Who is Mrs Maisel Based on: Which Characters Are Based on Real-life People?

Who is Mrs Maisel Based on: Season four of the critically popular Amazon Prime Video comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will once again center on the fictitious Midge Maisel, a housewife turned stand-up comic. The comedy-drama, which stars Rachel Brosnahan, is set in the early 1960s, when “change is in the air,” as the plot summary puts it. Midge obtains a job that allows her the flexibility to develop her act. But her dedication to her art and the locations leads her to separate herself from her loved ones.

Cast members of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel include both fictional characters based on actual individuals (such as Midge) and historical figures (such as comedian Lenny Bruce and performer Moms Mabley). The Gaslight Cafe and other real-world locations are woven into the fabric of the production. Find out more about the history that inspired The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel right here.

Who is Mrs Maisel Based on?

Midge, like Joan Rivers, was born in New York to Jewish parents who strongly disapproved of her job. Both Rivers and Midge attended prominent institutions, Barnard for Rivers and Bryn Mawr for Midge. Both Joan Rivers and Midge played at the Gaslight Café in Greenwich Village, however, Midge had more early success.

Lenny Bruce connects the two comedians. After Sophie Lennon blacklists Midge, Lenny opens for her at the Gaslight. Bruce also watched Rivers sing at The Bitter End, a nearby bar and sent her a message encouraging her to become a celebrity. Midge and Joan Rivers’ substance is the biggest similarity, with both eschewing the era’s feminine modesty. Sherman-Palladino told Vanity Fair: Rivers

“She knows she is gorgeous; she knows she is amazing at what she does, and she will be the first to tell you about it,” says Brosnahan (also noted for her part on House of Cards) of Midge, who “is the antithesis” of Joan. While Joan Rivers influenced Rachel Brosnahan’s award-winning portrayal, Midge in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is her own character.

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Which Characters Are Based on Real-life People?

Stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby) was a real-life prominent person in the 1950s and 1960s who begins a will-they-won’t-they relationship with protégé Midge Maisel. Actress and performer Moms Mabley (played by Wanda Sykes), the Kingston Trio, activist Jane Jacobs, and comedian Red Skelton are just a few of the genuine people that make cameo appearances on the show.

Who is Mrs Maisel Based on (1)
Who is Mrs Maisel Based on (1)

Several fictional characters have at least some resemblance to one or more actual historical persons. Brosnahan told Refinery29 that the crooner Shy Baldwin is “kind of a combination of a bunch of other personalities who were that successful,” including the real-life singer Johnny Mathis. Mathis has recently come out as homosexual in real life, and in the program, Shy is a gay singer hiding in the closet.

Midge’s talent agent, Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein), is based on Borstein’s friend and fellow actress Sue Mengers. Cher, Sir Michael Caine, Dame Joan Collins, and Bob Fosse are just a few of the stars that Mengers has gone on to represent.

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