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Actor Luke Kirby recently revealed that the events that led to comedian Lenny Bruce’s untimely death will begin to unfold on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 4.

Lenny was a groundbreaking comedian during the era in which the fictional series was set. He died in 1966 from a morphine overdose. He was 40 years old.

He’s been featured as a love interest in the series for the main character, Miriam “Midge” Maisel. But thus far, his notoriety for breaking down barriers in his standup has been mainly featured on the show.

But as the series moves into the 1960s, Kirby said writers felt it was important to reflect further on the comedian’s personal life. And delve into why Lenny died.

‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ writers felt it was their ‘duty’ to explore what led to Lenny Bruce’s death

Kirby, who plays Lenny in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel said he’s engaged with where the writers will take the real-life character. “We felt a bit of a kind of duty to sort of start touching on the aspects of Lenny Bruce’s life that kind of led up to his dying young,” he told US Weekly. “We’re sort of bringing Lenny Bruce a little bit down to Earth this season and kind of exploring that a little bit.”

Rachel Brosnahan and Luke Kirby film 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Season 4 in New York
Rachel Brosnahan and Luke Kirby | Noam Galai/GC Images

Lenny’s last interaction with Midge in Florida left her (and likely the audience) breathless, wondering if they would get together. Kirby said he’d love to see the characters have a romance and how the storyline will continue once Lenny dies. “I don’t know how Midge will feel [when Lenny dies],” he said. “Hopefully she’ll be really broken up about it and then hopefully she will do the healthy thing and move on and make herself happy.”

‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ actors also drove Lenny Bruce’s return

In the meantime, Kirby is pulling for Lenny and Midge. “I’m always a sucker for people going for it,” he said. “You know, what’s the point of saying goodbye? We’re all gonna have to say goodbye eventually [so] spend the night together.”

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel creator Amy Sherman-Palladino said Lenny Bruce wasn’t supposed to be featured as much as he is. But the chemistry between the actors is what drove Lenny’s constant return. “We didn’t intend for Lenny Bruce to necessarily continue as much as he had, but Luke and Rachel [Brosnahan] were so good together that it was nice to weave it in and out,” she said at a Smithsonian Associates event via The Washington Post.

She added, “Especially in times when either Midge was down, or she needed a little bucking up or she needed help.”

Lenny Bruce represents validation for Midge’s comedy

Beyond a romantic connection, Sherman-Palladino said Lenny is critical to Midge’s journey as a comedian.” I want her to have that validation from someone who is the best of the best,” she said. And added, “It was also very important that this man, who in reality was the guy pushing comedy into the next phase of comedy … that he looked at her like an equal, like a comrade, like a pal, like a drinking buddy.”


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“I wanted a muse in a sense … somebody who is approaching comedy the way Midge was going to start approaching comedy,” Sherman-Palladino said. “A guy who was talking about life and who would just go onstage and talk off the cuff about what he’s thinking about or what he’s dealt with or what he’s dealing with.”

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 4 will premiere on Amazon Prime on Friday, February 18.