How did Lenny Bruce get his name?
Lenny Bruce was born Leonard Alfred Schneider.
Lenny took the stage as "Lenny Marsalle" one evening at the Victory Club, as a stand-in master of ceremonies for one of his mother's shows. His ad-libs earned him some laughs. Soon afterward, in 1947, just after changing his last name to Bruce, he earned $12 and a free spaghetti dinner for his first stand-up performance in Brooklyn. He was later a guest—and was introduced by his mother, who called herself "Sally Bruce"—on the Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts radio program, doing a Sid Caesar–inspired bit, "The Bavarian Mimic", featuring impressions of American movie stars (e.g., Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and Edward G. Robinson).