Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Friars Club Gets One Last Lick In with “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Episode Showing Lapsed Trademark, Raunchy Roast


A whole lot of press people are watching the first eight episodes of the final season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” The hit comedy returns for a 5th and final season on April 14th on Amazon Prime.

We’re not allowed to breathe a word of the plot or anything else until minutes before the show drops. So what I’m about to tell you is not about any of that. And there will be no spoilers.

But if you read this column you know I just told you last week that the vaunted Friars Club on East 55th St. is padlocked shut and closed, likely for good. The Club lost the trademark rights to its logo. It’s also no longer a registered charity. Decades of history have been squandered by the people who’ve pulled it apart. It’s very sad.

And then– a ha! — I’m watching a screener of “Mrs. Maisel” only to discover that in the sixth episode, the show shot inside the Club. They used the dining room, downstairs entryway, and the front door area. If the Friars gets pulled down one day, it’s now memorialized in “Mrs. Maisel” for a raunchy roast.

What did Amazon pay the remaining squanderers for this right? Someone got the money, and now it’s gone, baby, gone, trust me. But there it is, and so is the now un-trademarked logo hanging above the podium.

The Friars– the remaining people — may think this is a tribute to the Club, and it is. But it’s also a sly dig about how the Club has deteriorated into the mess it became.

I’m not allowed to say anything else, except: after five very good episodes, this is the “Maisel” Emmy show. There’s a lot more to it than the Friars, and the whole thing plays like a hit movie comedy. (One hint: there’s a nod to a Woody Allen classic.)

That’s it, for now. Circle April 14th. Or thereabouts, for more intel.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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