By Corey Kilgannon
October 27, 2008
Lenny Bruce may be gone but his irreverent brand of comedy lives on
every Wednesday and Thursday night in the basement of the Yippie
Museum at 9 Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village.
In July, a group of left-wing comics started the Lenny Bruce Comedy
Club, which has all the run-down charm and outrageous repertoire of
an old beatnik joint. You walk down off the sidewalk down the iron
staircase and immediately onto the stage area where some hyped up
comedian is invariably launching into some profanity-laced diatribe
about some abuse of power, or how the college kids have taken over
the Village. Behind them is an unpainted brick wall latticed with
pipes and electric meters.
Last week, a comedian named Laura D. complained about her former pot
dealers. One had the nerve to get sick and go into the hospital, and
the other "ruined my high" by going on and on about the show he was
pitching to Channel 13.
Then, Randy Credico who was in the news last July when he got
arrested after warning pot smokers about the police in front of his
home on Gay Street in the Village.
Mr. Credico hosts these evenings, along with the comedian Danny
Vitale, formerly of "Saturday Night Live." Mr. Credico did
impersonations of a slew of politicians. He did Rudolph Giuliani
("It's a great city, it's a wonderful city.") and lampooned his lisp
and former comb-over hairdo.
Then the Newsday columnist Ellis Henican took the microphone and
discussed being the token liberal on various conservative television
news commentary programs, where his job is to "get into personal and
angry fights with a whole tribe of angry blonde women in miniskirts
who look at me and see their ex-husbands."
The longtime Greenwich Village folk singer known as R.T., who has
long curly hair and a long gray beard, said after performing that the
comedy nights try to keep alive the counterculture spirit of Lenny
Bruce, and for some comers, to emulate his drug use.
Mr. Credico played down the drug use but played up the alcohol use:
"You have to be an alcoholic or a recovering alcoholic to get in,"
Mr. Credico said.
There is no cost or cover or minimum. In fact, alcohol is not served,
but you are welcome to bring your own. Soft drinks and coffee is for sale.
"There is a corkage fee, but I'm not sure what it is," Mr. Credico
said. "OK, it's more like a voluntary corkage fee. Actually, we don't
really charge anyone anything. Even the comedians don't get paid.
It's like sitting in the park, only you don't get arrested. Actually,
we'll probably be a homeless comedy shelter before long."