This blog started out as Michael Doherty's Personal Library, containing reviews of books that normally don't get reviewed: basically porn and cult books. It was all just a bit of fun, you understand. But when I embarked on a three-year Shakespeare study, Shakespeare basically took over, which is a good thing.
The Essential Lenny
Bruce is a collection of material from Lenny Bruce’s performances,
transcribed and organized by subject. It was edited by John Cohen. It contains
a few Shakespeare references, all of them Hamlet
references actually. The first comes in a bit with a rabbi, with the rabbi
saying, “Alas, alas, poor Yossel” (p. 36), a reference to Hamlet’s line, “Alas,
poor Yorick.” The second is a reference to that famous speech by Polonius to
Laertes. Lenny Bruce says, “It’s like, any comedian, see, all comedians – it’s ‘To
thine own self be true’” (p. 111). Lenny Bruce uses that line again, this time
in a song: “The most important factor?/To thine own self be true” (p. 172). By
the way, in the back of the book there is an index of bits, and the bit on page
111 is referred to as “To Thine Own Self Be True” (p. 312).
The Essential Lenny Bruce was published in 1967 by Ballantine
Books. My copy was from the sixth printing, in April of 1971.