The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel executive producer and creator Amy Sherman-Palladino said she didn’t need to do intense research into comedian Lenny Bruce’s life for the show – because in some ways he was “family.”
She recently revealed that Bruce’s mother was friends with her father, who was a stand-up comedian. Bruce’s mother was considered to be a “godmother” of all comics. So when it came to weaving a real-life comedian into fiction, Sherman-Palladino said she struggled more with how to he could influence main character Miriam “Midge” Maisel’s journey and be a beacon – and romantic interest – for her.
Lenny Bruce’s mother was friends with Mrs. Maisel creator’s father
Sherman-Palladino revealed her sweet connection to Bruce. “We didn’t really do a lot of research only because we knew so much about Lenny Bruce going into even starting Maisel,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “My father knew his mother very well. She was sort of like the godmother to all the comics, and they all sort of took care of her in Los Angeles.”
She told Vanity Fair that her father would return from the road and share stories. But she still doesn’t know if they are true. “With my family, I never know how much is true and how much is made up,“ she admitted. Adding of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “It should feel like Narnia or Oz.”
She also knew Lenny Bruce’s mother
In another interview with Vanity Fair (via The Offical Lenny Bruce website), Sherman-Palladino said she also knew Bruce’s mother. “Weirdly, my dad was a stand-up comic,” she said. “So I grew up with a bunch of Jews sitting around trying to make each other laugh. And I knew Lenny Bruce’s mother when I was a kid because she was sort of the godmother to all the comics. And I worked at the Comedy Store.”
“So the show was not so much a conscious homage to any particular comic as it was something that was in my zeitgeist,” she continued. “I was having a meeting with the guys over at Amazon, and we were just kind of shooting the s***, and it was a little idea I had standing in the back of my head. They’re like, ‘Great. Go do that and bring it back.'”
“And then, of course, the opportunity to do any sort of show where I don’t have to think about Snapchat,” she added. “I’m thrilled, delighted because I don’t understand technology. I just want to go back to a time where there wasn’t any,” she added.
Joining reality and fiction on ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’
Her challenge was more with how the characters in Mrs. Maisel would interact and Bruce’s influence on Midge. “So his lore and story was very well-known to me because it’s just my family. We didn’t have to do a lot of research in terms of that. It was more figuring out how his trajectory could inform Midge’s journey and what she could take from it, learn from it,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
“He really is the person who opened the door for every comic today,” she said. “And we were doing this story of a female changing her trajectory and going down a route that most women did not go down. It felt like a good parallel, a good muse, and because of the chemistry, a good romance.”