• Lenny Bruce was an influential comedian who played a pivotal role in shaping modern comedy and free speech.
  • Inclusion of the Lenny Bruce character in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is timely and perfect for a show about a comedian pushing boundaries.
  • Lenny Bruce faced personal problems with drug addiction and legal problems, which mirror the difficulties Midge faced on the show.

There is transcendence in comedy. If you’re funny, you can succeed where comedy deserves it. Bonus points if you’re brave and have the courage to tackle taboo topics with the panache of someone who knows what they’re talking about. This is what makes a successful comedian today, but it is not always part of the formula for a successful comedian. As the hit shows, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel reminded us that those in power have not always welcomed the expansion of borders. It was the ingenuity of several legendary comics that shaped comedy as we know it. While Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) is a fictional comedian based on the great Joan RiversThe series features fictional storylines from several real-life influential comedians.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel gave us the eternally charismatic Luke Kirby How Lenny Bruce, one of those original comedians who played an important role in shaping modern comedy. Writing the fictional character Lenny Bruce in Maisel is timely and appropriate. Lenny Bruce has been named one of the best comedians of all time, he was a champion of free speech and contributed to the formation of modern comedy. For Maiselshow about a 1960s housewife becoming a raunchy comedian, its inclusion is just too perfect.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Poster

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

After her husband leaves her, young mother of two Miriam “Midge” Maisel discovers she has a talent for stand-up comedy. Maybe this is her calling?

Date of issue
March 17, 2017

Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Michael Zegen, Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle, Bailey Buntain, Zachary Levi

Main genre


Who was the real Lenny Bruce?

The real Lenny Bruce was born Leonard Alfred Schneider in Mineola, New York, the son of Myron Schneider, a shoe salesman, and Sally Marr, an entertainer. In 1942, at the age of 16, Schneider joined the US Navy, where he ruffled feathers for performing in costume for his shipmates. This performance entertained his shipmates, but upset his command and led to his dismissal from military service in 1945.

Although his discharge from the Navy was unfortunate for Lenny at the time, After this, he will begin to pursue comedy, moving to New York. where his story as a man, a myth, a legend will truly begin. There he would start running with such famous (but not at that time) comedians as Buddy Hackett And Rodney Dangerfieldwhose bawdy comedic style would particularly influence him.

Lenny Bruce’s Real Comedy Career

Lenny Bruce’s performing career began as an understudy for one of his mother, Sally’s, shows at The Victory Club. At that time, he appeared on stage as “Lenny Marsal”, and later changed his stage name to Lenny Bruce. But it wasn’t the name change that made Lenny Bruce; it was a little more, shall we say, provocative.

Bruce married a woman named Honey Harlow, a stripper. Just like Midge Maisel from season 4, Bruce will become the host of the strip clubs where she will work.. There he developed his signature comedic style because the strip club atmosphere was judgment-free. The result was a style akin to the jazz musicians of the time, full of freedom and unabashed expression.

But let’s get back to Maisel. In a sobering moment after Midge and Lennie’s long-awaited connection, Midge finds Lennie’s drug stash, which Lennie immediately rejects. This revelation comes after Midge finds Lennie on the street, apparently drunk, earlier in the season. As Bruce, Kirby portrays a man with an underlying sense of tragedy, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Bruce really started using drugs, which developed into a severe drug addiction., often methamphetamines, heroin and dilaudid. As we all now know, Lenny Bruce’s life was tragically cut short. On August 3, 1966, Bruce died at the age of 40, surrounded by syringes and drug paraphernalia.. Before his untimely death, Bruce and Harlow had a daughter, Kitty Bruce, who is also mentioned briefly in Maisel.


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Was Lenny Bruce really the troublemaker he was in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?

Yes. In real life, Lenny Bruce was arrested several times and became famous for his comedy Outlaw.. Of course, today it is the usual comedy – talking about sex, politics, making fun of religion, etc., but this was not always the case. Bruce was called a “sick comedian.” This suits Meisel well, considering Midge’s character constantly pushes social boundaries., but this created some problems for the real Bruce. As shown in Maisel, Bruce was arrested several times for obscenity in several cities, as well as for drug possession and fraud.

Bruce appeared only occasionally on network television and was banned from several cities, but he found friendship with progressive thinkers and other subversives. According to Bruce’s website, his television appearances were the result of influential and sympathetic fans such as Hugh Hefner or Steve Allen, although he was blacklisted.. More offensive jokes had to be approved in advance, but it was moments like these that led to his famous performance at Carnegie Hall.

Why Lenny Bruce?

Luke Kirby as Lenny Bruce kisses Rachel Brosnahan as Midge in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Image via Prime Video

Creator and co-showrunner Amy Sherman-PalladinoThe boy’s father, Don Sherman, was a comedian. Her father knew Sally Marr, whom Sherman-Palladino called the godmother of comedians. But this is something deeper. Lenny Bruce and all his failures paved the way for comedians, but unfortunately, this difficult path also led to professional wrestling. IN many respects, Midge’s career trajectory mirrors Bruce’s own career trajectory and perhaps even embodies what his career could have been.. Midge is also arrested several times and there are times when she is almost blacklisted, but as the time jumps show, she persists.

As is the case with many innovators, especially in entertainment, innovative talent is unlikely to be possible without a story that doesn’t have a sense of challenge. The real Lenny Bruce was no exception, but his life, although short, was remarkable. So remarkable that almost 60 years after his death, a whole new generation is learning just how special he is.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel streaming on Prime Video.

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