Learning Unlimited: The Trials of Lenny Bruce | Osher Marin Jewish Community Center

Learning Unlimited: The Trials of Lenny Bruce

Thu, September 13, 2018 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

What does it mean to be found obscene in New York? This is the most sophisticated city in the country....If anyone is the first person to be found obscene in New York, he must feel utterly depraved.

- Lenny Bruce, after his conviction for obscenity in New York's “Cafe A Go Go” trial. 

Despite the acquittal in San Francisco, the arrests kept coming. In 1962, Bruce was charged again with violating California's obscenity law at a performance at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. Less than two weeks later he faced charges in Chicago following a show at the Gate of Horn.. Then he was arrested in Los Angeles for a performance at the Unicorn. While the Troubadour and Unicorn trial ended in a deadlocked jury, Bruce was not so lucky in Illinois, where he was convicted and sentenced to a year in jail.

By the summer of 1963, Bruce's troubles were mounting. While free on bond, pending appeal of his Chicago conviction, Bruce attempted to do a show in London, only to be taken to the airport and deported. In June, a California court ordered Bruce confined at the State Rehabilitation Center in Chico for treatment of his drug addiction. By March 1964, following yet another obscenity arrest in southern California, Bruce concluded the last refuge for his controversial brand of humor was New York City. 

Join popular instructor and retired lawyer Oak Dowling for a look at the fascinating issues encountered in the Lenny Bruce trials.

$8 JCC Members  
$10 Public with 
Advance Reg                   
$12 day-of 

Location: Kurland Lounge

Please call 415.444.8000 to register.
Registrations are non-refundable.

Learning Unlimited lectures are made possible, in part, by a generous grant from Carol & Duff Kurland and Donors to the Osher Marin JCC’s Annual Fund in support of Adult & Senior Programs 

 To make a gift in support of our lecture series, please click here and designate your gift to "Adult Learning & Living".