Journal article

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as an alternative history of stand-up

D Aarons, M Mierowsky

Comedy Studies | Informa UK Limited | Published : 2021


In this article, we use a critical analysis of the first season of the Amazon 2017-9 series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as the starting point to examine its central proposition: that a female Lenny Bruce could have existed at that particular time and place in comedy history. We furnish contextual analysis, and survey some routines depicted in the show in terms of both form and content, examining the titular Mrs. Maisel against female comics of her own time and later eras. We chart the ways her comedic development touches on the hallmarks of American stand-up and we assess the development of her comic persona—the main plotline of the first season of the show—by comparison with the personae Lenn..

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University of Melbourne Researchers