The Feb. 4, 1961 concert captured on this album took place under extreme circumstances. New York City was virtually snowbound by a massive blizzard, automobile traffic was banned, and it seemed almost impossible for anyone to get anywhere. Yet somehow, the cognoscenti trooped into Carnegie Hall that night, filling up the prestigious venue to experience Lenny Bruce firsthand. What the hardy crowd got was about two hours of the comedian/philosopher at his best, mixing Beat-like stream-of-consciousness flow with jazzman argot, pidgin Yiddish, and a unique, ironic perspective on the social issues of the day.
Delving into everything from racism and homosexuality to Christianity and the medical profession, Bruce dissects his targets with a jeweler's eye and a schpritzer's jocular venom. More than any other comedian (though what he did extended far beyond mere comedy), Bruce had the gift of enabling audiences to laugh and think simultaneously. Second only to the LIVE AT THE CURRAN THEATER album recorded the same year, this is a definitive Bruce concert recording.