The third season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel drops this week, with much to look forward to: Midge finally hitting the road, more of those fabulous costumes, and the addition of Sterling K. Brown. But one of the most exciting storylines for the upcoming season involves Tony Shalhoub's Abe. After his falling out with Bell Labs last season, it appears that Abe is gearing up to go back to his former life as a social activist. Shalhoub, who won an Emmy this past September for his work on the show, has become one of the best parts of Mrs. Maisel, with his acerbic one-liners and droll facial expressions, elevating even the most innocuous lines to comedy gold. In preparation for another season of Abe-isms, we thought we'd take a moment to revisit some of his best lines from the show's first two seasons:
From Season 1, Episode 2 — "Ya Shivu v Bolshom Dome Na Kholme":
During a disastrous dinner at the Weissmans' to discuss Joel cheating on Midge, Abe decides to give Joel a piece of his mind. After telling Joel he is no longer allowed to call him "Abe," Joel asks him what he should call his rage-filled father-in-law. "Nothing. You call me nothing. You don't talk to me or look at me. If you see me on the street, you will cross the street, whether or not there is a crosswalk present. Your pedestrian safety is of no importance to me anymore."
What makes this line so perfect is that it marries Abe's genuine distaste for Joel with a sharp comeback. You start to get the idea that Midge's ability to turn some of the her worst moments into comedy gold might be a trait that runs in the family.
From Season 1, Episode 4 — "The Disappointment of the Dionne Quintuplets":
Abe is struggling to adjust to Midge and her children's presence in his house after she moves back home post-Joel. When he goes into the living room to read his book in complete silence only to discover little Ethan watching Howdy Doody, it's the last straw for Abe's last straw. After Midge advocates getting a second television in her room so that Ethan can watch his shows and she can watch Jack Paar at night without him overhearing, Abe retorts "I don't like Jack Paar, there are jugglers on Jack Paar." What makes this line particularly funny is that it highlights Abe's impossibly high standards and seemingly endless list of things which upset, anger, or just plain annoy him.
From Season 2, Episode 1 — "Simone":
The Season 2 premiere of the show finds Midge and Abe tracking down Rose in Paris after she spontaneously decides to abandon her life in the city for a bourgeois lifestyle in Paris. While nervously stumbling through Rose's run-down complex, Abe still finds time to drop a great one-liner. While we know by now that Abe can deliver a wry, sarcastic quip about somebody else like nobody's business, it's his being out of his comfort zone that makes this zinger truly land.
From Season 2, Episode 7 — "Look, She Made A Hat":
Fuming over Midge's revelation about being a standup, bickering with Joel's father Moishe, and starving from fasting during the day's Yom Kippur observance, Abe is in rare form in "Look, She Made A Hat." When approached by Midge to continue lying about her career, she proposes that Abe play a game with the family in order for her to sneak out for a gig undetected. That's when Shalhoub casually tosses off his "like what, Name that Homicidal Despot?" so casually you almost miss it at first, which is what makes it even more delectable when you finally catch on.
From Season 2, Episode 9 — "Vote For Kennedy, Vote For Kennedy":
Most of Abe's best lines come from one-off jokes or sarcastic cracks, but in this season two scene, he delivers a devilishly dark, fairly long gag about getting away with killing his Bell Labs boss to his face... and still getting his paycheck.
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Stephen Hladik is a freelance culture writer and actor. You can follow him on Twitter @stephen_hladik