"Lenny Bruce had an incurable disease. He saw through the pretense, hypocrisy, and paradoxes of our society." --Ralph J. Gleason
In his time Lenny Bruce was known as a Jazz comedian. In his autobiography he tells of his failure at trying to write straight jokes. Instead, his style was improvisational. He would take the stage and riff on certain themes. His favorite theme was probably hypocrisy, especially the hypocrisies of the post-WWII when it came to race, religion, and politics. It was his ad-lib that tended to get him into trouble, and earned him the appellation of "Dirty Comedian".
He was arrested several times on obscenity charges. One charge resulted from a performance in which Lenny apes sexual intercourse between a man a woman. Transcripts from a cross-examination in that trial, in which a cop tries to reenact the performance, are hilarious. Eventually, the police harasment dogged Bruce. His final shows were devoted to hour-long commentaries on his legal problems.
Lenny Bruce deserves more mention than to say his comedy inspired political comedians of today. His style of monologue and personal commentary is really the forerunner of most modern stand-up. He should also be remembered as a free speech pioneer. Without Lenny Bruce public discourse today would probably be a vastly different thing.