The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel creator Amy Sherman-Palladino revealed the character of Lenny Bruce will have a much larger presence in Season 4. Set in the late '50s and early '60s, the Amazon series stars Rachel Brosnahan as effervescent housewife Miriam "Midge" Maisel who, after separating from her husband, falls into stand-up comedy and pursues it as a career with the help of her manager Susie Myerson (played by Alex Borstein). The show has received widespread critical acclaim throughout its three seasons so far, with Sherman-Palladino, Brosnahan, and Borstein each winning several Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy awards.
Even The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's supporting characters have attracted awards attention. That includes Lenny Bruce, the legendary freewheeling comic who often finds himself running into Midge around the New York comedy scene. Luke Kirby won an Emmy in 2019 for his performance as the real-life stand-up, who became a counterculture icon in the '60s for his brand of vulgar observational humor.
It looks like fans are about to get even more Lenny Bruce. In a virtual panel discussion with TVLine, Sherman-Palladino said she plans to incorporate the character more into Season 4 than previous seasons. She explained that although he only appeared in a few episodes each season, Lenny and Midge's chemistry made making him a bigger presence in Season 4 a no-brainer. His respect for her as a comedian and not just an attraction, Sherman-Palladino notes, has been key to making the relationship compelling. Here's an excerpt of the interview with Sherman-Palladino:
The chemistry that they have and the way that they work together and the ease they feel with each other — that’s just luck. You hope for that every time you cast a love interest for someone. You hope that there’s chemistry there and people will buy into it. And [Rachel and Luke] just have it. It ups the level of the storyline.
Like virtually everything else across the industry, production on Season 4 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Sherman-Palladino confirmed that Brosnahan, Kirby, and the rest of the cast are undergoing costume fittings right now. They plan to have all the scripts finished in time for table reads in December and everything in place for filming in January.
Incorporating Lenny Bruce into the story seems to be one of the more popular strategies the writers have employed throughout the course of the show. Not only does the presence of a real-life figure provide fodder for diehard comedy fans, but it also keeps viewers grounded in the show's fictional, fast-paced universe. Audiences may wonder whether or not Sherman-Palladino and the rest of her writing team consider integrating other influential comics of the era into the world of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. For now, Bruce's popularity and the charisma Kirby brings to the role should be enough to hold fans over for at least one more season.