Fans are eagerly awaiting the fourth season of the hilarious and clever The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. This comedy has an incredibly strong cast who all contribute in their own way to the show’s brilliance.
In comedy, sometimes the funniest skits are based on “non-comedic” characters. Ridiculous personalities and over-the-top characters are just as important to comedy as a good one-liner. Here are some of the show’s funniest characters, ranked from least to most hilarious.
9 Moishe Maisel
“Sorry, it doesn’t pass the tush test. The tush tells me whether it’s happy or not.”
Joel’s father, Moishe, isn’t the funniest character of the show, but he is definitely entertaining. The humor he adds is mainly in the form of a few ridiculous habits, such as the “tush test,” which he must perform before he decides to sit in a chair.
Another is his habit of stashing money with his wife Shirley in various hiding spots and then forgetting about it. Moishe once used a portable rotary blade to cut a secret hole at the back of a closet in his in-laws’ house. He and his wife Shirley hid a bag with $2,000 in the hiding spot and only Shirley’s cryptic “treasure maps” helped them find it again.
8 Joel Maisel
“I can’t tell if I’m a genius or an idiot.”
Despite wanting to be a professional comedian, Joel was never really all that funny. When he performed, he stole other comedian’s jokes. He didn’t always deliver them very well either. The funniest we see Joel is in his responses to the funny and ridiculous world around him. He would make a great improviser, with his “yes, and” approach to the funny people around him.
When Midge goes off on a hilarious and crazy tangent, Joel is always right there with her, playing along and feeding the comedy with his straight responses.
7 Rose Weissman
“You can’t eat with [your] children … They’re not used to it, you’ll scare them.“
Rose is the perfect companion for Abe. They both need structure, order, and to feel in control of their lives. While Rose isn’t known for the most hilarious one-liners of the show, her elegant and proper persona creates the foundation for plenty of laughs.
When she begins taking art classes, a nude male model causes her to faint and hyperventilate. Viewers are mostly laughing at Rose rather than with her, but they are definitely laughing.
6 Shirley Maisel
“Trust the tush.”
Shirley’s role in the show and in life is to be a good mother and wife, and she takes that responsibility seriously. She delivers a stereotypical but wonderful portrayal of the over-bearing, controlling Jewish mother. However, this behavior isn’t just directed at her son.
One amusing facet of her controlling nature is that she never wants to eat what Rose has cooked. She always magically has her own food ready when she visits her in-laws.
Rose: “What is that?”Shirley: “Chicken soup.”Rose: “Where did that come from?”Shirley: “I put it in the freezer last time I was here.”
5 Drina The Seer
“I have cousins. They have skills.”
Drina, Rose’s fortune-teller and psychic, is another character who isn’t supposed to be funny to the other characters in the show. However, she is incredibly entertaining for the show’s viewers. She delivers her lines with a straight and serious face that makes fans die with laughter.
She calms Rose’s neurotic anxieties by assuring her that in her crystal ball, the future looks good. Viewers may question her fortune-telling credibility with all her “good news,” but Rose seems happy to pay someone to tell her that everything will be alright.
Drina: “I’m looking at the ball. I see a new man walking toward Miriam-“Rose: “Oh no!”Drina: “He walked right past, he’s gone. Feel better?”
4 Abe Weissman
“And then we’ll have a little talk about loyalty. To the person who signs the checks, not the person you like more. American loyalty!”
Tony Shaloub plays the brilliant and yet totally clueless Abe Weissman. Though his character is unique and hilarious, he does share some traits with another of his famous roles as the main character in Monk. A mathematical genius, Abe has a low tolerance for disorder and change. He knows what he likes, and can be a bit uptight about keeping his life perfectly in order.
Hilarity ensues in Abe’s failing quest for control over his life and family. When Benjamin wants to marry Miriam and asks for Abe’s permission, Mr. Weismann conducts an interview and background check with a thoroughness usually reserved for recruitment into the CIA. During Abe’s grilling of Benjamin, he questions everything, including bathroom habits:
Benjamin: “Could you excuse me a minute, I need to use the bathroom.”Abe: “Oh. That’s something you do?”
3 Lenny Bruce
“Uh-oh, you need me to be understanding or something? I can pretend to do that.”
Luke Kirby portrays the infamous New York comedian Lenny Bruce. Lenny’s brand of comedy focuses on society’s taboo subjects, earning him many nights in jail and an impressive number of warrants for his arrest.
Even when Lenny isn’t performing, this character delivers a main course of dry, dark comedy with a dessert of sarcasm and self-deprecation.
2 Susie Myerson
“I’m just trying to figure out the best way to hide a lobster under my hat.”
Midge’s manager, Susie, played by Alex Borstein, is full of comedy gold. Susie is a fast-talking, native New Yorker whose language could make a sailor blush. Her rough and tumble persona, crude language, and sharp wit make her one of the funniest characters in the show.
Underneath her tough exterior, though, lives a complex, intelligent character who is remarkably kind and loyal. All these traits combine to make her a great manager and a compelling character.
Susie: “Where the hell are we? What is this, f***ing Versailles?”Midge: “It’s my apartment.”
1 Miriam Maisel
“He had a jawline you could stab your sister with.“
The funniest character is, of course, the show’s titular character, Miriam (Midge) Maisel. Whether performing stand-up or chatting with her family, Midge has the quickest wit of any character on the show. She is able to find the ridiculousness of any situation and turn it into a joke. She is a great observer of life, and even with all the heartbreak and pain she goes through, she is always able to find something to laugh at in her situation.
Midge’s stand-up sets focus on what is happening in her life at that time. She draws from her experiences to find comic fodder and relatable stories. From her infant daughter’s resemblance to Winston Churchill to men ruling the world because they don’t have to wear heels, Midge uses comedy to point out life’s oddities. She pokes fun at the powerful, “punching up” in comic speak, but throws in a good amount of self-deprecation and humility too.
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