The Tragic Story Of 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's' Lenny Bruce

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Lenny Bruce
September 24, 2020 - 10:00 / Rachel Johnson

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Lenny Bruce is one of the only characters actually based on a real-life figure. Played by the handsomely talented actor Luke Kirby, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel showcases the legendary comedian's unique talent. Here is everything you need to know about the tragic life of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Lenny Bruce. 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Lenny Bruce is introduced to audiences early on in season one. After her husband leaves her, "Miriam "Midge" Maisel" (Rachel Brosnahan) impulsively gets on stage at the Gaslight comedy club to vent to the audience about her predicament and discovers a talent she never knew she had, stand-up comedy! 

However, having had one too many drinks, "Midge" decides to flash the audience and lands herself in jail. Her night of debauchery doesn't end on a totally low note, and it is in jail that she first meets the legendary comedian Lenny Bruce!

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Lenny Bruce

Rachel Brosnahan and Luke Kirby The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 1 Episode 1

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Lenny Bruce is based on the real-life 1950s comedian, Leonard Alfred Schneider who was famously known by his stage name Lenny Bruce. Renowned for his open free-style of comedy, Bruce was one of the first comedians to use vulgarity and talk about taboo topics like politics, religion, and sex in his shows, often stirring up controversy. 

In fact, in 1964 Lenny Bruce was put on trial for obscenity, eventually being posthumously pardoned in 2003. Tragically, the comedian passed away in 1966 at the young age of 40 from a drug overdose. While his life was cut way too short, Lenny Bruce would pave the way for the counterculture of comedy still to come. 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Actor Luke Kirby

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Lenny Bruce is played by American-Canadian actor, Luke Kirby. Well-known in the Toronto theater scene, the 42-year-old has quite an impressive resume including performances in:

  • Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
  • Luck and Mambo Italiano (2003)
  • Shattered Glass (2003)
  • All Hat (2007)
  • TMN/Showcase miniseries Slings and Arrows
  • CBC miniseries Sex Traffic

Luke Kirby attends the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2019

While he has only starred in 9 episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's first three seasons, Luke Kirby has left quite the mark on critics and fans alike. In fact, he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series just last year! 

Like Lenny Bruce, Luke Kirby is a face we never get tired of seeing on-screen, and we are still eagerly waiting to see if Lenny and "Midge" will ever take their flirtatious relationship any further! While the real Lenny Bruce may have died at 40, we can only hope The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Lenny Bruce will stay around a while longer!