“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” has officially said “thank you and goodnight” after five seasons and, much to the delight of fans, Lenny Bruce did show up one more time before the Prime Video series finale ended. It marked only the second episode of the season that Luke Kirby was in and honestly, he was OK with that.
When first we saw Lenny Bruce this season, it was at a chance run-in with Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) at the airport. No, the two didn’t officially date after their night together in the season four finale. After Midge fled, Lenny never called, and the encounter was a touch awkward. As Lenny explains, he’s off to San Francisco, Midge wishes him well, and that’s the last we see of him until the finale.
“I’ve always been so happy and thrilled to get to participate in any capacity,” Kirby told TheWrap. “And, you know, although I have felt many times like I could stay on that set for a lifetime, and explore this character and the stories forever, you know, it felt right in how they decided to execute this last season.”
We first see Lenny again in a flash forward, where he’s bombing on stage reading out his legal woes. Susie tries to straighten him out, but to no avail. He makes a point to check that Midge is OK though, and that’s that.
At least, until the end of the episode, when we’re given a flash backward, apparently back to the night Midge and Lenny hooked up. They’re at a nearby diner, and Lenny is giving Midge lessons on how to be famous, knowing as he always did that she would make it. It’s a touching moment, and one that makes it very easy to wish Lenny and Midge had more time together.
But, Kirby added, it’s important to remember that Lenny Bruce was a real person that they were paying real homage to.
“I also was aware always that, you know, we were having to walk a fine line with playing a real person, who has a real history,” he explained. “And I think that they, given that reality, I think that they did the best thing by being very sort of deft in their touch, and nuanced in how much they brought him into the fray.”
He continued, “You know, he kind of — if he was allowed to appear too much, it would have been sort of greedy to try and co-opt the real Lenny Bruce and bring him into, you know, another reality. I mean, I understand the yearning because I’m on board with it. But I also, yeah, you wouldn’t want to be greedy with something so special, you know?”
You can watch TheWrap’s full interview with Luke Kirby in the video above.