Rachel Brosnahan hosted the show and appeared as her award-winning title character for the spoof, The Raunchiest Miss Rita, which is set at the smoke-filled Gaslight Cafe. (Watch the clip above or below.)
After a custodian named Rita May Johnson congratulates her on her set, Maisel encourages her to give stand-up a try.”No, not me,” Johnson demurs. “What would I even talk about?” Replies Maisel, now the mentor instead of the up-and-comer. “Just be honest. Say what’s on your mind.”
Cut to Jones-as-Johnson working extremely blue, delivering a string of bawdy jokes revolving around sex. While tentative at the start, uncertain how the downtown (and distinctly white) crowd will react, she quickly gets validation from the adoring roars of laughter. In 1958, two decades before Richard Pryor, this audience has never seen anything like it. (Though the gag is partly that Johnson’s set is a few notches below Pryor level — the parody show is presented as being “from the creator of Gilmore Girls and some producers of Def Comedy Jam.)
A voiceover intones, “The show that’s a little less stylized and more in-your-face” than its Amazon sister. The parody also gets in some winking pokes at the real cast members, with the voiceover teasing “an even more exasperated Tony Shalhoub.” Cue Kyle Mooney chewing scenery as Maisel’s querulous father.
Mrs. Maisel’s manager, Susie Myerson, also makes a cameo, played by Aidy Bryant. In a button to her interaction with Maisel, her client calls after her, in a line that fans of the show will relish, “What’s with the hat? Are you a newsie?”
Watch the clip here: