Brandeis lands Lenny Bruce’s papers

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Lenny Bruce, whose papers are now at Brandeis

Lenny Bruce, whose papers are now at Brandeis

I’ve pointed out a lot lately that my alma mater, Brandeis University, is never in the news for anything positive. If it’s not Madoff-driven financial peril, it’s an ill-fated plan to sell off the school’s art collection. If it’s not the seemingly-annual commencement speaker controversies, it’s the exposure of a nutty faculty listserv. And if it’s not all that, it’s the university’s former president, still drawing a six-figure salary despite not having any responsibilities and spending most of his time working on a book about “the history of the donkey in literature.” 

But finally, there’s some good news from good old Brandeis. The school announced this week that it has acquired the papers of the legendary late comedian Lenny Bruce. According to the Brandeis website: 

Brandeis University has acquired the personal papers of Lenny Bruce, the late comedian and free-speech advocate known for his biting, often obscenity-laced satirical commentary on American society. The collection, held by Bruce’s daughter, Kitty Bruce, includes photographs, manuscripts, news clippings, audiovisual recordings and other material.

The best part, of course?

A generous gift from the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation made the acquisition possible.

I didn’t know there was a Hefner foundation, but I’m all for their continuing to do work with my alma mater. Hugh Hefner’s daughter, Christine Hefner, the former CEO of Playboy Entertprises, is a Brandeis alumna.

Bruce, who died in 1966, had no ties to Brandeis, but his work as a free speech advocate likely appealed to the university.

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