Trivia: Mad Men

Listed Trivia:

  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • Both Jessica Pare and her character Megan are French-Canadian.
    • It was revealed shortly before Season 7B started airing that Jon Hamm apparently had struggled with alcoholism himself, given the reports of him finishing up a stay at a 30-day rehabilitation clinic.
  • The Danza: In Season 4, Danny Strong plays Danny Siegel, Jane's cousin.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Jon Hamm and John Slattery (Don and Roger, respectively) have directed several episodes. Jared Harris (Lane Pryce) directed "Time & Life", although that episode was produced after Harris left the show.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: It was said that Matthew Weiner asked most of the cast members, especially the women, to abstain from certain workouts that are trendy in the 21st Century, so they'd look more like people did in the 1960s.
    • Alison Brie also noted that the women usually wore a lot of pins in their hair and the girdles, she states it gives them a sense of what their character is going through.
    • Vincent Kartheiser gained weight and shaved his hairline to give the allusion of Pete's personal life falling apart in latter seasons.
  • Executive Meddling: Resulted in a six-month delay to Season Five. Contentious negotiations between AMC and Matthew Weiner eventually led to a deal which included shortening episodes by two minutes, increased product placement, and possibly trimming the cast.
    • There was also a deal struck to give the final season 14 episodes instead of the usual 13. It was then split up, like Breaking Bad before it, so that the first half of the season would be filmed to air in the Spring of 2014, while the latter half would be set to air in early 2015.
  • Fake American: Deliberately averted by Matthew Weiner, who refused to cast English actors as Americans (thus making him the American answer to J.K. Rowling in that sense). Hence Jared Harris being a seemingly rare English actor on an American series who gets to keep his regular accent.
  • Fan Nickname: "Dr. Rape" and "Dr. McRapey" for Greg Harris, Joan's husband.
  • Font Anachronism: The show takes place roundabout the sixties. The sign on the Sterling Cooper building is Gill Sans, which was not in popular use in the United States until the 1970s. There are other future fonts, mainly in shots of print ads: Fenice (1980), Balmoral (1978), Amazone (1958), ITC Kabel (1975), Bookman Old Style (1989), Zapfino (1998), and Gotham (2002) (although this one is tricky, as Gotham intentionally mimics the signage on American public buildings from the 1930s-1960s). Notably, the first episode of the show features an advertisement in the aforementioned Zapfino. Of course, there were similar fonts—sometimes quite similar—to all of these in existence in the 1960s; presumably, this was a measure to save time and money.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Mad Men is a show with a penchant for using both That Guys and actors from 90s kid's shows/movies
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: In the Japanese dub:
  • Jossed: Many fans thought that Don would commit suicide, based on the title sequence. He's alive and well at the end of the final episode.
  • Mean Character Nice Actor:
    • Hamm is a nice comedian in real life, but there's no doubt that Draper can be a dick.
    • Pete Campbell can often be one of the more detestable characters in the show. Vincent Kartheiser, on the other hand, is generally a good-humored guy, if his participation in the Nerdist bowling episode is anything to go by.
    • Rich Sommer comes across as quite humble in contrast to Harry Crane (at least the Harry of the last few seasons).
    • While Joan can be a bit "honest" at times, Christina Hendricks is very bubbly and soft spoken.
    • January Jones has a taste for fart jokes (so far from her perfectionist and beauty-valuing character Betty) and gets along famously with her screen daughter, Kiernan Shipka
  • McLeaned: Lane was killed off in part because Jared Harris had too many other upcoming acting commitments (especially with playing Professor Moriarty in the new Sherlock Holmes films). There were no hard feelings, though; Harris recognized he was simply too busy and came back to direct "Time & Life" in Season 7B.
  • The Other Darrin: Four different child actors have played Don's son Bobby.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • John Slattery's real life wife Talia Balsam plays Roger's wife Mona. Rather amusingly, their characters get divorced so that he can marry a twentysomething.
    • Creepy little Glen Bishop is played by Matt Weiner's son.
  • The Red Stapler:
    • Many of the period styles from the show have crept back into fashion. Joan's wiggle dresses and pencil skirts for one, became really popular with many women since they flatter a whole range of body-types and don't obscure feminine curves.
    • Don Draper's signature Old Fashioned was long forgotten when the show aired and has seen a comeback, along the Manhattan. Hilarity generally ensues when younger fans used to lighter concoctions try these rather strong cocktails for the first time.
  • Romance on the Set: Alexis Bledel (Beth Dawes) and Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell) played two people in an affair in Season 5 (early 2012), officially started dating in October 2012, and got engaged in March 2013.
  • Shipper on Deck: Meta. Jay R. Ferguson (Stan) had said he staged a coup for Peggy and Stan to get together after Weiner stated they won't and the writers were on board with it.
  • Star-Making Role: For practically everyone on the show since the majority of the cast were unknowns or only known on niche shows before the series launched. The notable exception is Robert Morse, who has been a name for decades.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • John Slattery originally auditioned for the role of Don Draper, but the production team felt he was too old.
    • Jon Hamm originally auditioned for Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock. One wonders who they'd have cast as Don without Hamm.
    • According to one interview, Beck turned down repeated offers to write the show's theme song, since at the time he thought it would never catch on: "It’s about ad executives in the ’60s? They’re going to make a show about that? Really? Um, I don’t think so".
  • Word of God says Jimmy and Bobbie Barrett are supposed to be assimilated Jews.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Jon Hamm said in an interview with the New York Times that Don returned to McCann to create the famous "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" ad.

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