making new ones.
Baltimore was like a small town when I got there - the Colts, the Orioles, guys like Frank Robinson, we all knew and respected each other. Everyone would cross paths at one point at Lenny Moore's Sportsman's Lounge, trading stories and having some fun.
Lenny Bruce is a very moral man trying to improve the world and trying to make audiences think.
But the only comparison that I want to Lenny Bruce is that I'm funny. I'm Freddie Prinze, Puerto Rican all the way.
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