Lenny Bruce

Let the Buyer Beware

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AllMusic Review by

Let the Buyer Beware is an extraordinary six-disc CD box set packed with unreleased performances, interviews, phone conversations, and various other private recordings of Lenny Bruce. The project was lovingly compiled by Lenny's daughter Kitty and music producer Hal Willner with assistance from the estate of the late Marvin Worth, who produced both the Broadway play Lenny and the film that starred Dustin Hoffman in the leading role. With over seven hours of material, it's painfully obvious that Bruce was so much more than a comedian who worked "blue" and died of a drug overdose in 1966. The program traces his career from his first public performance in 1948 on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts as just another corny comedian to his metamorphosis into the '50s visionary of bad taste with controversial bits pertaining to race, religion, and authority. It was routines like "Religions, Inc.," "Thank You Masked Man," and "How to Relax Your Colored Friends at Parties" that made the police take notice of Lenny, busting him and the club owners who hired him for obscenity. By disc five the biting satirical monologues have been replaced with scathing condemnations by a dejected man who ended up blackballed, bankrupt, and paranoid. Let the Buyer Beware is more than just a box set highlighting the best routines of an innovative comic; it allows the listener to go behind the scenes into the mindset of a hipster sage who vehemently exclaimed "I'm not a comedian, I'm Lenny Bruce."

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
0:58
2
0:22
3
1:36
4
1:21
5
2:36
6
2:21
7
1:26
8
1:11
9 6:57
10
4:04
11
1:43
12
1:28
13
2:26
14
1:23
15
1:59
16
1:15
17
4:45
18
0:38
19
0:27
20
1:26
21
2:16
22
1:18
23
8:08
24
3:42
25
1:01
26
1:08
27
1:51
28
3:06
29
6:58
30
0:54
31
2:51
32
4:19
blue highlight denotes track pick