Skip to main content
Lot 1161
A Lenny Bruce handwritten note, 1961
4 June 2007, 10:00 PDT
California, Los Angeles

Sold for US$1,560 inc. premium

Own a similar item?

Submit your item online for a free auction estimate.

How to sell

Looking for a similar item?

Our Popular Culture specialists can help you find a similar item at an auction or via a private sale.

Find your local specialist

A Lenny Bruce handwritten note, 1961

Penned in blue ballpoint ink on a piece of pink 'While You Were Out' notepaper, the note reads in full: "Dear Ed, / I'm sorry I woke / you, but I was going / to the desert and now / that you have rejected me, / I'm not going to have / the baby, you can have / the hi fi and the / cats. / P.S. What I wanted to / tell you was I open / at the Cresendo the / 21st and I have a Gospel / Group that are a gas. / Plus I want to talk / about Ted Markland on / the stage every night and / send people to see him and / I wondered how long / he is going to be / here and when he / is opening. / Love your / Friend Lenny Bruce / will call from Palm Springs / at 8 PM / tomorrow nite;" the note having been folded three times and then crumpled, though writing is still legible; further notation in pencil (though in another hand) reads "tomorrow Toven 101 N. Kelbos."
5 1/4 x 4 1/4in


This piece was consigned directly by Sondra Kerr Blake, former wife of actor Robert Blake. From 1959 to 1961, she was a waitress at The Ash Grove, a coffee house and performance space on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, in the same place where Bud Freeman's Comedy Club is currently located. Lenny Bruce performed at The Ash Grove numerous times and one night, Bruce had an appointment to meet with the owner, Ed Pearl. Pearl never showed up, so Bruce asked Blake for a piece of paper to write him a note, which resulted in this lot. Blake gave the note to Pearl later that night, Pearl read it, and then crumpled it and threw it away. Blake retrieved it out of the trashcan, read it herself, thought it was funny, and held on to it all these years, never realizing how iconic Bruce would become.

Additional information