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Source: Amazon Prime

Is 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' a True Story? We Look At Who the Colorful Cast is Based On

By Mary Grace Garis

I can understand if you don’t want to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel if you’re a huge hater of comedy, firecracker female protagonists, the mile-a-minute wit of Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman Palladino, gorgeous period costumes, and Emmy-winning prestige television. For the rest of us, we welcome Miriam “Midge” Maisel into our lives with vigor, the show returning to Amazon Prime for a healthy binge December 5th. However, new converts might be wondering, is The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel a true story? Or really another genius concoction from the Dr. Seuss-hatted head of A S-P? 

In a word: no. In a bunch of other words: the world Midge is breaking into is populated with very colorful, and real, characters. Moreover, a little detective work suggests that Amy and co. drew inspiration from a platter of ground-breaking, and ball-busting comediennes. Oh, and her own father.

So as to who Mrs. Maisel is based on…

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Source: Amazon Prime

Kids, you type in “female Jewish comedians” and there’s a sad dearth of results, like even on Wikipedia. One heavily Botoxed face that pops up, though, is that of Joan Rivers (RIP, the joke is what she would’ve wanted). In the early '60s, the former Fashion Police host made the rounds at New York clubs including the Gaslight Cafe, the famed coffeehouse where Midge’s infamous meltdown turns into a comedy career. Both ASP and star Rachel Brosnahan cite her as an influence when constructing Midge Maisel. In fact, Rachel thoroughly researched Joan when preparing for her role. 

"I always liked Joan Rivers but I had no idea just how extraordinary she was and how much of a trailblazer she was at that time until I really dove into this research," Rachel told Metro. "She was fascinating, so I’m newly devastated that she’s no longer with us, she was an incredible woman. She’s so complicated."

Complicated, yes, and completely uncensored when it came to "'Early on, Joan Rivers was out there talking about stuff that was so taboo, what it meant to be a woman and things like abortion and this double standard that existed between men and women," Rachel continued. "That’s certainly something you’ll see Midge do as well.”