The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel wins 5 Primetime Emmy Awards

September 27, 2018
by Nora Greenstein

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel received five Emmys at the 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, the most of any one series that evening, including “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series,” “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series,” “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series,” “Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series,” and “Outstanding Comedy Series.” This marked the first top award win for Amazon, and the first time a streaming service won for best comedy series, as well as the first Emmy win for Amy Sherman-Palladino.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, was released on Amazon on November 29, 2017. The show follows Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a young Jewish woman living on the Upper West Side of New York during the 1950s, as her marriage falls apart and she explores the world of stand-up comedy. Sherman-Palladino has said in interviews that she modeled her character after prominent, female Jewish comedians such as Joan Rivers. Sherman-Palladino has cited her upbringing as an influence on her creation of the show, saying “…My dad was a stand-up comic. So I grew up with a bunch of Jews sitting around trying to make each other laugh. And I knew Lenny Bruce’s mother when I was a kid, because she was sort of the godmother to all the comics. And I worked at the Comedy Store. So the show was not so much a conscious homage to any particular comic as it was something that was in my zeitgeist.”

Amy Sherman-Palladino was born on January 17, 1966 and raised in the San Fernando Valley by her father, a comic, and her mother, a dancer. She was trained as a ballet dancer and began her television writing career on the show Roseanne, writing an Emmy-nominated storyline. Prior to Maisel, she was best known for writing and creating Gilmore Girls, alongside her husband Daniel Palladino. With quick-paced and pop culture ridden dialogue, Sherman-Palladino’s shows all contain comedic themes that draw from Jewish influences such as Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Lenny Bruce, who she cites as “[forming] her whole comedy outlook.”

This entry was created for This Week in History as part of a course on the history of American Jewish women taught by Karla Goldman at the University of Michigan, Winter 2019.

Sources:Emmys 2018: ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Win Big AwardsThe New York Times, September 17, 2018; “Gilmore Girls Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino Explains her Marvelous New TV SeriesVanity Fair, March 16, 2017; “70th Emmy Awards: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Wins For Outstanding Writing For A Comedy SeriesYouTube, September 17, 2018; “Nothing Like a Jew Eating a Pickle and You Put Some Christmas Carols Over It”, New York Magazine, November 27, 2017.

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Actress Rachel Brosnahan

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Jewish Women's Archive. "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel wins 5 Primetime Emmy Awards." (Viewed on May 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/thisweek/marvelous-mrs-maisel-wins-5-primetime-emmy-awards>.

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