As we've mentioned before, some of us enjoy "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", the story of a young female comedian struggling to make it in the 1950s and 60s. Mrs. Maisel, is, to put it bluntly, both funny and hot.
An impossibility! The buttoned-up world of mid-century America can never accept that! Well, that's the show.
While the title character is most often compared to Joan Rivers, there might be an even better real-life equivalent. Her name was Jean Carroll, an up-and-coming comedian in the 1950s and 60s.
There are many parallels between Carroll and Maisel, from a husband who failed at comedy, to an eventual divorce, to rapid-fire delivery, to "intimate" topics. Rachel Brosnahan, who plays Maisel, has admitted to studying Carroll's performances.
So why isn't Carroll mentioned with among the great female comedians? (Alas, the mid-century list pretty much begins and ends with aforementioned Rivers.) Despite the early success (she even had a short-lived sitcom in ABC), her career was a constant struggle. And, unlike Maisel, who plays up her Jewish heritage, Carroll hid hers (real name: Celine Zeigman).
Funny, hot, and Jewish? Such an impossibility!