Alex Borstein, the Emmy-winning star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Family Guy, will release her new musical comedy special, Alex Borstein: Corsets & Clown Suits, on Prime Video April 18. The self-penned, sure-to-be provocative special coincides with the release of Mrs. Maisel’s fifth and final season on April 14, something that Borstein riffs on in her show. “I don’t need to do this. I’m already on a TV show. What am I doing?” she asks the audience, in this exclusive trailer for Corsets & Clown Suits.
Borstein told The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, “Alex Borstein: Corsets & Clown Suits…I guess you could say it’s a filthy TED Talk. Well, I am beyond excited to bring this deeply personal and wildly fictitious one-woman circus to a screen near you. It’s a night of comedy and music that details my twisted perception of perception.”
A taste of that perception: Borstein telling the audience in the trailer, “You can have my uterus when you pry it from my hot, wet…”—before the video cuts off the last word.
Borstein, whose career broke out when she was cast on Mad TV in 1997, experienced a surge in recognition and accolades for her performance as Susie, the straight-shooting, though anxious and vulnerable comedy agent in Mrs. Maisel. Over the years, she’s used the spotlight to speak out about how women, particularly those who don’t fit a conventional type, are treated not just by Hollywood, but by society.
In a 2019 op-ed for InStyle, she wrote, “Over the years I began to notice that most female characters of substance were described much in the same way that a horse would be. When InStyle asked if I would be interested in writing about being a ‘spirited and admirably spunky’ woman who gets to play an equally spirited and spunky character, I immediately finished chomping my hay, took a shit on the racetrack, and sat down to write.”
Speaking about the essay and the phenomenon with The Daily Beast, Borstein said, “Even now it’s true. You’re sturdy, you’re clever, you’re quick, you’re spunky, you’re spirited. That means you’re not a leading lady.” She even named her 2006 comedy special Alex Borstein: Drop Dead Gorgeous (In a Down-to-Earth Bombshell Sort of Way), after a casting breakdown she had actually received.
When Borstein won her second Emmy for playing Susie on Mrs. Maisel in 2019, her acceptance speech, which was dedicated to her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, went viral for its rally cry acknowledging strong women: “Step out of line, ladies! Step out of line!”
Recounting the moment, she told The Daily Beast, “So many of these questions we get in the press are, ‘Finally we have strong women. Do you think women are getting stronger? And Elizabeth Warren! And strength!’ And I’m like, these women have always been in our lives, some even more so than today.”