Following his upgrade to a series regular in Season 4, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel co-star Luke Kirby‘s screen time took a hit in the Amazon comedy’s fifth and final season as the actor settled back into recurring guest star mode. All told, Kirby’s Lenny Bruce appeared in just two of Season 5’s nine episodes (including the series finale, which dropped Friday; read our recap here).
“We’ve always used Lenny Bruce judiciously,” EP Daniel Palladino explains to TVLine in the above video. “It’s always about what the story dictates. We wanted him to come in just for those judicious moments where it meant something to Midge and it meant something to Lenny.
“We were really excited about what we got to do with him” in the final season, Palladino adds. “It was the culmination of everything we had in mind since the very beginning.”
Kirby’s diminished presence did not go unnoticed by co-star Rachel Brosnahan. “I missed Luke,” Midge’s portrayer admits. “I love and have loved since the first season working with Luke. He’s one of the only people who is allowed to come on the show and change the pace of it. [He just brings] a different color to this show and it’s so much fun to play.
“I do think,” Brosnahan adds, “that in the limited time he was there this season he makes a great impact and leaves a huge mark. And he does justice to the Lenny storyline.”
For more on Maisel‘s series finale, including EP Daniel Palladino and series creator/EP Amy Sherman-Palladino’s decision not to show Lenny’s death in the finale, read our post mortem Q&A.