Miriam "Midge" Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) is a Jewish housewife living in New York City in 1958. Her husband, Joel, is an unsuccessful businessman who moonlights as a struggling comedian. Midge supports Joel, providing feedback about his sets, but becomes disillusioned when she discovers that Joel has stolen one of his best routines from Bob Newhart. One night, after a particularly rough performance, Joel confesses to Midge that he has been having an affair and leaves her. Midge goes to her family for support but primarily receives criticism for choosing to marry Joel. After getting drunk, Midge returns to the comedy club where Joel performs and impulsively goes on stage, delivering an impromptu set about her predicament which the audience finds hilarious. After baring her breasts in an attempt to demonstrate how attractive she is, Midge is arrested and taken to jail on a morals charge. The next morning, she meets Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby), who is also being bailed out of jail. Bruce warns Midge that the comedy business is terrible, but Midge takes his warning as encouragement and teams with Susie (Alex Borstein), a comedy club employee, to hone her act.

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