Audiovisual materials Edit


Component Unique Identifier
Series 2
Level of Description


  • 1958-2004, undated (Creation)


  • Content Description

    This series consists primarily of audio recordings, including reel-to-reel audio tapes, compact cassette tapes, 45 records, and compact discs, relating to Lenny Bruce and his career. It also includes one VHS tape. The series is divided into three sub-series: 1. Stand-up comedy performances, 2. Private recordings, and 3. Promotional material and other recordings

    Sub-series 1: Stand up comedy performances consists of recordings of Lenny Bruce’s public performances at various venues between 1958 and 1966, including the Den, the Gate of Horn, Club Renaissance, and Off Broadway, among others. These recordings are arranged chronologically. Many of these recordings are whole or partial recordings of the same performance (with variations in audio quality), or combination clips from various performances.

    Sub-series 2: Private recordings is arranged chronologically and contains recordings of Lenny Bruce at home or in other private locations. Most of these recordings are of a more personal nature, such as the phone letters and private conversations between Bruce and his friends and family. This sub-series also contains an interview with Bruce and compilations of free-form bits Bruce recorded at home before his death in August 1966. One of these recordings, LB_55b, contains clips from one of Bruce’s performances at the Off Broadway club in San Francisco, CA.

    Recordings in the Stand up comedy performances and Private recordings sub-series were reformatted to digital files with a grant from The GRAMMY Foundation® Grant Program. Clips and in-depth descriptions of these recordings are available in the Brandeis Institutional Repository. The full recordings are available for use in the department and researchers are requested to use the digital files.

    Sub-series 3: Promotional material and other recordings consists mainly of compilation recordings published to market the concert album, "Lenny Bruce - Live at the Curran Theater," (1971) and the boxed set, "Let the Buyer Beware," (2004). The compilation recordings are on 45s and compact discs and were published between 1971 and 2004. This sub-series also contains a VHS tape recording of “Dream Follies” a film written by Bruce in 1954.