Revision with unchanged content. Despite the common memory of the 1950s being an intolerant, conformist decade in American history, many “underground” cultures developed and thrived in response to America’s homogenized national culture. Lenny Bruce, the comedian, was immersed within these cultures, using standup comedy as a vehicle to express his and his audiences’ disillusionment. This book aims to place Bruce back in his original context of the 1950s in order to understand why the 1960s youth embraced him as their own. By examining the 1950s underground, the history of standup comedy, and Bruce’s comedy, the 1950s youth emerge as an important precursor to the 1960s social movements, and Bruce’s martyrdom as a free speech crusader becomes more understandable and tragic.