The Truth of Mrs. Maisel with Lenny Bruce

Luke Kirby won an Emmy, in 2019, for his great performance as comedian Lenny Bruce in The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel. As we know, Bruce is one of the rare REAL characters in the series, although the version we see of him is far from the real thing.

Yes, the romance between Midge and Bruce was obvious from the moment they met, with great chemistry between them. The two missed the first opportunity last season, but in the last episode, they officially became lovers.

And because Bruce’s story is tragic, the series has already alluded to the drug addiction that will contribute to his untimely death. That means they’re opening a dramatic door for The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel, shall we understand how?

Legendary and controversial

Leonard Alfred Schneider, who was better known as Lenny Bruce, rose to fame as one of America’s hottest stand-up comedians, known for swearing, talking about sex and politics in extremely conservative years. He died at the age of 41, in 1966. For those who watch the series, be aware, in just 5 years of which we are following the plot.

As in The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel, Bruce paved the way for a critical comedy more in line with the evolving times and was arrested multiple times, being convicted in 1964 of obscenity (he only received a posthumous pardon in 2003), and is one of the symbols of free speech in your country. He made four recordings of his concerts that became classic albums, including some concerts in San Francisco, which were the beginning of his worst legal problems. And it’s worth paying attention to because it was 1961, the year we’re seeing the current season.

Bad jokes told on live shows were banned from screenings and concerts and his upcoming Carnegie Hall performance in the series was recorded and released as an LP after his death. It is considered one of his best performances, a mark of spontaneity and sincerity, an act of unique courage for comedians.

Equally troubled personal life

In the series, we know little about the comedian’s novels and we have just found out that he has a daughter. In real life, he was married to stripper Honey Harlow in 1951 and they worked together in nightclubs. Much like Midge does on the show, he was the host at the strip house, doing his stand-ups between the women’s shows, but being in that environment contributed to his comedic material. Honey and Bruce had a daughter, Kitty, born in 1955. Honey’s marriage worsened because of the comedian’s chemical dependency and physical abuse between the two. When Honey was arrested in Honolulu for marijuana possession in 1956, Bruce separated again and kidnapped the couple’s daughter, while Honey was sentenced to two years in prison.


In the last years of his life, his addiction to heroin and other drugs deteriorated Lenny Bruce’s health.

Bruce divorced Honey in 1959 and at the time of his death – from an overdose – he was dating the comedian Lotus Weinstock, so we already understand the parallel of The Wonderful Mrs. Meisel. He was found dead in the bathroom of his home, naked, with injectable material nearby. His friend, Phil Spector, bought the photo negatives and destroyed them to prevent the image from being immortalized.

So, folks, it’s good to get ready because the curve is coming and Mrs. Maisel must still suffer a lot. Poor Midge!

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