Thomas Mizer joined the creative team behind Amazon Prime’s award-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in its third season as a massive fan of the show.
“It was very intimidating coming in because we were fans. It feels like the A-team, when you look around at the costumes and the production design…we sort of walked in to write our first song like ‘oh my God, let us please not be the people to screw this up!'”
Alongside his writing partner Curtis Moore, Mizer built upon the show’s rich detail and design by writing several original songs across the show’s next few seasons. It began with creating original pieces for Shy Baldwin – a major player in season 3 – but soon evolved into an even more expansive undertaking. By the show’s final season, Mizer and Moore did everything from writing their own musical to developing the music for band on The Gordon Ford Show.
“Normally our stuff has been important, but we’re not the comedic angle of the episode,” Mizer says of the trash-themed musical that serves as a throughline in the show’s final season. “Here, we had to turn in jokes to Amy Sherman-Palladino, who is one of the great comedy writers. The knees [are] knocking as we would show her the drafts, hoping she would laugh. And when she would laugh, that was the best moment of all.”
That laughter transfers to the audience via hilarious songs like “Everything Grows!” and “Your Personal Trash Man Can”, but Mizer and Moore had to consider more than just comedy in crafting the music for Maisel‘s final season.
“There is no score for the show. It’s all needle drops, and so any place there’s music where they didn’t have a needle drop that they could use, we would write for it. So it’s sometimes stuff that you would never know is original. That may be the hardest thing about it; our job was to disappear,” says Mizer.
And in a show so carefully attuned to the historical and cultural developments of the 1950s and 60s, Mizer’s music relied on extensive research as well.
“We always joke that Maisel is very well-researched, but it’s turned up to eleven. The secret for us that we discovered was to focus on researching the whole world of music at the time [so as] to not parody anybody,” says Mizer. He and Moore would listen to everything from pop music to film scores of the era to create songs that felt less like riffs on music from the era and more like true cultural relics.
Listen to the full interview below to hear Mizer’s additional thoughts on his work on the final season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, as well as a fun anecdote on the show’s final day of filming!