Lenny Bruce
Leonard Alfred Schneider
Controversial Comedian

From Scuttlebutt 2009

A Famous Person Who Attended Mepham High

Controversial comedian, Lenny Bruce was born Leonard Alfred Schneider, October 13, 1925. While growing up in Mineola, he attended school to fifth grade in North Bellmore. He ran away from home at age 16, and spent two years living and working with the Dengler family on their farm in Wantagh. There were rumors, and we found out he entered Mepham September 1940 and left March 2, 1942, presumably to volunteer for the US Navy, serving in the same boot training in Newport RI as Artie Shaw, and being discharged for dressing in drag. He got his start on “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” radio show in 1948, and died of a drug overdose in 1966.

The only remaining Dengler in our data base, Herbert ’42 remembers he lived in a room over the market room at his Uncle Fred’s farm and mostly worked at the farm stand. He lived in the present, was an entertainer already at that age, and was a born story teller. Uncle Fred had no children (a daughter dying at an early age), and was delighted to have a boy living on the farm. Herbert doesn’t recall if Lenny went to Mepham, but does believe he wrote some articles for Playboy in the 50s, where he mentioned the Denglers.

We have never found anyone who remembers him at Mepham. Do you? If so, tell us about it.


From Scuttlebutt 2012

Recalling Lenny Bruce

Talk about not getting around to things. There was an article in the Scuttlebutt 2009, asking whether anyone remembers Lenny Bruce at Mepham. We got a response:

Leonard Schneider attended Bellmore Grammar School and graduated from there, as did I, in June 1940. Lenny attended Mepham from Sept. 1940 until sometime in 1942, when he enlisted in the US Navy and served in the African-European Campaigns. When he was going to be reassigned to the Pacific Theatre, he said enough is enough and told his commanding officer he was experiencing gay sexual urges, which got him discharged.
Click on image to see picture of the whole class.

Al “Dutz” Hoehn ’44