Chronology – The 50’s
Signs up for the Merchant Navy.
Meets a beautiful burlesque dancer named Honey Harlow and they begin dating.
Posts on the Luckenbach Line to Turkey, Greece and Marseilles on board the Samuel Brown.
In 1951, Lenny leaves the Navy to marry Honey Harlow. They then move to Miami Beach where Honey is based a nightclub dancer/stripper.
He begins to work Honey into his club appearances, as a double act for almost two years. Honey works on developing her singing so she would longer strip.
Lenny organizes a charter from New York State legalizing the Brothers Mathias Foundation and gets licensed to solicit and disperse funds for a leper colony in New Guiana.
In April, he is arrested in Palm Beach on suspicion of gaining money by deception. The charges included “soliciting funds for some non-sectarian organization that had sponsored a leper colony.” Eventually the charges were reduced down to vagrancy and panhandling. Of the $8,000 raised for the lepers, only $2,500 actually reached them.
Lenny and Honey move to Pittsburgh. They get involved in a serious car accident which doesn’t allow her to take a first step for nearly four months. Lenny still performs at a club that very night despite head injuries.
With the insurance money he receives from the accident, he buys himself a new Cadillac and goes to Arcadia, California.
Spends two months working on a chicken farm owned by his father who had remarried. After an argument, he leaves for the West Coast.
Out there, he spends four years working burlesque clubs for an average pay of $90 per week. Honey takes up stripping and dancing again as well and his mother Sally Marr, also relocates to the West Coast in order to be closer to her son.
Lenny’s daughter and pride and joy, Kitty is born.
He also gets divorced from Honey shortly afterwards.
He begins to move away from working burlesque clubs to perform in more “straight” venues. This would include Ann’s 440 in San Francisco for $750 a week.
Hugh Hefner arranges for Lenny to appear at the Cloister in Chicago.
He is contracted as a writer for Twentieth Century Fox.
In May of 1959, the New York Times writes: “The newest and in some ways scarifyingly funny proponent of significance…to be found in a nightclub these days in Lenny Bruce, a sort of abstract expressionist stand-up comedian paid $1,750 a week to vent his outrage on the clientele…”
LP’s The Sick Humor Of Lenny Bruce, I Am Not a Nut, Elect Me!, Togetherness and Lenny Bruce’s Interviews Of Our Time released all edited recordings of San Francisco nightclub performances.