Rachel Brosnahan’s Midge Maisel in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is based on a real-life comedian. With the recent revelation that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will stop after season 5, the fourth season of the Amazon Prime comedy premiered on February 18. Let’s dig deep into Who Is Mrs Maisel Based On?
The Emmy-winning program is winding down, so it’s fitting to examine where the show’s protagonist got her ideas from.
The protagonist of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, played by Midge Maisel, is a happy housewife living on New York’s Upper West Side until her husband Joel, a successful businessman by day and a failed stand-up comic by night, botches a performance and ultimately decides to end their marriage.
After being insulted by Joel, Midge decides to take the stage herself and discovers that she is a far better comedian. Midge makes it big as the opening act for soul singer Shy Baldwin with the help of her friend and manager Susie and the encouragement and backing of famed comic Lenny Bruce until her jokes go too far and she is sacked from the tour.
In the fourth season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Midge performs her comic routine at a seedy strip joint until Lenny Bruce gives her the boost she needs to get back on track.
Several of the characters in Amy-Sherman Palladino’s (Gilmore Girls’) The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are based on actual historical figures.
Luke Kirby’s Lenny Bruce is based on the real-life comedian of the same name, Phyllis Diller; Sophie Lennon’s persona is reminiscent of fellow comic Phyllis, and Alex Borstein’s Susie is based on talent agent Sue Mengers. Midge Maisel, from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, was similarly influenced by the great comedian and actress Joan Rivers. Let’s dig deep into Who Is Mrs Maisel Based On?
Who Is Mrs Maisel Based On?
There was a rising female comic in New York City in the 1950s who performed at venues like the charming Gaslight Cafe.
Rather than referring to Midge herself, we should be talking about the late Joan Rivers, who served as the character’s inspiration.
There really existed a cafe called the Gaslight Cafe in New York City, where Midge gave her first (of many) unforgettable standup performances. According to Bustle, it first welcomed guests in 1958 and shut its doors for good in 1971. Sometime in the middle of those years, when she was just starting out, Joan Rivers did stand-up comedy.
Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, said to Vanity Fair before to the 2017 launch that Joan Rivers’ signature brand of comedy served as an inspiration while writing for Midge.
Amy elaborated, “I love Joan Rivers so much. She was a fantastic mixture, fighting the battle of wanting to be accepted on a feminine level yet having a lot of balls. That’s not how the world operates, sorry. That contrast was fantastic, and she wrote those spoofs about monsters. That is how we will proceed with Midge’s sense of humor.”
Fact: Joan Rivers claimed the next person on this list made a major impact on her life, as reported by The Laugh Button.
Who Is Joan Rivers?
New York-born actress, comedian, and TV host Joan Rivers had a $150 million fortune. One of the most well-known comedians of her time, Joan Rivers was one of the first to pass away in 2014. In the late 1950s, Joan Rivers moved to New York to pursue a career as an actress and comedienne.
In an Off-Broadway production of “Driftwood,” she made her professional acting debut starring opposite Barbra Streisand. During the 1960s, she became a popular stand-up comedian and author, careers she used to build a sizable fortune.
Her drive and determination have resulted in a career spanning more than four decades and encompassing film, television, theatre, and literature, among other mediums. Over the course of her career, she earned several honors and made history as the first woman to host her own talk show. She also proved to be an astute businesswoman, founding several lucrative enterprises.
On the 8th of June, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, the world was introduced to Joan Alexandra Molinsky. She was raised by Russian Jewish parents, along with her sister, and she quickly developed an interest in the performing arts. But she had a hard time academically because she was overweight, and that affected how she felt about herself for the rest of her life.
After finishing high school, Joan enrolled at Connecticut College, but soon transferred to Barnard in New York City. She received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology and English literature in 1955. Before breaking into the entertainment industry, she put in a lot of time at odd jobs.
She has stints as a fashion consultant, tour guide, and copywriter for an advertising firm. She took the surname “Rivers” as a stage name per her agent’s suggestion (which was coincidentally the same last name as her agent).
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