Letters of Note: LENNY BRUCE to his father

In August of 1966, following years of controversy and multiple arrests for his “obscene” stand-up routines, pioneering comedian Lenny Bruce was found dead at his home after a morphine overdose. He was 40-years-old. Approximately a year and a half before he passed away, as he faced jail following a drug conviction, Bruce wrote a letter to his father. 

(Source: Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce!!; Image: Lenny Bruce, via.)

Dear Father,

This is the story of a boy and his father who spoiled him. He would want a bike, and his father would bring him one home: and if it wasn’t to the boy’s liking, he would throw it down on the ground and say, “I don’t want that cheap old bike.” And he would kick its spokes and jump on it: and the poor father would say, “Alright, my son, I’ll work 24 hours a day and get you a nicer one.” The more the son got, the more vicious he got. He ate the father’s deserts and took the only pillow. When he got older, he had no more money, and he spent his last pension penny making a birthday party for the son. It was a lovely party with cake and everything; and as the son spit out the cake on the floor, he said, “I’m not eating this cheap crap!” And he ran out and slammed the door on his father’s head. He started to rob banks and gas stations to get what he wanted; and finally he killed somebody and was on the way to the electric chair. On the way to the chair, the poor father was standing and crying: “Oh, my son! My son! Where have I failed you?” And the son said, “Come here father. I want to whisper something to you.” The old man leaned to the son to listen and the son bit his ear off. I’m going to jail tomorrow because you spoiled me.

I love you,


via Letters of Note: Come here father.


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