Joel Maisel is the husband of Midge Maisel. He is portrayed by Michael Zegan.
"Did you ever think you were supposed to be something, and suddenly you realize you're not?"-Joel, Pilot
Joel is the husband of Miriam "Midge" Maisel and the father of their two children, their daughter Esther and son Ethan. He is the son of Moishe and Shirley Maisel. He also has two unnamed siblings.
Joel and Midge met in college and he introduced her to comedy. Shortly after college, he proposed to her and they started their life together as husband and wife.
In the Pilot Joel and Midge got married, and their union was happy. Joel is seen looking lovingly at his new wife as she gives a toast to their future together.
Four years after the wedding, Midge was the perfect housewife and mother of their two children Ethan and Esther, she spent her time helping him reach his goals of becoming a comedian and is supportive of it, though it is later revealed she mostly thinks of it as a hobby. She replied she had no idea he was so serious about being a comedian as a profession although she was supportive of his hobbies. She would take notes in a little pink notebook about the number of laughs Joel received, his performance, and audience reception.They would then discuss the notes on the cab ride home.
Miriam is shown making a brisket for Baaz, a man who works and helps run The Gaslight, a coffee shop where Joel does comedy routines on a regular basis so that Joel can get a better time slot than the one offered. On that particular day, Joel was not able to get a good time slot as he was not able to leave work on time. He arrived too late and therefore, got in his words, a "crappy time slot". Joel phones Midge telling her it is crucial she brings the brisket for that man. Midge tells him she should learn that the man's name is Baaz.
Later that evening, Joel and Midge invite their best friends Imogene and her husband Archie to watch Joel perform. Even with the brisket as a bribe, Joel almost does not get his chance to be on stage. However, at the last second just as the four friends are about to go home for the night Joel is told it is his turn to go up on stage.
Joel does not perform as well as he hoped and feels dejected. He does not want to discuss it with Midge like they usually do on the way home. He blames his failures on Midge's lack of support. He then tells her he is leaving her for his young secretary, Penny Pann whom he has been having an extramarital affair with. Midge tells him she mostly believed comedy to be a hobby. He tells her he was taking all the nights spent at The Gaslight as serious practice whereas Midge thought those nights were just for fun.
Joel confesses to Midge he is not happy with his home, family, job, and life in general. He believes Midge was not supportive of his comedy ventures as he wanted to turn it into a serious career. She tells him angrily that this confession could not have come at a worse time as the next day is Yom Kapur and they are having people over for dinner. She then angrily tells him to get out.
He then tells Miriam he plans on leaving her that night. He packs up her suitcase and leaves.
In the episode Ya Shivu v Bolshom Dome Na Kholme
In the episode Because You Left Joel asks Midge if they can "give their relationship another go". She tells him no and he asks her why and she tells him it's because he left in the first place ending the episode.
In the episode Doink
In the episode Mrs. X at the Gaslight
In the episode Put That on Your Plate!
In the episode Thank You and Good Night