Amy Sherman-Palladino made history by winning Emmys for Comedy Series program, writing and directing — the first woman to ever have that distinction — for Season 1 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She explained during the show’s panel at Deadline’s Contenders Television virtual event how the series came about because of her own family background.
“It was basically all there for the taking,” she explained during the panel of the pitch for the show and the inspiration for Midge, the ’50s housewife-turned-stand-up comic, a profession she knew well since her father was a stand-up.
“We took my Dad’s life, his stories, and a lot of stuff I heard about growing up. We have stolen it completely, did not compensate my parents at all, and thrown it into the show,” she said during the panel with her fellow executive producer, writer and director Daniel Palladino (yes, her husband). “So all of the childhood drama and tragedy has served me well. Here’s why you don’t go to therapy to work out your issues because you’d have nothing to write about. It’s all an homage to my Dad.”
The show, which won eight Emmys overall in its first season and eight more in its second, sent Mrs. Maisel on tour in Season 3, an excuse to get to Florida among other locations which Sherman-Palladino said was not a matter of showing “a palm tree and a duck” but the whole shebang, giving great credit to her cast, cinematographer, production designer, costume designer, the whole crew.
Both Palladinos also did The Gilmore Girls and use a method of working together they developed there. “It works because we break stories together and hammer out the details,” said Palladino, who added that they purposely write and direct their own episodes apart from one another but still conscious of making it feel seamless from show to show.
“We promised a woman’s life which was very small is suddenly going to get bigger and bigger and bigger as she opens her eyes and turns around to what’s really out there,” said Sherman-Palladino. “We feel it’s our job to deliver that.”
Check out the panel video above.