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Writer's Block: Lenny Bruce

Before George Carlin exposed the seven words you can’t say on television, comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested multiple times for saying all seven, and more, on stage. Who is today’s most groundbreaking comedian? Or is there even any ground left to break?

I think it would have to be Christopher Titus, the bloke that did Norman Rockwell is Bleeding. "My mom was crazy. I don't mean crazy hahaha. I mean 'We the jury find the defendant...'" He goes into abuse. He goes into growing up with a psychotic mother. He gets into his own dumb things he's done and he busts a lot of annoying preconceptions about life. Like that mentally ill people can raise children without having any effect on them.

The other one is John Stewart the political comedian, I like him and that other one with him.

Groundbreaking? Using dirty words isn't groundbreaking, it's no big deal to me. The people who use them most are children anyway. It is an issue, one I'd like to see comedians and authors win versus the net nannies and TV censorship. But censorship steps on more than just a few banned words.

Daring to do political humor post 9-11 in the fervid nationalism patriotism loss of civil rights atmosphere, that's groundbreaking. Doing humor about real tragedy in life and breaking all the assumptions about psychotics and addictive behavior and life is great too.

Let's have comedians who say hello to reality now and then. Like Christopher Titus says: "Don't get me wrong. I want to hear your pain. I care, I really do. Just tell it in joke form!" Some people have bigger problems in life than whether they have to cut the potty mouth jokes from their routines.
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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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